Jason Cotterrell: My Media Week
The week starts early, at 5am, as I make my way to London from Hale, Cheshire, where I live. I always make sure to check out the competition’s ads at the stations, catch up on my weekend Twitter feed and read The Times, which is complimentary on the journey down.
I arrive at our brand new office, Lacon London, at about 8am. We moved in just last week and are based here with our partners from Transport for London (TfL). Together, we launched Hello London back in October, our unique partnership that offers agencies and brands the opportunity to advertise to one London audience across all London Underground and TfL Rail modes.
The new space has had a transformational effect on our business already, truly open plan, no offices, no fixed desk space, agile, with loads of areas for collaboration. Much of what we have delivered has been inspired by the workspace MEC created – a big thank you to them for helping us.
My 9am meeting is with our UK Franchise & Asset Director, where we discuss Exterion Live and run a demo on the software we’re developing. It’s all top secret at this stage but we’re planning to announce more next year - watch this space.
In the afternoon, I head to a London Rail Transformation meeting. Since we won the £1bn contract back in March, we’ve been having regular catch ups with the team, focussing on the innovative transformation of the TfL estate. The first of our Hello London Icons – two, new, double-sided HD screens at Canary Wharf Tube station - went live three weeks ago and we are reviewing sales performance and lessons learned.
When I’m staying in London, I love to run along the canal or through the parks in the morning before work. I’m much more of a morning person; today I make my way to the office for 7:00am.
After a morning of emails and internal catch ups, I head out to a board to board with the team at Goodstuff Communications. We have had a strong year and together we plan an approach to do better next year. Following this, I find a quick moment to grab lunch with Mark Heather, our National Sales Director, and we talk all things automated.
After lunch, I have a meeting with The Engagement Zone team in the office, which is the neuroscience study we conducted earlier this year. The study combined eye-tracking and skin conductance response and survey data to understand how commuters engage with advertising across the London Underground. We discuss the breakfast briefing we held last week and key insights we can take from the event.
I just about have time to pop into one of our digital marketing training sessions, which we recently launched in partnership with Circus Street, before I head out for dinner with friends.
This morning, I have a meeting with our chief data officer, Mick Ridley. Mick’s new role at Exterion means he is responsible for powering the transformational change taking place within the business, as well as the wider OOH sector, as we enter a more diversified competitor set including Facebook and ITV. Mick will be leading the development of data-driven solutions for our clients and partners, as we continue our journey to becoming a Digital Media Company, powered by data.
In our meeting, we’re discussing next steps for Abi, our audience behavioural insights tool which uses Telefonica data, and the delivery of new planning and measurement tools.
It’s a heavy day today, back to back with one-to-ones with my leadership team and looking at some new business opportunities. We are looking at new ways to innovate with OOH and look beyond the panel – there are lots of businesses that want to help us! We recognise that the classic poster has the ability to drive mobile activity and interactivity – digital OOH isn’t all about screens.
After lunch, I catch up with our new People and Culture Director. With so much change going on within the company, it’s more important than ever that we nurture and maintain our culture. Karen will be invaluable in driving our investment in our people and new talent, particularly in the data field.
I travel back up to Hale on Thursday evening, I am home at a reasonable time - I’m babysitting tonight whilst Mrs C has a night out with the school mums!
On Fridays, I work from the Manchester office and check out bus advertising on the way in. I usually take a drive around town and check out the competition. Manchester has some great formats and all of our competitors are here in some way or another. The investment from everyone in OOH is impressive. Given our investment, the afternoon is spent pondering how we lure more share from the huge addressable expenditure that is mobile and online - there is no way that these media build a brand or showcase the stature of a brand like OOH.
Favourite media: Bus advertising.
Biggest challenge: To run a marathon.
Dream job: Anything involving sun shine and beaches.
One thing not a lot of people know: The 168 is quicker than the Tube from Camden to Holborn.
(Article first published in Campaign on 14th December 2016)