In this exclusive “Masters of Media” series, Integral Ad Science (IAS) speaks to the Movers and Shakers of the APAC advertising industry, on all matters digital.
Minsun Collier is the National Head of Digital at MediaCom Australia. With a career spanning more than two decades in the industry, she has acquired experience across working with a diverse set of clients, industries and markets in both Australia and UK.
IAS: Tell us about your professional journey, Minsun
Minsun: My digital media launchpad was at Fairfax Digital in the year 2000. It was a small team, and I was their first ad ops manager dedicated to trafficking and reporting. A little over a year later, I realised I was better suited to the media agency side and joined an independent agency called NetX. I started to sharpen my tools towards a career of planning and buying digital media. That led to 6 years in London to expand my experiences before returning home. I was the Head of Digital for OMD Sydney and then, a couple of years later, ran Neo@Ogilvy, a media division of Ogilvy Australia.
Then I took a career break and built a technology start-up, built a personalised sports coaching app, launched it, and marketed it. But it was shelved while I returned to my roots to earn some money (I had to pay the bills!). After an awesome maternity cover contract that helped me fall in love with the industry again, I joined MediaCom because of Willie Pang (a digital geek CEO!) and it has so many smart and passionate people under one roof.
IAS: The pandemic has driven organisations to accelerate digital transformation. What has been your key learning?
Minsun: Over the years, I have seen digital marketing pivot, evolve, and adapt in more ways than I can remember. This constant reinvention I find fascinating and the opportunity it brings to learn, teach and experiment makes every day exciting.
The pandemic has brought adaptability to the use of technology for sure – for remote working conditions, companies can communicate and serve customers. It accelerated the need and allowed companies to pivot, learn and move – kind of gave them the nudge to think like a start-up a little.
But the key learning for me during these times was humanity and kindness in people and how they were still able to bring that to the table and take it up a few levels only through video calls. At MediaCom and GroupM, when the pandemic hit, and we were all in a lock-down, the senior management spent countless hours focusing on people, checking, reassuring, and ensuring they were visible, heard, and secure. That was what confirmed that I was with the right company.
IAS: The ambition of many players in the digital industry is to reach a completely transparent supply path. Is total transparency actually achievable?
Minsun: I’m going to say yes because we have already made significant progress so far as an industry. We have the vision and strategies to achieve this. Everyone in the chain needs to agree on the standards and go ahead and do this. It may take time and some lobbying, but I am hopeful we will achieve this.
IAS: With brands moving away from keywords and cookies to contextual targeting, how is Mediacom approaching this shift?
Minsun: Our advertiser partners are on various scales of data and technology maturity, and our approach is to assess each and build a custom consultancy and their solution. For those with a vast scale of data, we analyse, segment, and activate for targeting. We will use our data and identity map for those who need to scale further to build their ecosystem. Finally, for those that don’t have enough data, we help them to acquire data that they can own.
Keyword targeting will still be available within walled gardens and those players that provide targeting on search-based intent modelling. They will continue to have the scale and will serve a crucial role in digital marketing.
Contextual targeting will continue also, and my opinion is not to waste the opportunity to be intelligent and creative. Find where the audiences are most engaged and spending their time and think about the message being worthwhile their attention.
IAS: Accelerated digitisation has brought a shift in attitudes towards the traditional 9-6 working hours; in your opinion, how has digitalisation leveled the playing field for gender equity.
Minsun: MediaCom has always been a big supporter of diversity and inclusion. Gender equity is table stakes here, and the attitude has always been supportive for all diverse groups. Specific roles need to be full-time, but I haven’t experienced that it’s limited to one gender because of this. Working parents always had flexible start and end times in the office.
For 9-6 working hours, the digitisation has allowed a shift in attitude towards flexible working overall. Ours is a service business, and we work as a team. The client-facing team does adhere to 9-6, as our clients require; however, it’s not a requirement to be online every day, 9-6. MediaCommers have more flexibility in planning their day to deliver the deadlines.
IAS: What’s your favourite book/podcast/movie, and why?
- Book – Shoe Dog – It’s about running and business. I’m a runner that started a sports tech business when I was reading it.
- Podcast – Lore because it tells fascinating stories of the historical times and I learn about the true origin behind fairy tales. Also, I love How I Built This (again about start-ups).
- Movies – I would watch anything!
IAS: What is your advice to the fresh talent in the industry?
- Be passionate
- Be curious
- Have a POV (I ‘borrowed’ this from the inspirational Rose Herceg)