We all inherently know strong relationships are crucial in business whether it be a buy/sell relationship or at the company we work in. Particularly given we invariably spend more time with our work colleagues than we do with our own families. It seems not enough attention is focused on developing relationships and it is rarely talked about. 
In the media business we are often presented with the latest and greatest Research, Data insights, Ratings and slick presentations. These are all important, however, strong relationships trump everything. The advertising business is a people to people business (yes, it still is despite programmatic buys, etc) and there is no doubt we all prefer to buy off people we trust, respect and basically like. When you have a strong relationship with someone, communication is at its highest and that person gets the last chance to lose the business. Naturally they still have to earn the business by presenting the best proposal.
Continuity of staff absolutely helps to build strong relationships and some of the strongest relationships we have are with people who have been at the same media for many years. It is no coincidence that the media who create the best relationships tend to be the ones with the lowest turnover of staff.  
In the media business we deal with the same people each day, week and month making business relationships even more important. The significance of a strong relationship is clearly evident as the media that nurture and develop strong relationships often over index on their share of the advertising dollars. The advertising business deals in billions of dollars annually and even if a strong relationship only results in a 2-3% advantage that still equates to hundreds of millions of dollars.   
So, what’s the magic formula for developing strong relationships? A difficult question to answer due to the complexity of human behaviour and our individual uniqueness. Finding common ground, time and being reliable is a good start.  Unsurprisingly trust, respect and open communication is often talked about in developing solid relationships. In this ever increasing computerised age relationships still make the world go around and even more so in the media business.


10 and 9 have presented their 2020 schedule in the last two weeks while Ch7 is presenting next week and SBS in mid-November.  
Ch10 kicked off the Upfronts with a ‘steady as she goes’ message.  Not a lot of changes although the new Masterchef hosts were introduced – Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.  Masked Singer has also rated well enough to be returned in 2020. They reinforced that CBS is a unique and powerful ownership.
Nine wheeled out their stable of stars over the 2 hour presentation headlined by Hamish & Andy. To compete with Ch7’s Olympics in 2020, Nine are cleverly offering 4 clients a consistent exposure to “own every moment” of the Australian Open, Married at First Sight, The Voice, Australian Ninja Warrior, Lego Masters, State of Origin, The Block + more.  Nine also made it very clear they were out to recoup some of the $700 million of advertising revenue that Facebook and YouTube have taken from TV. As usual Nine ended their Upfronts with an impressive party (complete with rollercoaster) at The Entertainment Quarter.

DIGITAL UPDATE – YOU’RE THE VOICE….try and understand it, make a noise and make it clear

“OK Google”, “Hey Siri” and “Alexa” are without doubt becoming part of the vernacular in many Australian homes today.  Mostly to play music, ‘fact check’ arguments, wake people up, boil an egg, etc.  As these virtual assistants are used more and more to search for products and services it will be interesting to see what effect it is going to have on SEM and SEO and in particular Google.
Google must be working on how best to monetise voice searches as more people talk to their devices. Although the lack of data measurement for voice commands probably means Google has some time on its side. Perhaps the increase in voice searches could deliver a great deal more searches for Amazon (via Alexa). A voice search can realistically only put up one or two options for a product search and the question would be how could they charge for that. Marketers will need to consider the differences for when potential customers search using their fingers vs talking to a device. Instead of keywords on text search, users tend to use longer sentences formed as questions or commands for voice search. Hence, marketers need to include longer keywords and instead of optimizing on keywords they need to optimize for the full question.
Audio searches also have the potential to cause some confusion with brands such as Audi or Aldi. Companies’ websites need to ensure local information such as phone numbers, opening hours and other information are up to date on all different platforms as most users tend to search for products near to them.  At present Google’s responses to voice commands are based on most relevant websites and proximity. If voice searches really take off, marketers need to make sure their content is easily understood and can quickly answer the different types of questions users are asking.


SMI Graph

Australia’s media agency market is close to returning to growth, with SMI’s early September data showing the market is back only 3.4% when Digital bookings are excluded, and remains on
track to meet SMI’s forecast for growth in October.
SMI’s ad intel shows total TV bookings back just 1.7% (and Metropolitan TV essentially flat, or -0.3%) despite the NRL Grand Final broadcast in October rather than September as was the case last year.
And Outdoor ad spend has grown in September (+3.5%) but may in part be due to five Mondays falling this month so the month’s data may feature extra revenue from Outdoor campaigns sold in two week cycles.
And while the Radio media usually benefits from months featuring an extra Monday, the early data shows Radio demand so far back about 6%.


  1. Christmas is starting even earlier – in Sep 2018 Christmas recipe searches on were up 263% YoY
  2. The Teacher’s Pet Podcast is the number 1 piece of content ever exported with more than 49 million downloads
  3. Merely 6% of China’s 1.4 billion population have a passport – imagine the potential if that grows
  4. Don’t blame the US for Halloween, it’s origin come from the UK
  5. Only around 10% of Australians now smoke