How this former Procter and Gamble marketer navigated a 30-year career

Marketing veteran, Joanne Crewes, chats lessons learned and the current state of play at Ooh! Media


Connecting with customers  

This theme of personalisation - and connectivity with the consumer - is also prevalent and relevant for Ooh! Media, the A/NZ out-of-home media advertising firm. The company manages digital and analogue signage across roadside, retail, airport and place-based media offering in CBD office towers, cafés, fitness venues, bars and universities.

Today, as a non-executive director, Crewes says she’s working to help oOh! focus on the right context, at the right time, using its multi-platforms approach to increasingly tailor make integrated campaigns across different mediums.

“We can provide a context that goes from being many eyes on a billboard sign into developing a link into an online context that provides a real personalised approach,” she says.  

An example is the Contiki campaign running across 99 university campuses. This integrates a visual campaign linked with online platforms, with an app then available for download. Crewes cites a 300 per cent increase in use of the app as a result.

“These are the sorts of things that are pretty critical as you go from mass media communication - and using what many considered to be the traditional approach - to what is now considered to be a more integrated and a future forward approach across different mediums,” she says.   

Looking at these and other examples, Crewes agrees it’s an interesting time to be a non-executive director at a communications company and to reflect on the many media market changes. “We are seeing the fragmentation of media and a change in the way the consumer gets their information,” she says.  

“Traditionally, it used to be a TV-based approach, and the success of your business was behind a TV-oriented campaign. Now it’s much more fragmented and a digital-led approach.

Crewes attributes this to the escalation and availability of data and analytics to reach audiences more effectively. CMOs can now better determine the effectiveness of the media and marketing campaigns and spend.

“When I first started, you knew 50 per cent of your marketing budget. You knew how it was spent and how effective it was, and the other 50 per cent you didn’t know. Now through analytics, and the understanding of the media and the approach that you can take, CMOs can better understand the effectiveness of their spend,” she says.  

On the flip side, with ever-increasing innovations around how to reach an audience in the digital world, Crewes admits it can get confusing.

“We have switched from what was in my day, a 30-second TV commercial, or a sampling program delivered to a letterbox to reach the audience, into what is today a content message that changes over the course of a couple of weeks, either on an online platform or whether it be in the fast-paced digital medium,” she says.  

In that vein, part of Crewes’ mission at oOh! Media is to help the company become audience-led, bring the “marketing voice” to the boardroom table and to provide customers with a range of offerings across outdoor, offline and online platforms.

“The strategy is to make sure we can develop campaigns that provide the best and most effective way for a marketing campaign to be set in an integrative approach,” Crewes says, adding the company integrates its physical inventory with experiential, social and mobile online channels to provide clients with greater connections with consumers.

Consumer is boss

While delivery of the message or the medium might change, the one thing that never changes is that the “consumer is boss”.   

“The passionate focus on the consumer where the consumer is at the right time, and the right place, with the right message, is a very consistent purpose. And certainly, being at the right place, at the right time, with the right contextual message - to me, that hasn’t changed on being the focus,” Crewes says.  

Her marketing pedigree also stays with her.

“One of the things we always joke about is that once you’re in marketing, or you’re a brand manager, you’re always a marketing and brand manager,” she concludes. “You’ve always got marketing director in your blood.”

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