Our UKMD, Dave King, caught up with the Guardian following the Guardian Changing Media Summit event to talk partnerships

Dave King MD Exterion Media

Our UKMD, Dave King, caught up with The Guardian following The Guardian Changing Media Summut event to share his thoughts on our ground-breaking new partnership with TfL and new media proposition, Hello London.  

Can you tell us a little about your role at Exterion Media?

I started my role as UK managing director of Exterion Media in January, having previously been executive director at Telegraph Media Group for 12 years – so I’m new to both the business and the sector. I am responsible for the UK business, with a focus on growing franchise operations, accelerating revenue growth and leading the company’s transition to becoming a digital media company powered by data. The company is in an ambitious growth phase, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Last year you won the world’s largest rail advertising contract with TfL. What does this partnership mean for both parties?

It means we’re working together as one team. Hello London is our new commercial media partnership, focused on engaging the London audience through excellent, data driven and increasingly audience-led advertising. Hello London is really and truly a partnership, with Exterion Media and TfL being transparent, sharing responsibility for improving advertising and sharing revenues. The Hello London team are co-located at our HQ, Lacon London.

What lessons have you learned from this partnership with TfL?

Having a partnership like this needs transparency and trust. You need to be understanding of the differences in the way the teams operate, be open to new ideas and be prepared to challenge each other. No good partnerships last without these things. You should also try and have fun along the way – a happy, forward-thinking ambitious team with a plan leads to better results for everyone.

We’ve heard your CEO, Shaun Gregory, speak about changing the culture at Exterion. Can you tell us how you are doing this and what it means for the company?

A company is only as good as the people within it. I truly believe people are the engine of any company. Here at Exterion Media, we put a huge focus on company culture – we have a people and cultures director, Karen Rumble, and we make sure that we’re listening to our team, and encouraging collaboration across the business. At the end of 2016 we moved to Lacon London – our new HQ in the heart of ‘Ad Land’. Our office design is centred on modern, agile and efficient working, which has fundamentally changed the way in which we operate, both culturally and in our day-to-day work. Together, we’re on a journey to becoming a digital media company powered by data – and transforming our culture plays a key role in achieving our vision. We believe that investment in our people and culture, and bringing the right talent on board, underpins our journey.

What role is digital playing in transforming the Out-of-Home advertising sector?

Digital is transforming the OOH sector from the inside out. At Exterion Media, we’re doing this through digitising our business model – making products easier to access, buy and optimise, moving towards an audience-based sell, and driving efficiency and accountability. In order to deliver on our commitment of a world class estate, we’re innovating through investment in technology, upgrading digital displays, expanding our digital footprint to more environments and introducing new high-impact premium displays. An example of this is our incredible, high-impact digital screens at Canary Wharf – the first of our planned suite of Hello London Icons across the TfL rail estate. It is important to say however, we’re investing heavily in our digital and classic estate – we’re working smarter and strategically planning more digital, not just for digital’s sake.

Finally, how do you see the Out-of-Home advertising sector evolving in the next five years?

Customers are at the heart of what we do. Therefore, inevitably, there is going to be an increased understanding of our audiences, and how advertisers best target them – to ensure their advertising is relevant and works. We’re already investing significantly in this, through partnerships and the development of tools like Abi, our proprietary mobile behaviour tool – teaching us about aggregated and anonymous footfall and behaviours across 25 million mobile devices. Looking ahead, we will be increasing our knowledge through the fusing of multiple data sources, meaning that our audiences can be understood like never before. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be working in advertising, and for audiences – to be on the receiving end of it.

Originally published on 20th March in The Guardian

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