• Marketing @ Thrive Academy

Meet Helena O’Dowd 👋, Head of Media and Partnerships, Nine.

Updated: Jul 7




Helena has been working in the Media and Advertising industry for over 13 years with a mix of both agency and client-side experience. We get chatting about how Nine creatively uses and embraces DOOH. Its ability to track and measure what they are paying for has allowed them to embrace DOOH at a faster rate.

Describe how Nine uses DOOH?

Given the breadth of brands across Nine, we use DOOH in multiple ways depending on the objectives of the campaign(s).

In saying that, how the marketing team has used DOOH for 9News has been impressive, pushing for concessions such as daypart/time targeting and giving us access to the scheduling platform so we can upload new creative as headlines evolve throughout the day.

Adding to that, not entirely specific to DOOH, but OOH in general, mapping sites to key regions is an important aspect across our entire business.

How important is DOOH to Nine’s broader channel plan?

Very. In a business made up of brands that respond to news of the day for example smh.com.au, 9News, 2GB, DOOH allows us to be reactive, and get the messages that matter to our audience quickly.

In other situations, DOOH still gives us breadth and scale for brand messaging.

There are more and more great sites being converted to digital allowing us to get our messages up without the lag of production timelines – not to say that static OOH doesn’t play a large part of our marketing mix as well.

How do you embrace and utilise the flexibility of DOOH?

Broadly; having a large portfolio of brands actively using OOH, we have found ourselves in situations where we have been ‘competing’ with ourselves.

Oh wow, how did that play out?

We have used this as an opportunity to restructure the timing of when our ads run on digital formats to avoid similar messages running back-to-back in market e.g. Today Show and 2GB Breakfast. When we know we are all in market at the same time, we will go through all the sites to ensure all our messages make sense and are giving us all the best opportunity to perform.

And, how has COVID impacted flexibility?

It goes without saying, we have been able to pull activity off the market when cities have gone into lockdown OR have up-weighted in areas such as convenience/grocery formats where there was increased foot traffic. Once upon a time none of this would have been possible.

How has verification and the analytics captured changed planning for Nine?

Having worked in media for a long time, it never sat well with me that there was such a huge disparity in the transparency provided by DOOH vendors vs other channels such as TV, Radio where there is so much scrutiny on delivery. It’s fantastic we can include DOOH into that mix, because it will provide more brands confidence around the channel as a serious component of the marketing mix.

We agree!

From a Nine POV, the ability to track and measure what you are paying for has allowed us to embrace DOOH at a faster rate.

We feel assured we will be able to see when and where our ads have run, and in instances where it doesn’t go to plan, we have the knowledge to work through that with our agency and vendor openly and transparently. In most cases, we can identify issues during the campaign and can make changes quickly vs. at the end when it’s too late.

What is the most valuable piece of campaign data for Nine?

At this point in time, accuracy and delivery of our campaign is highly valuable to us. Not just from an investment POV but also creatively. We have run campaigns that are very specific to the area /site we are running on, so being able to get confirmation that your message tailored to Parramatta hasn’t ended up running in the Northern Beaches is important to us.

How frequently does creative get changed or updated?

It really depends. Despite DOOH being a highly flexible channel, you always need to balance that with resource and time and being clear on the role multiple creative versions will add to the campaign performance. If we are running a campaign designed to inform/promote, then creative is switched up more frequently as we want to engage with our audience as timely as we can. If the role is to drive awareness then that flexibility is less valuable.

Okay, then how important is creative to your DOOH campaigns? And how have you seen it evolve over the years and where do you see it going in the future?

The creativity available to us now is so valuable.

We have gone from having to craft a message that can withstand a months’+ worth of activity, to being able to promote relevant messaging to that week, day, or hour. Once upon a time, you would launch a campaign that mid-way through would change, get canceled and then you were left with material that was redundant.

Now you can respond, react and switch quickly to ensure your messages stay relevant.

I do believe there is still lots of untapped potential in this space, but I also caution the addiction to data that can sometimes hinder your ability to embrace the scale and impact that OOH offers. I worry that if we all get into the granular detail of data, we will lose what OOH’s role is which has been what has set it apart from so many other channels.

Thanks for your time Helena. If you have something to share about how you run your DOOH, we’d love to hear from you please email us to get involved in our next client spotlight at thrive@veridooh.com




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