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Media Industry Confessions



US based digital media trade site - Digiday - presents an excellent 'Confessions' series of articles where they spoke with people, anonymously, from various segments of the media industry.Digiday Confessions Series

They attract fascinating insights which are well worth a look for everyone involved in all segments of the media process.

If you'd like to speak anonymously about your role in the Australian media industry please get in touch.

 - Confessions of an ad tech CEOBeing an ad tech CEO is an inherently stressful existence: Your competitors are constantly trying to co-opt your proprietary technological advantages, Wall St. is bearish on your industry, and your best shot at success is selling to a larger ad tech company that all of your competitors are also trying to be acquired by. One ad tech CEO, however, has a bigger problem: agencies...

 - Confesssions of an ad tech grunt - On the condition of anonymity, a veteran in the field spoke to Digiday about ad tech’s shadier dealings, the moral dilemmas of doing what you’re told and the effect of digital illiteracy in management.

"You have very traditional publishers where the person on top is probably someone who comes from a traditional “think with my gut” background. The definition of their job is much broader than digital. Those people can be difficult."

 - Confessions of a Newspaper Executive - a recently departed newspaper ad executive talks about the inefficiencies of newspaper ad operations and why a top-down culture often gets in the way of matching actions with words. 

"Embracing and succeeding today for newspapers represents a seismic change or shift in how they do everything. This sort of change is also expensive: accounting systems, content-management systems for editorial, multiple forms of paid research and ad tech for sales and marketing"

 - Confessions of a Big Agency Digital Executive - undercover views from a digital hotshot at a big traditional agency -

"If you just want to have some fun and do some interesting work, then you have to be more realistic about how much money you will make and go to work for a production company or a small digital boutique. The days of doing both are over. No one who is making over 500k a year is happy in their job."

- Confessions of a Female Ad Exec - Digiday offers insights from a women who has spent her entire career in the advertising industry -  

"An issue that’s rarely addressed is how many women in advertising don’t help each other out. What is it that drives a select group of women to actively not support other women? I have been a victim of it, and subsequently I resist working with “those kinds” of women."

 - Confessions of a Publisher Mobile Specialist - a mobile media specialist from a large publishing company shares views on this emerging channel - 

"Top executives will all speak to the importance of mobile in their company’s strategy, but only the very bravest are doubling-down on the resources and technology necessary to make mobile really work for the consumer."

 - Confessions of a Lead-Gen Specialist - Digiday asks a lead-gen specialist to offer insights into this digital marketing sector -

"Since the industry changes daily, the game is not about driving quality; it is about survival after the next Google update or other platform change."

 - Confessions of a Demand Side Platform (DSP) Sales Person - a sales person from this emerging digital trading sector offers the most brutally honest insights within this series so far -

"Anyone that has not worked at a DSP or a trading desk, consider yourself lucky. It is the cesspool of our industry, with the DSPs racing towards an acquisition or IPO and the trading desks trying to validate themselves as valuable within the holding companies".

 - Confessions of an Agency CEO -  a major executive from an advertising agency shares his thoughts on the modern day agency and working with good - and bad - clients -

"Good clients are secure enough to take risks and are not afraid of being wrong. They trust the agency and can effectively manage from a distance, which allows the agency to focus on delivering a great product, not managing an erratic client. Bad clients, conversely, are insecure, political and weak"

 - Confessions of a Ad Network Sales Person - insights from an advertising sales person who looks at client gifts and working with buyers  -

'Media buyers don’t always know what they’re doing or what they’re buying. A lot of sales people don’t understand their own products, so you can’t expect someone on the agency side to get it.'

 - Confessions of a Social Media Expert - views from a social media manager who works with big brands highlighting some of the issues they face -

"This is an industry where the rules are still being written, revenue models are up in the air, etc. People can have an expertise in social media, but the title “social media guru” is overused and a bit ridiculous in my opinion."

 - Confessions of a Publisher - a publisher from a major media network discusses the issues they face -

"Media companies need to stop letting themselves be defined by their distribution platform. We are all content developers and need to be intelligent business people about all distribution platforms and corresponding monetization."

 - Confessions of an Ad Sales Executive - an advertising sales executive expresses their frustration in working with agencies -

"They are all the same: middleman who are gatekeepers and procurement agents for the brands. But don’t tell them that; they think they are doing the Lord’s work."

 - Confessions of a Young Media Planner - interesting insights into the day to day working life of a young media planner.

"When I first started out in the industry, I would try to meet with everybody who pitched me. But after a while, it just gets overwhelming, so a lot of the time I just ignore them now. I rarely answer my phone."

 - Confessions of an Ad Creative - Digiday speaks with a veteran creative about their role in the industry -

"Whenever a creative puts work on the table, he or she is taking a risk. Everyone in the room has an agenda. The strategist wants to ensure his or her “vision” is being fulfilled. The suit is worried about making sure the client is being heard. The media guy wants to be sure it won’t piss off the networks (because God forbid he not get his fruit basket and tickets to “Book of Mormon” this year)."

 - Confessions of Publishers Ad Ops - views from Ad Ops - an often underestimated, but vital part, of the digital media buying eco-system -

"Ad sellers live in a constant state of fear and panic, which results in unreasonable behavior. In many ways there is a lack of experienced digital sales people, and that lack of experience has profound implications on how they manage their own expectations and their clients’ expectations."

 - Confessions of a PR Pro - Digiday speaks to a public relations professional from a large agency -

"I am a firm believer that you cannot be a good PR professional without having a cadre of contacts whom you can call and just test whether the Kool-Aid you’ve been force-fed by your client can actually pass muster in the press, objectively."

 - Confessions of an Agency Tech Vendor - technical developers also have their say about the day to day practicalities of the media landscape

'They hear about a new technology but don’t understand the limits are of the tech. They’ve gone ahead and pitched it. But by the time it gets to the tech vendor, the vendor will tell them it can’t be done.'

If you'd like to speak anonymously about your role in the Australian media industry please get in touch.

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Further Resources

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