As in previous years, to qualify for the MOST Awards, a media owner must receive a minimum of 30 votes. In 2013, the Lamb Award was introduced to recognise media owners that received more than 25 votes but didn’t make the 30 vote minimum to qualify. Typically, it’s been the smaller or more niche-focused media owners that have contested this award. Brad Aigner looks at the numbers.
As the competition has intensified and media owner sales teams have improved their performance over the years, the variance between the scores for top performers has diminished sometimes resulting in statistically negligible differences in scores for certain media owners. So, FGI utilised best in category votes to break the ties. This levelled the playing field for all companies, irrespective of size and/or number of votes received.
Traditional top performer Mediamark Radio achieved particularly high scores for “service delivery”, which helped it pip last year’s winner Primedia Broadcasting to first place. Third placed United Stations has consistently achieved good results over the years.
They always go beyond the brief and their service delivery is consistent. Their roadshows are informative and valuable as they bring the station to the industry.
- Flexibility and ability to adapt to client needs within a short turnaround period.
- Knowledge of their own brands, innovation and quick decision making.
- They’re always top of mind in the industry, continuously in your inbox with updates, special offers or invites to media events.
- Very good knowledge of their brands and clients’ brands and how to marry the two.
- Service is great, turn-around times quick and they go the extra mile with a smile.
- Unafraid to voice their concerns and always willing to try new concepts.
- Contracts are correct the first time. Attention to detail.
Primedia Broadcasting scored particularly strongly in “knowledge of own brands and the media landscape.”
- First with every new opportunity. Slick, professional and know their game.
- Set up innovative workshops for all our brands.
- Deeply passionate about their brands. Their service delivery and commitment to the end product is impressive.
- Visible and easy to get hold of.
- Quick turnaround times and they keep track of booked campaigns and what’s in the pipeline.
- Very professional and treat their agencies really well.
- Take the time to understand your client – not just glorified postmen.
The winner is seller of cinema media space, Cinemark, improving on its fourth position in 2014 through its particularly strong scores in “knowledge of own brands and the media landscape” and “service delivery”.
- Always willing to find creative solutions to marketing problems and to assist with budgets.
- Great attitude and very professional.
- Quick to respond with proposals
- No budget is too big or too small and they’re appreciative of all business.
- Respond timeously with a well-thought out, strategic and often innovative proposal.
- Proactive with excellent service levels.
- While niche compared to TV brands, they’re highly innovative with a guaranteed audience and brilliant service and knowledge.
Second position was a tie but the DStv Media Sales team verified its perennially strong performance. The team can take solace in that it was rated the best television airtime sales team and the best in the category by most respondents. They scored particularly well in “knowledge of client brands and the market landscape.”
- High level of service delivery, great research and responsiveness.
- Their bookings people are very good – professional, accurate, deliver what is asked for and always willing to help out when necessary.
- Their presentations are interesting. You get to experience what the audience will be experiencing before you book your client with them.
- Ability to tailor-make their offering to fit with client’s brand.
Having knocked on the door for a number of years now, MMAP finally took the top position. They’ve always been rated highly for quality of service.
- Lots of interaction and a real understanding of the outdoor landscape.
- They actively work with our business, look for opportunities and sell.
- They have access to all the client information, plus the media owner information.
- Their service delivery is fast and effective; their communication with client is clear and reliable. A great service delivery company!
- MMAP takes the pain out of OOH advertising. They’re willing to go the extra mile and are actively involved in the entire campaign.
- Bend over backwards to accommodate.
Second place went to last year’s winner, Continental Outdoor Media. It’s no mean feat managing a large company and team so it’s commendable that they’ve consistently featured in the top three positions since 2009. They rated particularly highly in “knowledge of own brands and the media landscape” and “innovation”.
- Very interested in my clients and always willing to be part of the solution.
- Eager, keen and professional.
- They go the extra mile. We couldn’t utilise them for a year due to legalities with a client however they continued to service me and my team.
- Always willing to help and think outside the box. They come and say hello even if you haven’t dealt with them for a while.
- One of the most innovative outdoor companies in the industry today.
- Have a creative team to assist clients with their artwork, especially on digital screens.
- They offer an amazing amount of media platforms as well as packaged deals.
- The creative division has great skills in concepts and innovation. They understand our needs as an agency.
As in 2010, 2011 and 2013, the winner is The SpaceStation. Clearly, the team has found the right formula for servicing its clients. In a category that has grown from six companies in 2009 to over twenty five in 2015, The SpaceStation team continuously raises the bar. They did especially well in “knowledge of own brands and the media landscape” and “service delivery”.
- A solid business with great people and expertise.
- Creative in solutions and opportunities for clients to use their media.
- They have access to high-level expertise.
- By far the best digital agency, they excel at delivery and quality of work.
- Always on top of their game. Make digital easy to understand.
- Our relationship with them has stood the test of time – they are the industry experts.
