When the MOST Awards were launched five years ago, digital was but a blip on the media landscape. This year, the numbers of players grew from 11 to 31, a significant increase.
“The growth of the category has been driven largely by advertiser interest and support, as well as the emergence of new players. In 2009, there were 11 digital media owners listed in the MOST Awards survey. In 2013 there were 31. Of equal significance is the improvement of ‘service criteria’ scores by digital media owners over the years,” says Brad Aigner of Freshly Ground Insights, the research outfit behind the MOST Awards.
Aigner says digital agencies have over the past few years concentrated on “making the grade” in terms of service. “It is evident from this result that digital players now understand that it is not enough simply to own a digital media brand, but that it is more important to up their game to meet the standard of service that advertisers and agencies expect,” he says.
The SpaceStation’s Gustav Goosen agrees. The agency not only won Digital Media Owner of the Year but also scooped the overall award for Media Owner of the Year. Aigner says, “The SpaceStation has been a regular top performer in the annual MOST Awards survey, showing that there is no substitute for class and consistency.”
“We built the MOST Awards criteria into our business KPAs,” he says. “And we drove them quite hard. We questioned how we could up our game. We took to heart why we didn’t win last year. It was not acceptable. So we raised the bar, and looked at our business criteria by criteria, to see how we could deliver a better product.”
The hard hours clearly paid off. But not in his wildest dreams did Goosen believe SpaceStation would win the overall prize for best media owner. “We were nervous just in our own category,” he says. “Winning overall is massively exciting and totally unexpected.”
Continental Outdoor Media was another media owner who used MOST criteria to come back on top. Continental took the sector award for out of home media, won last year by Provantage. Aigner says the group was “stung into action” after losing out to Provantage last year. “This media owner was rated highly across all of the MOST Awards service criteria, but especially well in ‘service delivery’ compared to previous years,” he said.
CEO Bazil Lauryssen was delighted, saying the hard work put in by the company had paid off.
“Our team has delivered a consistent performance,” he said. “We had to up our game as more smaller, ‘innovator’ companies entered the business. We had to become more innovative ourselves, offer enhancements, create excitement,” he says. “At the same time, we also paid attention to the basics such as service and a quick turnaround time.”
Despite winning, Lauryssen said his team would analyse the scores to see where they can improve for next year. “The consistency of our senior guys is also key. We don’t rest on our laurels. You’re only as good as your last performance.”
Lauryssen says the sector has its challenges, mainly in fighting for a fair share of ad spend, which, he admits, continues to increase in the OOH arena. Digital screens are a game changer, he says. “It’s given us a whole new category of advertising and a whole lot of new advertisers.”
The MediaShop is a consistent high performer, winning the overall media agency of the year a stunning four times. “It is no coincidence that the category and overall MOST Awards winners each year have achieved consistently high scores for all service criteria,” says Aigner.
The MediaShop group managing director, Chris Botha, says the company’s success is due to its partnerships and relationships with clients, media owners and creative agencies.
Chris Botha (The MediaShop) and Sandra Gordon (Wag the Dog, MOST Awards)
Brad Aigner, Freshly Ground Insights