Media: Double Standards - 'Understanding each market's nuances is key'

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 15 October 2010 12:00AM

Having recently landed global and regional trading roles, Andy Zonfrillo and Marc Bignell reveal how they are adapting to working across multiple markets.

ANDY ZONFRILLO - GROUP HEAD OF PRICING, GROUP M

- What will your new role involve?

The majority of my time will be spent with local Group M teams and the global agency heads of trading at MediaCom, Mindshare, MEC and Maxus putting together multi-market pitch responses, ensuring we have a consistent approach to our trading offer and that local Group M teams are working with the agencies. There will also be a focus on helping the less-developed markets evolve at a quicker pace than they might otherwise, sharing with them ideas and opportunities that have been successful elsewhere.

- Why do you think media networks in general are strengthening their global/regional trading teams?

There is an ever-increasing number of multi-market pitches run by procurement and external third-party auditors. The amount of data and complexity of requests are increasing so it's important we have a team at the centre to help co-ordinate responses and work with both the agencies and local Group M teams to ensure we put forward our most competitive trading responses. There are increasing opportunities for media networks to use their scale, expertise, investment in technology and diverse offering within and across markets to benefit the value and service clients receive. Having a team at the centre ensures all areas are considered.

- What will be the most challenging part of the role?

Working out whether pricing grids containing hundreds of inputted pieces of information from numerous countries are competitive enough and filled in correctly!

- What lessons from the UK market can you bring to the role?

Group M trading in the UK was not only first to market but its consistent collaborative approach with the agencies across all media sets it apart from the other networks. The success of the UK and key learnings as to how it was achieved can easily be exported to other markets where applicable. The investment in systems to allow data analysis, the regularity of meetings and close co-operation between the agency trading teams and Group M are just part of the reasons for their success that can be shared elsewhere.

- How much of the job is helping on multinational new-business pitches?

Eight weeks in, about a third of my time; how that continues, time will only tell. So far, I've been involved in three pitch responses. The work is not client-facing and is likely to remain that way. The level of involvement on each pitch has varied; however, the amount of information that clients/auditors request is quite staggering.

- How much will you miss the day-to-day involvement with UK media owners?

It's not just the UK media owners, it's the Exchange team at Mindshare, the wider agency and Group M UK - of course I'll miss them. That said, involvement with the UK has been replaced by involvement with numerous other markets, much to learn and lots of new people to meet. I'm having to adapt and get used to a different involvement on a day-to-day basis, both with media owners and the agencies. Given the size of the central team - six - it limits how much day-to-day involvement is practical.

MARC BIGNELL - BUYING DIRECTOR, OMNICOM MEDIA GROUP EMEA

- What will your new role involve?

Using Omnicom Media Group's overall size and geographic reach to enhance value, through media negotiations, for our clients across the EMEA region. I will be involved in trading strategies, client value delivery and ensuring best practice.

- Why do you think media networks in general are strengthening their global/regional trading teams?

This is a direct result of agencies adapting their structure to meet client requirements. A majority of client pitches and value requests emanate from multi-regional requirements and thus agencies are strengthening global/regional trading capabilities to meet these client needs.

- What will be the most challenging part of the role?

Understanding the distinct nuances of each individual local market is key but I have a massive appetite for learning and welcome the new challenge. Fortunately, we've been ahead of the curve for several years in EMEA so my role is about building on the current successful structure.

- What lessons from the UK market can you bring to the role?

I am approaching this new role with open eyes and believe that the most important aspect of the role is to keep looking for new thinking and best practice, and to incorporate and/or test this learning across the region. Basic principles of trading are completely transferable across regional boundaries.

- How much of the job is helping on multinational new-business pitches?

My role is to drive value wherever possible for all our clients, current and potential. New-business pitching is obviously important but there are also other key imperatives.

- How much will you miss the day-to-day involvement with UK media owners?

I will still be very involved with the UK and do not see myself becoming distanced from media owners here. I have 20-plus years of experience in the UK and I will still be a key figure in our UK media owner relationships.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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