Richard Lord, Media and Operations Director at Meta Media, has been in the advertising and media industry for almost 23 years. He says that data is the big buzzword of the moment and has advice for creating successful campaigns.
Lord attended the AAA School of Advertising and specialised in Media Management, because one of his lecturers told him and his friends that media is where all the money is, and that ‘media planners get cool gifts and trips’.
Jokes aside, Lord has a very analytical mind, and so he enjoyed the logic and science that gets applied to media planning. ‘I enjoy formulating strategies and finding places where our clients’ messages will resonate the most with the intended recipient. I started my career at Lindsay Smithers FCB, and have been with the IPG group ever since, having worked at UM in London, The MediaShop, and now Meta Media.’
What do you enjoy most about working in the industry?
‘Working with clients and media owners is very stimulating and it is a challenge to come up with new solutions for our clients’ problems. I also enjoy working with world-class people to help come up with those solutions.’
When asked about the industry changes he has noticed, Lord said he has seen an explosion in how quickly consumers have adopted digital media and how it has become a ubiquitous part of their lives. He has also seen the number of digital channels available to advertise on grow exponentially, and how digital has entwined itself with more traditional channels like TV, radio, print and even outdoor. ‘The level of data that we have available to us now is unprecedented and it is exciting to see how technology is facilitating the matching of data with consumer behaviour to ensure that our messages are seen by the right people in the right place.’
2019 industry trends
‘Everyone knows that data is important and everyone wants it, but the reality is that no one really knows what to do with it or how to use it properly.’ He pointed out how people also always seem to refer to data in a digital sense – but there is so much data from a traditional media perspective that can be used to create insight-rich media campaigns as well. ‘The agencies that work out how to effectively use the data they have are going to be the winners.’
Keys to success
According to Lord, these include hard work, diligence, taking responsibility and keeping up with the latest trends. ‘Media has changed a lot in the past 23 years and you need to stay ahead of these changes to remain relevant.’
Favourite project and tip for creating successful campaigns
‘We recently won a Gold Amasa Award for a Cell C campaign where we partnered with Google to run a YouTube campaign using a little-known feature that allowed us to do something that had never been done before in South Africa. The campaign was exciting to work on because we had a brave client who took a risk, we had a creative agency that created relevant content, and a media owner partner who gave us data and insights into our audience. All of this allowed for a breakthrough campaign that was simple, innovative, and most importantly, relevant.’
Lord’s key to creating a successful campaigns is partnership. He suggests that one works with media owners in order to get the best from their channels. ‘No one knows their audiences like media owners do, and if we work with them, we can create magic.’
Lord’s big passion outside of media is the outdoors. ‘I love going camping with my family as often as possible, and I enjoy riding my mountain bike through our beautiful country.’ He has ridden six (three day long) Sani2c mountain bike races, and a 265km race from the foot of the Sani pass in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg down to the beach at Scottburgh on the South Coast.