Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA meets Jon Mundy, Commercial Director at Sage+Archer

NDA sits down with Sage+Archer’s new Commercial Director, Jon Mundy, to discuss what he’ll bring to the location-based digital out-of-home (DOOH) platform, what his plans are for the role, and his thoughts on the DOOH landscape.

Why did you decide to make the switch to Sage+Archer?

Because DOOH is ripe for disruption and Sage and Archer are perfectly placed to be the disruptor.

It’s clear that with programmatic, DOOH is starting to move in the direction other media have been going for some time.

There’s a really big opportunity in out-of-home for companies like Sage+Archer to rationalise, simplify, and make the entire media buying experience much more straightforward.

The thing that makes Sage+Archer stand out as a company is that we’re going to market with a product that can actually do everything it says, and has been proven elsewhere. We’ve got so many case studies that demonstrate how powerful and efficient the S+A platform is. 

When you have the opportunity to join a company where the product is strong, has been proven that it can do what it says it can do,  and the market is ready for disruption then it’s a no brainer to go for it.

What makes Sage+Archer special?

The technology is just so strong, but so is the service ethic. When I went out to Amsterdam to meet the team, the sheer size of the development and support teams showed that this is a company that puts its technology first. Also, as you’d expect from a Dutch company, they’re just excellent people with the right priorities, integrity, innovative and client focused.

What are you bringing to the company?

I sold my first banner ad in 1999 at Teletext, and have been around to see the evolution of digital advertising across almost every platform there is, so I know the industry inside out however I’ve never had the chance to work in outdoor advertising until now. I’ve been involved with startups and built teams that have gone on to do great things, and plan to do that at S+A. 

Fundamentally, it’s just about growing the business, building a really interesting team, a really good company, and a really fun place to be. 

What have you learnt from your previous experience that you can apply in your new role?

In my previous role at Kogenta, I spent a lot of time looking at how anonymised data can be used in out-of-home. We worked with a number of OOH and DOOH operators and I became more and more interested in how the industry is changing. The industry-wide shift towards contextual rather than individual data perfectly suits DOOH, which is the ultimate contextual media. 

My background is mobile, which is obviously a pure digital platform, but there’s actually a lot of crossover with out-of-home. Mobile devices are essentially small out-of-home screens. Most data on mobile is consumed out-of-home. There are very similar elements in there.

Back at Zapp360, it was always my ambition that we would transition elements of the business towards out-of-home but we never quite made it. The thing that’s interesting about Sage+Archer is that they did precisely that. They were mobile-first for six or seven years, but then pivoted their focus towards out-of-home when they saw how the industry was changing, but it still has a mobile element to it. So, for me, there’s a really powerful crossover and that’s why it interests me. 

What are your plans for the role?

My role as Commercial Director is essentially to drive demand onto the platform. 

It’s not about simply transitioning existing spend into programmatic; it’s about programmatic’s ability to introduce new advertisers and agencies to DOOH. There are a whole host of interesting companies, including many that one might not conventionally expect to buy out-of-home, who are interested in this. Additionally, I believe that the crossover between DOOH and retail media is a big opportunity for us.

Programmatic makes DOOH more accessible. It means you don’t have to buy fixed two-week long slots. You don’t have to commit months in advance and not be able to have any flexibility once it’s been set up. All those restrictions are lifted with programmatic, and then you can tie in all sorts of interesting data. Programmatic and Sage+Archer enable that. So, there’s a really strong story for it.

It’s all about getting incremental revenue onto the platforms, and that’s what all the media owners want.

So, it’s about talking to those guys, but it’s also about talking to clients as well. Where we see clients looking at in-housing, a useful, straightforward tool for them to buy out-of-home will fit really well with what they already do.

Where would you like to be as a business this time next year? And where would you like the industry to be?

I would like us to be the leading digital out-of-home DSP in the UK. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be. I would like us to have done countless interesting, innovative projects. I want people to be experimenting with our platform. There are so many cool things that we can do. And, as the industry wakes up to that, I want to see more and more of that. And I would like us to have a decent-sized team in London.

I would like the industry to have really begun to accept programmatic. But there are challenges. I think the UK is particularly set in its ways compared to the Netherlands. I’d like to see us learning from what’s happening in the Netherlands and Europe, and make it more straightforward. More advertisers, more brands, more independent agencies, and just make digital out-of-home more accessible.