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With it from the start: NZME’s Laura Maxwell on how KPEX is tracking

While new players have recently entered the fray, NZME group revenue director Laura Maxwell has been involved since the beginning as one of the four founding partners. 

As one of the founding partners, how do you think KPEX has performed so far?

KPEX has performed strongly and has exceeded the expectations set in our internal business case. Duncan Arthur did an exceptional job as interim CEO to get the ball rolling, but we’ve really seen momentum grow since we’ve had a full time local team in place, led by Richard Thompson. 

What has it been like collaborating with your competitors on this?

There is not really any ongoing collaboration in KPEX, we just collectively set it up and now it runs itself. The key thing in the set up phase was to get alignment on the KPEX vision among the respective CEOs. Additionally, we had very clear guidance from a legal standpoint on what topics were on the table for discussion, so every meeting was focused and productive. Now that KPEX is operational, there is little involvement with our competitors on a day-to-day basis.

Will collaboration become even more important in the future?

Collaboration could become increasingly important given the continued growth of global juggernauts such as Facebook and Google. 

There is a lot of talk about the importance of data to the future of KPEX. What are your thoughts on this? How do you see NZME (and the other players) adding to this space?

One of the challenges of effectively utilising data from an advertising perspective is scale. The potential of KPEX is to create targetable audience segments collectively that wouldn’t be viable on an individual basis. NZME launched a Data Management Platform (DMP) in October last year which allows us to harness and activate our audience data. The data collected via the DMP is firstly anonymised and aggregated into Audience Segments, which can then be securely passed through to KPEX. 

How do you see KPEX evolving in the future? 

The future looks bright for KPEX with more inventory partners soon to come on board. For advertisers, this means more scale on high quality local content environments, and more sophisticated data offerings.

Are you still optimistic that we have what it takes to compete with the big international guys? Is it even worth trying?

Smart marketers know that there is more to digital advertising than sourcing the cheapest impressions and clicks. KPEX is proving that it delivers the performance to compete with the global players from an ROI perspective. Additionally, the extra value offered by a KPEX buy is the positive impact on brand equity by advertising in high quality local environments. The alternative is potential negative impacts by association with lower quality content or UGC that are misaligned with the brand. This is a point that may not be considered by junior planners but is certainly top of mind for CMOs.

  • This interview is brought to you as part of a content partnership with KPEX.
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