Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Marketing the Marketers: Celebrating the marketing stars driving our industry

NDA has launched a new series on NDA, Marketing the Marketers, talking to the marketing and comms leaders behind the success of our leading companies.

The digital media and marketing industry is supported by a small army of dedicated marketers and comms professionals, helping tell the stories of our industry’s most innovative and effective companies. 

NDA’s Marketing the Marketers series turns the tables to discover the stories of the people whose job it is to market the media owners, agencies and tech companies that are the backbone of the industry.

The series kicks off with Bryan Scott, Marketing Communications Director, The Ozone Project.

What exactly does your job entail?

I head up the marketing team at Ozone, the premium digital advertising business built by the UK’s leading publishers. My role is broad and all-encompassing, covering everything from marketing promotion, development of sales collateral, external and internal communications, insight generation, and event and partnership management.

As a scaling B2B business, my day-to-day is often equal parts strategic thinking and hands-on delivery of our marketing plan – across both our advertiser and publisher business. In addition, I actively lead much of Ozone’s culture programme – I know it’s a cliché but no two days are ever the same. 

What campaign or piece of marketing/communications are you most proud of in your career and why?

Cast your mind back to early 2012 and I had just joined Metro as Marketing Director. One of my very first meetings was with Janet Hull and Leila Siddiqi from the IPA who came in to discuss a programme they were launching to help attract a broader spectrum of young talent into the advertising industry. We were incredibly keen to be the official partner, and in less than three months the Creative Pioneers scheme was launched with a cover wrap on Metro and a packed promo schedule to reach the next generation of talent.

It was the enduring legacy of this partnership that I am most proud of; when they bowed out as an entry point to the industry – now there are amazing places like Brixton Finishing School to carry out this great work – Creative Pioneers had helped secure more than 800 apprentice jobs since that 2012 launch..

Who has been your biggest inspiration in your career to date and why?

I’ve been very fortunate to work with some of our industry’s most formidable leaders; from Nikki Mendonça, to Linda Smith, to Kathleen Saxton – the female boss is certainly an enduring theme!

However, if I was to pick the person who had the most impact on me personally it would certainly be Linda Grant – now Chair of Virgin StartUp – who I worked with for more than ten years at Capital Radio and twice at DMGT. Linda made me truly believe in what I could achieve professionally, and was a real cheerleader for me becoming the best version of myself. I felt that Linda was genuinely invested in my success and it certainly made me more focused on delivering even more for the organisations we worked for. 

What is the biggest challenge in your sector and how is your company helping to address it?

The challenges within the digital advertising sector are well documented – be it Google phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome, the ICO keeping the world of adtech under its regulatory gaze, or concerns around transparency in digital supply chains. Ozone was created to counter these persistent problems and it remains our mission to transform the digital ecosystem to make it work better and in favour of advertisers, premium publishers and consumers.

The flywheel impact of that is pretty simple; more brand investment into premium websites, funds a better reader experience that delivers better ad results – and then that cycle continues and things continually get better.

What is the biggest opportunity in your sector and how is your company helping to make the most of it?

Beyond creating a better functioning digital ecosystem, there is a huge opportunity to apply Ozone’s technology and expertise to help publisher groups of different sizes and guises to thrive. In particular, there is a lot of discussion in the industry about supporting diverse publishers through ad investment, and while we completely agree with that, it’s somewhat of a short-term solution.

That’s why for real inclusion we have built a technology framework to help community publishers – such as Asian Media Group – create greater and sustainable value from programmatic.

How important, and why, are the following in helping your promote your own company:

The press

As a publisher-built business, we are certainly cheerleaders for quality, editorially led content. The same equally applies in the world of B2B – I’m a great lover of curated content as a means of helping me see the stuff that’s really important.

Events

Particularly post-pandemic, in person events feel even more powerful than in the ‘before times’. From a personal perspective, the time away helped me reset my brain on events, and when I’m attending now, I really think about why I’m going and what I’ll get out of it – and don’t just turn up. It’s always the little touches that really help make live events powerful and magical, and I get a real buzz having them back on plan.

Your company’s owned media

Where the press gives you credibility, our owned media gives us control. When we have a message to craft for our audience, it provides the focus for ensuring that we really land what we have to say.

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