YJP Media & Communication Summit Nuggets of Wisdom

The YJP Media & Communication Summit featured a panel discussion with today’s media leaders including:

Bill Koeningsberg – CEO of Horizon Media

Barry Salzman – Head of Media & Platforms, Google

Hamish McLennan – Global CEO of Young & Rubicam

David Sable – Vice Chairman of Wunderman

Richard Schaps – Chairman of Van Wagner

The panel discussed the state of media today, tips on how to get a job in this economy and the future of the media business. It was led by Moderator Joshua Sapan- President and Chief Executive Officer, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC (Division of Cablevision)

Stick with what works or continue to innovate?

“Stick with what works, as one knows, things change, newspaper industry, radios- look towards innovative changes as well.” – Richard Schaps, Chairman of Van Wagner

“Move forward, you cannot stand still and constantly have to innovate. You constantly have to reinvent yourself because what is new today is old tomorrow.” – Bill Koeningsberg, CEO of Horizon Media


Facebook or Face Time?

“From an advertiser perspective, I have a contrarians view point.  From an advertisers perspective, face time is critical. I’m not convinced of Facebook as an advertising platform- what they have is valuable is social prof data- whether they can use it from a marketing perspective remains to be seen.” – Barry Salzman, Head of Media & Platforms, Google

“Face time, I’m old fashion.” – Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam

“Face time, especially in our industry where qualitative analysis is important.  It’s not just numbers and its important to spend time with the person buying it; knowing them, looking at them and getting good face time is extremely important.” – Richard Schaps, Chairman of Van Wagner

What is the backbone of a great ad campaign? Media choice or creative concepts?

“The best creative campaign without being exposed to the right media outlets will fail.  The best media channel selection without great creative will fail- they have to work hand in hand together.  Media today is informing more about the creative process, how to engage the consumer and the environment.  You can’t have one without the other.” – Bill Koeningsberg, CEO of Horizon Media

“Creative is the larger determinant of success.” – Barry Salzman, Head of Media & Platforms, Google

“Is it 50/50 or is there some greater truth in where the power is? In 1984, Apple launched an ad and ran it once. It was a brilliant concept, the insight was superb and it got unbelievable media exposure because it ran only once.  You need the media to reach your target audience. I think it is more along the lines of 60/70 with creative insight.” – Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam

“You have to be careful with all media- sometimes you get the creative types who start running the show and they create media for themselves and not using it for the media.  In outdoor, you will see them create great magazine ads and attempt to put it on a billboard- they lose sight of where they are using it.” – Richard Schaps, Chairman of Van Wagner

Massive agency consolidation occurred- is it better or worse for getting big ideas to clients?

“Clients have gotten more difficult and the whole industry has become less risk averse.  With consolidation, the industry has become more business like.  It is a lot harder to get the big ideas around.  Research plays a big role in it- as media fragments, there are more opportunities with digital to do great work.” – Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam

“Consolidation has been a very negative affect on the business as there are now less choices for advertisers.  There are 5 holding companies that control 80-90 percent of all media spent and creative around the world, which is not a good thing.  They are being run by businesses- thousands of people have been laid off in the industry to appease Wall Street.  Wall street has hurt the business-innovation, creativity and not running the businesses for next quarter’s earnings is what clients really want.  There are a lot of clients who aren’t happy with what has taken place.  You have smaller clients and major agencies haven’t been able to put the investment back in. Things are going to change.” – Bill Koeningsberg, CEO of Horizon Media

New paradigm and new structures- describe the huge shift that has occurred

“The media world has changed.  It used to be that advertising agencies handled the entire function, that media was a function. Now with digital marketing you have social market companies who are outside of the agency structure.  Everybody is trying to figure out what his or her role is. There is so much opportunity to breed success. This is one of the most exciting times we have ever seen in the media industry.” – Bill Koeningsberg, CEO of Horizon Media

“Consolidation is hurt. We are so far removed and there are so many layers between the client and a buying service.  The buyers of the media have no idea what the objective is and that does not help the client. I argue that consolidation in many ways has led to much greater buying and selling efficiency and not everyone likes that.  A lot of media companies traded on imperfect information.  It was an all boys network and people paid premium prices because of premium brands.  There was the ability for advertisers to buy across audiences- so I can tell you whose most likely to respond to your ad and you can buy that audience across 1000,0000 different audiences which makes buying and selling more efficient.  A lot of media companies don’t like it because it affects commissions and premium media brands don’t like it. What is happening is it’s creating a more efficient media marketplace.  For high volume transacting, that has to be a good thing.  Trading on brand and customized media planning has enormous value but for the larger part of the market efficiency is a good thing.” – Barry Salzman, Head of Media & Platforms, Google

“There is an up front buying market place where 10 billion dollars will change hands. The economy is puttering along media and the market place is up 2-3% tops.  You are going to see where media prices have gone up almost double digits because of the consolidation that has taken place.  Competitors who are coming to the table with billions of dollars of business are captive by their own size and they can’t move the money and it is because of consolidation that there are inefficiencies on a national scale. Pepsi and Budweiser tried to break away from Omnicom. They wanted to move out of the agency because they felt they could do better by themselves.  This was the first sign of advertisers saying we wont take this anymore.” – Bill Koeningsberg, CEO of Horizon Media

Where do you think the richest career opportunities are?

