It’s been a massive week at News Corp with a number of senior executive appointments ahead of its annual upfront. As reported earlier this week, Nicole Sheffield took on a wider role within the group while Peter Zavecz rejoined the business and Louise Barrett signed on.
News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller hosted the annual Come Together showcase Thursday night and introduced new customer-focused initiatives and marketing solutions that he said will guide the company’s direction.
Speaking to an audience of 700 clients, partners and creative and media agency leaders, Miller said the company was committed to developing innovative ways in which advertisers could better understand and connect with audiences.
In addition to Miller and his other key executives, quirky columnist Joe Hildebrand turned company spokesperson and delivered the bulk of the lengthy presentation making his way around a revolving set in the centre of a Fox Studios sound stage.
Among the initiatives were:
• Food Corp – The launch of a dedicated network of Australia’s leading food brands designed to further leverage their influence in market. Leading Food Corp will be the newly appointed director of food, Fiona Nilsson
• Campaign Solutions Studio – the creation of a specialist unit to create and deliver custom-built solutions for advertisers that may be product, event or experience focused. It will combine the various data sources and intelligence that exist about News’ brands and audiences, enabling the team to extract greater client value and drive more insightful campaign solutions
• News Corp Australia Media & Marketing Institute – a partnership with Melbourne Business School to provide a week-long study program for the country’s best and brightest talent with a focus on brand strategy, audience segmentation and targeting, investment analytics and marketing strategy
• News DNA – the new business unit that aligns all of News Corp Australia’s digital assets within news, food, lifestyle, prestige and women’s categories
• A celebration of the launch edition of Stellar magazine, the new magazine which appears in The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Herald Sun, and Sunday Mail in Queensland from this weekend
Miller told the audience that News Corp Australia was committed to continually innovating to meet the needs of advertisers.
“These are the new ways we offer to work with our advertising partners to deliver real connections with real people and, most importantly, deliver real outcomes,” he said. “Our marketing solutions will create the opportunities our advertisers want and need.
“No one else does or can do what we do: understanding audiences, making a difference to their lives and reaching them in large numbers every hour of every day. At News Corp, we’re well prepared for a dynamic and creative future.”
The event also showcased the results of innovative marketing campaigns in the last 12 months such as those for Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Chemist Warehouse and GE.
Nilsson said the launch of Food Corp would give advertisers access to customised solutions across all brands in one place. “News Corp owns the largest food audience in Australia and Food Corp brings those brands together to give advertisers connection to every niche audience at scale.”
To demonstrate the reach Food Corp can offer quickly and in real time, Nilsson used the example of a recipe created by Matt Preston, who joined her onstage. The 90-second Chocolate Mug Cake video generated a reach of over 8 million and over 2 million video views in under five days.
Managing director metro and regional publishing Damian Eales also spoke at the event, outlining the importance of an end-to-end marketing program that both brings new passive customers in and converts them faster, using both traditional and digital media.
“We are providing an expanding range of marketing solutions that incorporate so much more than space and air time,” Eales said. “Advertisers can look to us to provide a bespoke purchase funnel for their business – from awareness to action, across multiple channels and multiple audiences, all skilfully targeted through smart analytics.”
Further expanding on the News DNA announcement earlier this week Nicole Sheffield, managing director News Digital Networks Australia (News DNA), said: “Harnessing the power of our digital networks is important for the business. Our focus is to maximise our already leading performance in digital reach and revenue; supercharge our digital products, particularly video; and look at opportunities for acquisition to build on what we have.”
Come Together ended with a brief presentation from new Stellar magazine editor-in-chief Sarrah Le Marquand and delicious. editor-in-chief Kerrie McCallum about the new title which debuts inside News Corp east Sunday newspapers this weekend. As they spoke the giant set revolved one more time to reveal a Stellar-themed after-party set.
News Corp’s Come Together 2016
Where: Fox Studios Australia sound stage 7
Time: 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start, presentation ran for just on one hour
Speakers: Michael Miller, Damian Eales, Joe Hildebrand, Fiona Nilsson, Matt Preston, Neale Whitaker, Nicole Sheffield, Sarrah Le Marquand and Kerrie McCallum