Insights from industry leaders at 2019 MOST Awards

It takes something special to win one of the individual awards (Rising Stars, Legends, Bell Award, Shepherd Award) at the MOST Awards, as well as to be named the Media Owner of the Year and the Media Agency of the Year.

These winners come with a lot of experience, wisdom, advice, lessons, and insights. The Media Online sat down exclusively with the winners after the awards ceremony to pick their brains on their field of expertise, and to find out what winning a MOST Award means to them.

Jennifer Daniel, regional director for Africa and Asia Pacific at Telmar. Co-winner of the 2019 MOST Awards Bell Award
“The biggest challenge to media research in Africa is that there are no joint industry committees (JICs) outside of South Africa and Kenya. Basically, people need to get together and start forming JICs because that is the only way to then get the research going in a country. And we’ve seen where there is research, the GDP goes up and the whole country grows.”

Clare O’Neil, strategic consultant at Viacom Commercial. Co-winner of the 2019 MOST Awards Bell Award

“The big thing is that content is moving across platforms. Whether content lives in a linear broadcast form or in non-linear video on demand, subscription video on demand, onto YouTube, onto cellphone, onto tablet, it’s really about understanding how content is on the move and what to do with new distribution platforms. But content is king, and it always will be.”

Brenda Wortley, consultant and director at 3M3A. Winner of the 2019 MOST Awards Shepherd Award

“What is TV these days? It’s certainly not what you see on one screen in your living room. It’s on every device, and what is TV content has changed … The definition of what we’re measuring and what we call these things has changed. You know, what is radio, what is podcast? The lines are all blurring and the way we measure them has to blur and we haven’t done that.”

“We have to start at the beginning of what we define TV and radio listening to be, what is the scope of TV, what is the scope of radio, and then figure out the ways to measure it.”

Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee, CEO of DStv Media Sales. Winner of the 2019 MOST Awards Media Owner Legend Award.

Speaking on a recent trip to India with the DStv Media Sales management team – “We wanted to go to silicon valley of India, to be able to go and see all the technology giants, to see how AI is disrupting the advertising world, and look at things that are linked to data and measurement and where the future is going to be … I came back understanding what supreme customer service is.”

Dawn Rowlands, CEO of Dentsu Africa. Winner of the 2019 MOST Awards Media Agency Legend Award.

“The media environment in South Africa is more restrictive. There are a lot more rules … In Africa there’s more wider, open spaces, media owners are a lot more collaborative … Everyone’s in a more entrepreneurially-minded space. Partnerships are a lot easier to foster, certainly bringing new and interesting technology to a client’s business is a lot easier … Generally speaking, in South Africa people are a lot more protective of their turf, and I think that that’s stifled diversity and it’s certainly stifled innovation.”

Julio Rodrigues, business unit director for Standard Bank at OMD. Winner of the 2019 MOST Awards Media Agency Rising Star Award.

“In an industry where people are almost seen as resources that can be just chucked away and find new ways to replace them, we need to reinforce the fact that people are our business. Without the people, we don’t have a business.”

“There’s a big movement with some clients taking agency staff in-house. Our agency landscape, you’re seeing a bit of brain drain. If we’re not losing them to international markets we’re losing them to clients … And it’s putting strain on the senior leadership team.”

Kgaugelo Maphai, MD of The MediaShop Johannesburg. Winners of the 2019 MOST Awards Full Service Agency category and the Media Agency of the Year Award.

“An important element is diversity in the workforce. Clients and marketers are looking for deeper insights from us, and diversity is not a race thing. It’s diversity in terms of gender, age and inclusivity is becoming a big thing in agencies.”

“The type of people that are being employed in agencies, we need to start looking at a different skillset, very analytical people. As the years go by this will become quite an integral part. But also our offering as agencies. We’re highly commoditised, so how are we differentiating ourselves, and that’s the challenge to every agency, that we are all going through. What we will look like in the next three to five years.”

Andrew Kramer, MD of AdColony South Africa. Winners of the 2019 MOST Awards Media Owners of the Year Award.

“We’re incredibly customer centric, that’s the starting point. We’re passionate about servicing small and big clients, because small clients become big clients, and we treat everyone’s ad rand with equal passion and importance.”

“There’s a maturity coming into digital. With third party verification becoming more the norm, things like viewability when you talk about video and viewing fraud are becoming critical.”