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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
digital Eyeing off twitter Richard Freudenstein CEO, News Digital Media Powerful technlogy Claudia Sagripanti Director, Mobile Communications, Group M What are some of the innovations you have been working on at News Digital Media? We are doing some really innovative things centering around video. We recently launched a new multi-media video player which allows clients to put up video ads, plus a range of interactive panels for a deeper interactive advertising experience. We are doing more around audience targeting and have introduced a behavioural targeting advertising tool, which I beleve will be a valuable tool for advertisers to more fi nely target their campaign. We are doing some interesting things on some of our other sites as well. CareerOne for example has announced a joint venture with Monster which will allow us to develop world-beating technology and really drive that site forward. With TrueLocal, we are making the experience much deeper and richer by uploading a lot of content from advertisers as well as getting reviews and ratings for consumers. It’s a much more engaging site. ‘Engagement’ is a word that really has to apply to all our sites. How are you integrating social media into your sites? Social media is also very important in terms of engagement. We obviously have a variety of blogs across news.com.au and all our newspaper masthead sites and we are using some really talented journalists on many of those blogs. I’ve already talked about the user generated content on TrueLocal and we also do some interesting things with Twitter. We have a news.com.au feed that delivers headlines directly to twitter users. How is this being received by users? There is some scepticism around big brands using social media. You have to do it in a way that is credible and interesting to them [the users] and not just being there 27 MEDIA Trends + Strategy p22-24,26,28-30_digital.indd 26 p22-24,26,28-30_digital.indd 26 3/7/09 11:56:45 AM 3/7/09 11:56:45 AM for the sake of being there. All our stories have links to social media sharing sites, and I think it is working quite well. Facebook for example is now the second biggest referrer of traffi c to news.com.au after Google. So obviously it is relevant and it is resonating with that audience. How important is mobile to the overall News Digital strategy? Is it something clients are increasingly asking for? Our attitude is that we need to be where the audiences are, and be relevant to those audiences, and they are defi nitely consuming information and utilities on mobile phones. We have launched a range of mobile sites, but it’s not yet something that clients are demanding in a big way. I feel that advertising will play a part in it, but I don’t think it is the be all and end all. It’s one of those things that I think will be huge, but I’m just not sure when. What sort of trends are you seeing from the economic downturn, and what kind of impact do you expect it to have? I generally believe that the downturn will accelerate the transition to online. We are already seeing advertisers following the audience and an online audience is as big as Free To Air TV (FTATV) in terms of average time spent. However we are not yet seeing the amount of revenue we deserve, for the size of our audience. We have created a sort of second prime time between 10am and 2pm which is when people are sitting at their desk, so what we are seeing is advertisers really looking at their FTATV spend. Advertisers who have been with us for a while are spending more with us, and are much more comfortable. We are also seeing the advertisers who haven’t been big online spenders in the past few years, particularly retail and FMCG, really starting to experiment. Tell us about the AIMIA Mobile Industry Group. I have been chairing AIMIA’s mobile industry group for over four years and leading the update to the mobile advertising guidelines. Basically we are synchronising them with international standards to make it easier for advertisers to conduct campaigns, however we are customising it for Australia using Australian examples. At the moment the guidelines are focusing on banner and text format and then, when the market has matured, we will start to look at other formats as well. When will we see the market start to mature? It’s still early days and the mobile advertising medium is still evolving. Vodafone really kicked off the mobile advertising market with the work they did towards the end of 2007, and Telstra and Sensis MediaSmart conducted trials early last year. Group M worked with Telstra and Sensis on the Mobile Alliance Trial and as part of that we have been refi ning the offering: we have refi ned the response mechanisms and the targeting. We are targeting both demographic and psychographic criteria and becoming a lot more sophisticated in how we put together a mobile advertising campaign and how we measure it. There is still a lot of work being done with mobile measurement and that is important in helping support the value of mobile advertising. What sort of innovations and trends will we be seeing? Obviously the iPhone has shown people how powerful the mobile device is, with its ability for users to access the internet and do searches, although it’s working in a different way to a mobile device because users aren’t doing mobile internet searches, rather these are doing internet searches. We will also start to see more around integrating locationbased services (LBS). Integrating LBS, combined with the power of vouchers and discounts is really structuring an offer that makes sense to people. This then brings in targeting – asking people their preferences and targeting to those preferences. What sort of impact has the economic downturn had on mobile advertising? It’s very tempting for ad budgets to be cut because mobile is perceived as “experimental” media. I think that is misguided, because fi rst and foremost, mobile is very measurable but second, it is quite a cost-effective way of engaging with users in a way that a mass marketing campaign can’t. In times like these it’s about developing that one-to-one relationship and offering engagement that will help see companies through. We have seen an impact, but I am working with a couple of the agencies who are seeing lots of opportunities when they talk to their clients about mobile.
MT Resource 2010