Negotiators of the year

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When it comes to sealing the deal, our cross-country poll rewards these media folks as the best of the best. Here’s their take on the art of bargaining, the next big thing and the best-kept secret in media.

Sara Hill, SVP/MD, M2 Universal Communications

Primary client list:
Brown Forman, Cadbury Adams, General Motors, Listen Up Canada, Staples Business Depot (primary clients). Responsible for investing approximately $200 million plus in media in the past 12 months on behalf of my primary clients.

What’s your expertise?
I ‘majored’ in the more traditional media channels of broadcast and print.

What’s the next frontier in the media game?
Demonstrating value and ROI of all media channels to our clients. Finding ways to manage change and capitalize on emerging developments to our clients’ competitive advantage. Mass media must also face the challenge of how to meet the demands for audits, be cutting edge and maximize cost efficiencies.

What’s the best-kept secret in media in Canada? In other words, what’s terribly underused?
Generally speaking, using consumer insights to develop an integrated communication mix that delivers synergies is the key to effective media placement. It is underused because it is hard work, time-consuming and frequently frustrating to execute.

Bruce Grondin, president, Mediaedge:cia

Primary client list:
Colgate-Palmolive Canada, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ford Motor Media, Molson Canada, Paramount Home Entertainment, Sears Canada, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare. Responsible for generating roughly $400 million dollars in media buys in past 12 months.

What’s your expertise?
Staying out of the way of great people doing great work. Helping people to find common ground to work from.

What’s the next frontier in the media game?
If I knew, I’d be rich. [However] at MEC we have made it a priority to better understand the media consumption pattern of the young. Mainstream media is not as powerful within this group as it is with the
25-54s. [I believe] wireless and SMS are in their infancy

What’s the best-kept secret in media in Canada? In other words, what’s terribly underused?
We have more choice in how we reach consumers in Canada than in most other countries. What’s underused is linking the message to the target effectively. Our industry is [obsessed with] low CPMs to the detriment of effective communication.

Helena Shelton, VP broadcast operations, MBS/The Media Company

Primary client list:
Ontario Government AOR, Rogers Communications, Procter & Gamble, Canadian Tire, TD Canada Trust, BMW Canada, Expedia.ca

What’s your expertise?
Broadcast, specifically television.

What’s the next frontier in the media game?
Process and automation. So negotiators can spend more time doing just that, negotiating.

What’s the best-kept secret in media in Canada? In other words, what’s terribly underused?
If I told you what the best kept secret was, it wouldn’t be a secret and they [my bosses] would shoot me.

Robert Da Silva, director of broadcast operations, MindShare

Primary client list:
IKEA Canada, Gillette Canada, Kellogg, IBM Canada, Amex Canada

What’s your expertise?
Television and radio broadcast negotiations.

What’s the next frontier in the media game?
The ability to get products integrated into shows in a creative and seamless way, whether it is involvement in content or product placement. Tracking consumer behaviour habits through Internet usage (online banking, Interac, credit card purchases, etc.), tapping into these databases and maximizing advertising opportunities.

What’s the best-kept secret in media in Canada? In other words, what’s terribly underused?
Understanding that we can break through the clutter and not having to buy tonnage at the lowest CPMs.
Knowing that we have the ability to marry a brand’s consumer profile with a station’s audience profile and target at the best cost possible.