Wednesday, 30 September 2009

M&M Poland interview 29.09.09 - "Man with a mission"

Got my 15 minutes of fame in Poland yesterday in the weekly marketing trade title - Media & Marketing. The interview was conducted just after I arrived 4 months ago, but held back to now for better impact and an update on a newcast project.
Here are the images

And for all those non-Polish speakers, heres the transcript in English:

My impressions, and not only mine, when getting information about your arrival to Poland was that you are to control the Polish office’s activity.

Absolutely not. My goal is to share my experiences from more developed market with my Polish colleagues. I won’t execute personal management but I will work on product development, especially in digital media sphere. Great Britain outdistances Polish market with 2 or 3 years in this area, mainly because of higher penetration of the Internet. I have to integrate media Zed Digital and interactive Moxie and to launch NewCast brand into Polish market. Those objectives are planned for twelve or twenty months.

In the name of your position we can find words: „business development” and you will take care about specialist brands. So one may presume that specializations are the driving force of business increase.

Absolutely positive. Two spheres now accelerate the increase of European media houses - digital and non standard communication. Combined Zed and Moxie, employing respectively 20 and 6 persons, generate really strong product. It’s worth saying that ZenithOptomedia has “in house” interactive creation only in the United States and in Poland. And only few media houses have such internal resources. With their help we want to plan better consumer engagement activities. The times when consumers were inundated with unilateral messages are gone for ever.

Why does Zed act as separate department? Why won’t you integrate it with the rest of the agency planning media off-line?

New media market grows so fast that it needs specific approach and (being in the swim????). That what we decidedly demand from all planners, also dealing with traditional media, is to understand new media. Those people don’t buy Internet but they have to know what it is about. Running the separate department is necessary for keeping particular level of skills and specialist knowledge which are then transferred to the rest of the agency. Zed is a global brand; it operates on all main markets and time for deeper integration of structures absolutely hasn’t come yet. Increasingly ZOG (through Vivaki) are creating market leading digital planning tools – especially in the growing SEM and Social Media areas – in order to create a leadership position in the digital field, so we need digital experts to fulfill our ambitions.

Doesn’t commission, still much more higher in Internet, decide about keeping separated Internet departments inside the agency?

No, it doesn’t. In most media houses in Great Britain TV and buying departments still operate. TV is the medium which eats up the biggest budgets and planning service is highly specialized and it demands to work on data constantly. This should be justified with market needs regulating work distribution and structures scheme in the agency. In my opinion there is a need of running online specialization in Poland.

Online planning is among basic services offered by media houses. So why is it priced much more higher than traditional media planning?

Because it takes more time and is an increasingly complex medium to plan and buy in. Spending £ 1 million for TV and for Internet is fundamentally different in terms of amount of work. TV planning systems have been developed for forty years and Internet for just ten. This difference in labor intensity will be reduced, of course, with the passage of time. The complexity of the medium means that bespoke tools and systems need to be developed also – these tools maximise the efficiency of client investment.

Ultimately there will be one planner for all media or off-line and digital ones working as one team?

There is no clear and concrete scenario yet. I think that there will be two “species” in future agency’s structures. In the first one there will be planners focused on data and numbers (“data centric”) probably coming from digital or direct sphere. The second group will include strategic-creative planners. They will create big, game changing ideas within the campaign. Those “data centric” ones wouldn’t hit on such ideas. Even today such division becomes to emerge if you track the structure of the agency and different departments.

Media houses are paid in different ways including commissions, hybrid system – i.e. commission + success fee - or flat fee. Which one is, in your opinion, the best for both sides?

There is no one model suitable for all clients. The most popular system in Great Britain combines remuneration for planning, conditioned with the value of all used resources (tools, data, etc.), with the commission. Most of our contracts provide for bonus for appropriate results as purchase price, sales value, etc. Except for single SEM projects I don’t know the examples of clients who pay only for effects.

So there is no tendency for renouncing commission, yet it’s connected with thinking about purchase in terms of biggest kick-backs from suppliers.

I don’t know any planner thinking that way. Besides, in ZenithOptimedia planner is that one who makes crucial decisions concerning purchase and buyer realizes them. So system combining payment for planning – where planner makes decisions – and commission for buying caries no risk for both sides. It’s similarly with hourly rates but clients are still not accustomed to it.

In several months, when your ZOG mission is over, you’ll leave the agency which…

Will be number one in digital offer on the Polish market. Such opinion will be given according to the following criteria: clients feedback, perceiving among suppliers, effectiveness in new business and number of awards. For newcast, I want the division to be the preferred non-traditional player, both for our clients and for suppliers, to do business with with..

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