Second position went to Mediamark Digital (also placed second in 2014). They scored particularly well in “innovation”.
- Super-efficient and on the ball, they go the extra mile, are quick and their recommendations are well suited to our clients’ target market.
- Easy to get hold of, they always come through personally to present proposals.
- The account and campaign management teams are phenomenal!
Third in the category in a tie-break was Google Inc., which, judging by its equally good result in 2014 (although it didn’t get the minimum 30 votes), is a strong competitor and a team to watch.
For the second year running Times Media Group newspapers was tops, achieving an impressive overall MOST Awards score of 9.11 and 54 best in category votes. Despite changes, the team has managed the often difficult challenge of maintaining its high performance standards. They scored particularly high in “knowledge of own brands and the media landscape”, “service delivery” and “involvement”.
- Flexibility and high visibility within the agency.
- Always coming up with brilliant ideas.
- Tailor proposals to clients’ needs.
- Big but nimble. Never say no. Always find a solution. Service excellence.
- Visible within the industry. Initiatives such GenerationX survey etc.
- Scale and service. The “Trevor O” factor;
- Involvement from the entire team and willingness to push boundaries.
- They’re always communicating special offers, staying TOM in the industry with competitions and visiting agencies for catch-ups.
- Prepared to test to prove that their media type or title works.
- They know the media landscape better than anyone and stay involved with campaigns from inception right until the end.
- The first to market opportunities. Willing to help at the last minute.
- Always keeps us up-to-date on anything new.
- Follow-through. Great attitude.
In second spot was the Independent Media team which pipped NAB Caxton into third position on a tie break. They improved on their fourth position in 2014, owing largely to high scores in “service delivery”. The NAB Caxton team again achieved a top three result as it has done every year since 2010.
- Good working relationship and an understanding of what’s relevant for my clients.
- Deliver beyond expectations. Always able to accommodate requests.
- Always have information readily available.
- Clued up.
Very flexible, helpful, respond on time and always willing to make our innovative and tactical ideas work.
As with the Newspapers category, Caxton Magazines achieved a second consecutive win after being in second position over the years. They scored particularly highly in “knowledge of own brands and the media landscape” and “service delivery”.
- Always available, professional, knowledgeable and wanting to create a partnership.
- They’re prepared to take risks and follow through with their word.
- They’re present, have low staff turnover and are innovative.
- They take the time to understand the client’s needs and the brief.
- Innovative and a pleasure to work with.
- Efficient. Keep me well updated on any new changes or products. Present. Good turn-around time. The rep is contactable.
- Impressive at incorporating digital into traditional offering
Second is Media24 Lifestyle which moved up from fourth spot in 2014. The team achieved good scores across the board:
- Innovative, proactive work.
- Regularly update us and present new ideas to involve our clients.
- Service and turnaround time is great.
- They always go the extra mile to try and achieve our objectives.
- A pleasure to work with.
- They don’t take spend for granted. Tailor- made ideas.
- Feedback on time and advise if things are possible or not.
Media Owner Lamb Award
The Lamb Award has become a much coveted prize. The competition for recognition was stiff this year. Past winners have gone on to perform strongly in the MOST Awards, with the MMAP team achieving this feat most recently, having won the Lamb Award in 2012 and winning the Out-of-Home category this year.
The top media owners that achieved between 26 and 29 votes:
The Mark1 team won with Ramsay Media and Graffiti occupying a distant second and third positions. Had the Mark1 team collected the minimum 30 votes, they would have occupied top position in the overall rankings. The team was recognised for “service delivery.”
- Great relationships and overall amazing service delivery.
- Always go the extra mile and assist with digital training.
- Willing to get involved with agency and client.
- Continuously give insights and recommendations.
- Offer added value such as creative assistance, training and upskilling.
Overall MOST Owner Award
The final MOST Awards score for every media owner in every category was ranked. Where the difference in scores between two media owners was negligible, the tie-break rule of best in category votes was applied. In the best of the best, all media owners are considered, provided they achieved the thirty votes minimum. So, media owners in a particularly strong category may feature, despite not having made the top three positions in their categories.
The overall winner and for the first time ever, the same winner in two consecutive years, is Times Media Newspapers!
It’s tough to reinvent and remain relevant when you’re a big player. Times Media are not afraid of small budgets, new ideas and taking risks.
- They look at new commercial models and are true partners.
- Their service levels never wane and they’re constantly innovating.
- Always professional, pro-active and innovative.
Caxton Magazines was also ranked second overall in 2014. Third overall was the dynamic MMAP team, proving that relatively small companies can compete for this prestigious prize.
MOST Media Agency rankings
To be classified as a media agency, the company must have been directly involved in the planning and buying of media space. Full service agencies deliver in-house planning and buying service across multiple media types. Specialist agencies specialise in media strategy/planning or media buying of a single media type exclusively. Where a company outsources media buying to its parent company, it’s classified as a specialist agency.
