CMO interview: ARN’s CMO on data RFPs, broadcast media and achieving executive influence

Marketing chief at the Australian Radio Network shares how he's working to build a whole-of-business approach to audience insight, plus the road to winning cross-functional collaboration

Anthony Xydis
Anthony Xydis


The old and the new

Like most marketers, Xydis has born witness to the rise of digital marketing and channels, and growing pressure on marketing to demonstrate ROI. While he doesn’t believe the importance of brand has changed in this scenario, he agreed audience behaviour has.

“As a broadcast media company and content creator, the type of content hasn’t necessarily changed, and content is still king,” Xydis continued. “But they used to say distribution is queen; I often say there are many queens of distribution in radio today. For example, what teams are creating in the digital and social ecosystem perspective has changed completely in the last 3-4 years as everyone is learning.

“The great thing about radio – and it’s a key thing we’re trying to get across more from a B2B perspective - it is that it’s always adopted multi-platform. Radio has had a long history in activation, on-street engagement. But the way it comes to life has changed.

“Adaptability to social in particular, and our ongoing championing of the live events space, is challenging perceptions of what broadcast media is all about. Those perceptions can be quite linear – potential advertisers don’t realise we have audiences consuming us throughout the day and using us in a way that is connected to pop culture, music discovery. While streaming is growing, radio for lean back audiences, which most people are, is still extremely important.”

From a customer-facing standpoint, Xydis said marketing ARN’s 11 brands is ever-rotating cycle of launch phase, consolidating connections and awareness, and remaining top of mind with consumers. Among the marketing team’s most recent activities have been launching Christian O’Connell’s breakfast show on Gold in Melbourne, and the repositioning of WSFM and Jonesy & Amanda breakfast show in Sydney.

“That’s critical in this industry because of the measurement systems and the way audiences interact. Keeping brands, talent top of mind, stickiness and loyalty are all critical to the brands and that influences the way we promote them,” Xydis added.     

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