“Location based marketing by far! These are applications that will allow consumers to be tracked as they move from city to city will be a huge opportunity for advertisers. The changes in technology will create enormous opportunity.   People who are smart in progressive technology will make a fortune.” – Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam

“The largest opportunities are in the out of home media business. The out of home industry is on a dramatic growth path and it is because we are an intrusive medium.  With out of home, if you are going from point a to point b and I intercept you with a billboard or a display- I’ve got you.  I do not believe the outdoor advertising business is where the growth is- I think those type of mediums that are intrusive (advertising in restrooms, digital, airports, men’s gym) that’s where the industry is going.” – Richard Schaps, Chairman of Van Wagner

“If I was going to start my career today, I would be all over online video. Video will be unequivocally the driver of the digital media market place within the next few years.” –
Barry Salzman, Head of Media & Platforms, Google

“Digital video is where the opportunities are- the social aspect of digital is growing by leap and bounds.  From a job perspective, skill set and entry-level positions, if you are skilled in these areas there is huge growth opportunity.  In every discipline, creative, account management planners, buyers, consumer insights- the business is growing- it is a vibrant industry.  Opportunity exists in any of the disciplines.” – Bill Koeningsberg, CEO of Horizon Media

Who do you call first in the morning?

“I always call my clients first because if I don’t call them someone else probably will.” – Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam

“Development calls are my first calls in the morning. I am always looking for new locations and new opportunities.  I think about growing every day.” – Richard Schaps, Chairman of Van Wagner

“My first calls are to clients. I focus on figuring out what Google’s relationship to premium publishers is and how we build on that.” – Barry Salzman, Head of Media & Platforms, Google

“You have to make your clients feel like they are new clients every day and if you don’t someone else will.  The biggest challenge is there is so much data available in the marketplace- we are on data overload.  Trying to sort through the data that is available is hard. You need to pull out the nuggets of insights for your clients. These are some of the bigger challenges we are faced with today.” – Bill Koeningsberg, CEO of Horizon Media


Any rational to see magazines grow larger?

The Ipad will revolutionize the print industry because of applications you will be able to get.  A lot of people are “grazers” today instead of reading one concrete publication

“The world is on a new venture, Americans are looking at ourselves and saying ‘hey we are broke.’ They are now beginning to look at the reality of that.  It is a brave new world that people are facing right now.” – Richard Schaps, Chairman of Van Wagner

“The American consumer rediscovered value. If I were to go to France for holiday, I now might stay at home.  People got closer with their families. I think there are a vast majority of Americans who are comfortable with the lower cars- people have changed and for certain marketers and clients it will create all sorts of problems.” – Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam

Next 5 hires? ALL DIGITAL

“Creative, strategy, production.” – Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam

“Sales and marketing.” – Richard Schaps, Chairman of Van Wagner

“Display- this is a huge growth area. Video based (youtube sellers, ad exchange) platforms business- infrastructure for serving ads online both for buyers and sellers and a solid team of display specialists.” – Barry Salzman, Head of Media & Platforms, Google

“Entry level planning, buying, digital, account management. In fact, we currently have 25 positions open.” – Bill Koeningsberg, CEO of Horizon Media

What qualities are in your best employees?

Someone who is innovative, passionate, has energy and who can collaborate and get along with people. Someone who is bright, a smart thinker, can think on their feet.  Innovation and passion come through when you interview them.

“The ideal balance is between autonomy and collaboration. They can go on and get it done no matter what- you ask them to do it and know it will be done- the ability to execute is extremely important.” – Barry Salzman, Head of Media & Platforms, Google

“Self confidence is vital. People believe they can get it done are generally the people that will get it done.” – Richard Schaps, Chairman of Van Wagner

“Passion and enthusiasm and a desire to get ahead is something you don’t see every day. Kids who want to be a part of the business will always do well.” – Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam

3 questions from the audience- would you cough up your company to a holding company?

“If I found the right strategic partner who I felt would be right for my clients, right for my employees and add value to what I bring to my clients- small global network- competitive disadvantage because I didn’t have the resources hat global companies have- but right now I haven’t found the right partner.  The reason why I’ve resisted is because I’ve seen my competitors be bought and not be happy about it.” – Bill Koeningsberg, CEO of Horizon Media


With the advent on new media, is the idea of a campaign dead?

“You can have campaigns that are sustained over a long period of time (GEICO example) the idea of multiple campaigns exists- they are not dead. You have to know what you are saying about a brand and ensure that it provides longevity for the brand.” -Hamish McLennan, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam