Josh Partridge is Managing Director& VP UK and Co-Head of EMEA at Verizon Media. We recently caught up with him to be informed about what it has been like taking on his character during the pandemic.
Plus, we listen his thoughts on the state of the ad industry, and the key tendencies that will continue to drive the’ digital revolution’.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
For my part at Verizon Media, I’m responsible for driving the UK’s business strategy: curing our patrons understand how to get huge is a consequence of our technology stages and payment content to reach their gatherings in fun, interesting and related ways.
Central to this is bringing together all of the different crews in our London office- from commodity and commercial to innovative technology and video make- to ensure our work is being guided by the same strategy and principles. Layered on top of this also comes my business responsibility in the UK, as well as the Nordics and partners business- so it’s a very diverse role. No two days are the same and I can safely say there’s never a dull instant!
Talk us through a conventional period.
Having met Verizon Media in the middle of the pandemic, I haven’t actually been able to meet anyone face to face yet, which is a unique way to start a brand-new capacity! Normally, when you start a new job you’d meet parties in big the organizations and do broader openings, but I’ve been really focusing on getting those all important one-on-one conversations in the diary with my new collaborators and crews. For me, this has been critical in build those personal relationships and trust throughout the organisation.
It’s too been particularly useful in helping me get up to speed with the different areas of the business, and getting to the bottom of challenges that different units may be facing so that we can get to answers quicker. In the office environment, these important one-on-ones can often fall by the wayside, so while our virtual diaries is likely to be somewhat fuller, I think there’s an polemic that we’re in fact developing deeper relationships and we were perhaps under-communicating before.
Having finagled multi-markets in my previous roles, where communicating over video requests has been the norm, this virtual channel of running has actually felt perfectly natural to me. While it would be great to be able to meet the teams in real life( and I hope to be able to very soon !), there is something unique about the relationships you can build in this virtual life and the revelations you can gain into people’s men. You get to see into their kitchens, living rooms, congregate their children and pets- things you are able to never commonly be able to experience without the current set-up.
As well as driving some certainly authentic exchanges and shared suffers, this also helps to create some personality in congregates- and cuddling this can bring a so much better relaxed environment for our units!
Another really important part of my daytime in recent times has been homeschooling, like many other parents and kinfolks in different regions of the country. So I often have two little girls running around the house and ending sees- committing my squads that authentic space into “peoples lives” that I has already mentioned. Verizon Media has done an amazing profession of supporting parents and kinfolks throughout the lockdowns, particularly with flexibility around things like homeschooling.
On the whole, my daylight is genuinely diverse- treating lots of different topics. Getting into the nitty gritty detail of these topics and ideas is something that I actually experience, likely driving in my fiscal background where close item and analysis are very important. I too affection cuddling the fast pace of the business and industry as a whole- again something that’s second nature to me following my background working with start-ups, where we needed to become speedy decisions every day. This agility and desire for item are certainly things that I’ve produced with me to the role at Verizon Media.
How do you maintain an effective work/ life counterbalance?
One of the key things we’ve tried to do across the business is create a free window from 12.30 pm until 2pm every day so that people can disconnect from their screens, go for a run, clean-living the house, spend time with the minors or bird-dog- whatever they need to do to relax, re-energise and recharge. It’s a hugely challenging period for everyone and we want to make sure we’re give our employees that much-needed headspace and as much flexibility as possible to get the balance right. Maintaining team morale and acquiring sure our employees feel supported by the business is one of my most important priorities , now more than ever.
While my bride heads the charge with homeschooling, I will don my best chef’s hat and waste some of this time in the afternoon stimulating lunch for their own families. As a squad, we likewise did a 100 km challenge in December to encourage us to go out and about- although I must admit, operating isn’t my forte and I didn’t tally up as numerous kms as the rest of the team!
Within the commercial-grade unit, we’re also wheeling out meeting-free Friday afternoons, so that people can use this time to focus on their personal blooming, whether that be writing a blog for the business’ website or attending virtual occasions and networking. We want to ensure that our crews are given the opportunity to continue learning and developing their skills. Empowering them to stay up-to-date with the latest insights, trends and legislation across the industry likewise helps to ensure that we can best serve our customers.
One of the things that has always helped me to maintain effective work/ being balance, and advice I often share with my units, is to be disciplined and design your diary. Block out time to read that report you’ve had entered for the last week or attend that industry affair you’re interested in- be organised with your time and places great importance on working smart.
How has strategy varied at your companionship in the past 18 months?
You may have seen the news that we have agreed a deal with Apollo Global to buy the whole Verizon Media company, with our brand-new business becoming “Yahoo” once the deal closes and we’re undoubtedly very excited for the future.
We continue to focus on three core countries: our industry-leading DSP and SSP platform furnishes; the performance side of our business; and our strategic partners- drawing upon the demand for immersive suffers that has been accelerated through the lockdown, and as we look forward to the game-changing the capacities of 5G.
The styles in which we’ve delivered upon this strategy to our patrons has evolved in light of the pandemic and we’ve taken thoughtful steps on how we can continue to prioritise our key focus areas, while at the same time using our their skills and assets to support our clients, partners and individuals alike during the pandemic.
Verizon Media has been restraining beings connected across the world throughout the pandemic. Our media brands like Yahoo UK have been stay thousand of parties connected to their news and email services, while our push platforms ought to have retaining labels and clients connected through new and innovative ad knowledge across screens, with is asking for lengthened world( XR) content and formats- the kinds of events this is gonna be supercharged by 5G connectivity in the very near future- that are fun and hiring for consumers to try out through our Verizon Media Immersive furnish definitely intensifying. And our Verizon Media Media Platform has ensured that live-streaming happens in music, sport and more have been able to reach global publics through our own and our customers’ belongings while there has been no, or restriction, physical appearance for instance.
Highlighting these 5G exploit specimen to world-wide gatherings has therefore been something we’ve been able to continue focusing on amidst the pandemic, particularly through jobs such as The Fabric of Reality, a amply immersive fad demo established within our award-winning RYOT studio, as well as growths such as Yahoo’s Watch Together piece, a magnificent co-viewing experience designed to innovate live occasions and enable people to co-watch, interact and submerge themselves in entertainment occasions wandering from athletics to music. We initially partnered with the NFL on this project and it’s been a real game changer in facilitating supporters to reconnect over the past 12 months amidst stadium shutdowns, as well as recently bringing this aspect to international gatherings in the UK and beyond through our exclusive live-stream of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Conference on Yahoo Finance.
From a pulpit point of view, strolling into 2020, the eyesight was for Verizon Media is just one of the most difficult DSPs in the market and to show the value of the scaffold to our existing and prospective patrons. While one of these new challenges here was the reduction in ad spend due to the pandemic, we were able to offer our patrons solutions such as Brand Stories in Native formats, with an omnichannel DSP that allows purchasers the flexibility to switch spending and artistic in nearly real-time if needed. For example with DOOH, as footfall shortened across these locatings and consumers were staying indoors more, the deplete and messaging changed.
Using our industry-leading data and insight to help our customers reach the freedom audiences through the freedom stage at the right time is therefore something that we continued to drive over the past 12 months.
How has customer behaviour( or your clients’ customer behaviour) changed during the pandemic?
When Covid-1 9 and the resulting lockdowns struck here in the UK- and around the world- all previous plans for 2020 went out the window and our purchasers unexpectedly had the intimidating task of planning for a year where no-one actually knew what was around the corner. At Verizon Media, we’ve ever settled beings and trust at the heart of everything we do, so it was critical to ensure that we continued being supporting and reliable partners to our purchasers- for example, imparting them access to useful data and insights, inventive business, and allowing for flexibility when it came to servicing tiers. This flexible and strong boundary of communication between the business and our purchasers was prime- understanding that their plans may need to evolve last minute, which represented we too had to adapt our strategies to support this.
Ultimately, Covid-1 9 led to a fundamental changes in consumer behaviour which intended our purchasers had to adapt, and fast. One of the biggest alters has been the acceleration of ecommerce and arising rise of the’ buy now, money later’ model which we expect to continue gaining impetu this year. At Verizon Media we have the data, insights and expertise to help our clients contact shoppers at the right moments through the liberty directs, changing parts from online wishlists and baskets to products in hand through careful targeting. We’re continually be discussed with our customers about these changes in consumer behaviour so we can adapt our publicizing policies accordingly and empower our customers to find new opportunities that lend themselves to these new habits.