The winner, by a significant margin, is PHD Johannesburg. Clearly, they have made a significant impact on its media owner partners in the past year. The agency achieved high performance scores across the board, in particular for “knowledge of client brands and the market landscape”. PHD Johannesburg also received the highest number of best in category votes.
- Good communication and they empower their staff.
- Small but know their stuff.
- Innovative, agile and inspiring in their approach.
- The directors try to be mentors to their staff.
- Always willing to listen to new ideas and concepts.
- Collaborative, passionate, responsive and involved.
- They know the SA media market and aren’t scared to suggest new and exciting opportunities.
Full Service Agency
It is never easy to command a big ship so big. Considering that, it’s especially impressive that The MediaShop Jhb team has won this category from 2010 to 2013 and again in 2015. They scored particularly well in “knowledge of the media landscape” and “knowledge of client brands and the market landscape”.
- Great all-rounder.
- Good people, good clients, involvement in the industry and a very welcoming attitude.
- Engaging, believe in educating their staff, collaborative and knowledgeable.
- Professional strategists who understand their clients products and the markets.
- They treat media owners as partners so improving our ability to share ideas.
- The most progressive and approachable agency.
- They facilitate collaboration between themselves as a creative/digital agency, media owners and clients.
- Innovation, integration and implementation are key focus areas.
Second spot went to OMD Media Direction Johannesburg. Another regular top performer in the MOST Awards, they’ve been in the top three since 2012. Clearly a strong, consistent outfit, they were rated highly in all areas.
- Well-versed in the industry, clear and decisive.
- They understand the media landscape and clients’ needs 100%.
- Take time to engage with media owners and are always open to presentations and suggestions.
- Professional, friendly and helpful.
- Willing to share information and allow me to service their business in a proactive and efficient way.
- Organised and professional.
- Amazing staff and excellent knowledge. A true pleasure to work with!
Third position was last year’s overall winner, Vizeum Cape Town. Judging by its impressive record (overall winner 2010 and 2014) the team has proved that Cape Town is very much up to industry standard.
Media Agency Lamb Award
Specialist out-of-home agency, Posterscope Johannesburg took the award. The team scored particularly well in “knowledge of the media landscape”, “knowledge of client brands and the market landscape” and “communication”.
- The best understanding of the OOH sector due to internal research.
- Always professional and builds good partnerships with media owners.
- Open to great ideas and always give feedback.
- Negotiates solutions to deliver best outcome for client.
- Proactive and transparent. Hugely involved and passionate.
- Strong knowledge and reasoning, good acceptance of innovative OOH and fast execution.
Overall MOST Agency Award
The Overall MOST 2015 Agency award goes to The MediaShop Johannesburg, which just pipped the PHD Johannesburg team into second place and OMG Digital into third overall.
The MediaShop Johannesburg has set the bar for professional excellence in the media industry and can take pride in its fourth best-of-the-best rating since 2011.
- All boxes are ticked – they gets it right.
- A true all-round best. Well-versed in many media and client types.
- The most experienced and passionate group of people who always put their client above private time.
- Building relationships with their media partners is very important as is ensuring that their clients get the best value.
- Excellent in every way from the junior buyers to the MD.
- Passion for client business – they know their story – they’re just too good!
MOST Media in Africa Rankings
This category was introduced in 2015 as many South African based media companies spotted the Africa opportunity years ago and have had the courage to step further into the continent.
The scope is limited exclusively to South African based companies that have been doing business in Africa – offering specialised media buying and selling services for Africa. Respondents were asked to select only those companies with which they had had sufficient contact to be able to score fairly and accurately. As a result (and since the Africa category in is highly specialised), the number of votes cast was modest. So, the minimum threshold was 15 votes.
The media owners with the highest scores and at least 15 votes:
The inaugural winner is Primedia Outdoor. It’s interesting that three of the top four ranked media owners were out-of-home media owners. OOH is traditionally one of the most pervasive media types utilised on the continent. Similarly, the DStv Media Sales third placed ranking (and 30 votes) is a significant achievement, no doubt earned as a result of experience gleaned over a longer period in Africa than many other media owners.
The Initiative Media team scored particularly strongly in “knowledge of the media landscape” – a critical prerequisite for successful performance on the continent. It’s predicted that the competitive action in Africa will continue to hot up as more companies enter into the fray. As it does, the MOST Awards Africa category will grow in size and stature and provide valuable insight into the top performers. n
Freshly Ground Insights (FGI) conducted the research for the 9th Annual “MOST Awards” on behalf of Wag the Dog Publishers (WTDP) in 2015. The MOST Awards Survey elicits feedback from stakeholders in the South African Media Industry to measure and rank the performance efficacy of media owner advertising sales teams and media agencies. As always, a rigorous data quality control process was followed to collate the results. The survey methodology, data analyses and results were also audited and given the thumbs up by the Analytics Department of the University of Pretoria.
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