Additionally, as a result of the local and national lockdowns, we have seen changes in not only how people consume media, but where. For example, with fewer parties travelling to work we have seen changes in DOOH, so brands need to consider different ways to reach and engage with their gatherings. We expect DOOH to grow again in line with unwound lockdown measures and as we return to normalcy, but a more holistic, omnichannel approach will be key to success. This is what we at Verizon Media have advocated long before these recent alterations in behaviour, and as such have built a strong level of understanding and expertise on how to execute this effectively for our purchasers now and in the future.
What do you predict for the future?
The digital change has is currently underway for a decade now, but has really accelerated over the course of the last 12 months, with our reliance on businesses and individuals forced to shift much of their offline production and practises online. As a solution, the top three key tendencies I expect to see over the coming years are 😛 TAGEND
1. The shifting of screens
For many, the pandemic and developing lockdowns have shifted the status of their machines from a nice-to-have to a must-have. How and when we use machines has pivoted over the last year, as countless households have had to turn to screens to keep their children civilized and entertained, labor remotely or ordering groceries online. As we continue to spend more period at home we expect this displacement to continue so brands need to understand how they can engage with patrons over a variety of platforms.
2. Online and offline know-hows will be supercharged with 5G
With sporting affairs, live gigs and concerts being cancelled throughout 2020, we have seen a huge appetite amongst customers for virtual occurrences. This time, we can expect AR and VR technologies to continue connecting that physical and digital divide- but with 5G are currently under way went out globally, we can expect these capabilities and suffers to be even bigger and better.
For example, with 4G engineering, you can only watch boasts competitions the lane that someone else decides to show them to you- there’s no ability to truly customise that event. 5G can transform the way people deem sport and introduce more immersive ways to watch and engage with plays at-home or in the stadium itself- with numerous player inclinations and AR-layered stats on the game, all in real-time.
We already started to see new abilities arising with immersive virtual suffers in 2020, but with 5G, we can go that one step further and actually increase physical in-person ordeals more. Beyond the entertainment industry, it will too make a significant impact across the likes of transportation, retail, healthcare and education.
Ultimately, 5G will give small businesses, start-ups and purchasers access to the same technology that up until recently was only available to huge companies and major experiment universities. It will be a major advancement for digital inclusivity, and something that we’re immensely energized to be at the forefront of with our partners and customers.
3. Connecting digital to the physical world at flake- demo recently by the return of the QR code
Whether it’s the NHS track and draw app, or from your local bar, Covid-1 9 has given the humble QR code a spotlight, turning it into an daily essential and proving its evaluate as the perfect touch-free medium. At Verizon Media we respect ourselves in creating digital content and suffers that are extremely accessible gist we can use QR technology to activate AR knowledge, wreaking online implementations into the real world and vice versa. This will prove priceless as firebrands look to create employing, immersive events that are easily accessible to all.
For firebrands and marketers to succeed in a post-Covid world, understanding and adapting programmes based on these behavioural change will be vital. An additional stratum to consider here will be the industry-wide regulation we’re seeing come down the pipeline, from HFSS advertising laws to growing regulations around data and privacy, and the future of marketing in a cookie-less world. As such, we can expect to see a renaissance of trust accelerating now and in the coming years, with fee, relied firebrands came to see you on top.
One of the most important things for purveyors to be doing at the moment is staying on top of how consumers’ garbs are continuing to shift and progress. Having this understanding of consumer sentiment, expect and behaviour is critical in informing the right strategy and platforms to be committing with your gatherings in valuable and meaningful highways. This is something we ensure is built into all of our work for our partners and clients, through our focus on insight-led mixtures and be made available to gigantic volumes of data.
In line with this, having flexible as a marketer is key, and being able to adapt to these evolving attitudes and demands with robust and workable solutions.
With digital becoming more intertwined than ever in our everyday lives, it’s also important for marketers to take the time to learn, wonder and reassess on how to connect with buyers in the new digital environment, for example through immersive know-hows and even the resurgence of QR codes as mentioned earlier. As we enter a cookie-less world, understanding is not simply how to reach customers, but how to engage and connect with them in more meaningful rooms, will be more important than ever.
Beyond this, trust will continue to be a huge factor- not only between consumers and firebrands, but between marketers and their clients. Marketers will therefore need to focus on forging strong relationships and facilitating partnerships the hell is built upon transparency and openness as we move into a post-Covid and digitally evolved world.
Read more: econsultancy.com