Highlights from The Future of Media with John Sheehy

it's a customer's world retail media networks Dec 13, 2022

In this episode of It’s a Customer’s World podcast, Andy Murray is joined by  industry expert, John Sheehy. John has over 30 years of experience  in media and technology and recently served as Global Brand President for Starcom Worldwide.

Andy and John discuss how the emergence of retail media networks will shape the media industry of the future, and share advice to graduating seniors.

Check out the highlights below!

Andy: How would you characterize the change we are seeing in media today?

John: I think agility matters most now, understanding who your core customers are, what they want in terms of their experience, and then having the agility to, and not only if you have to, partner up in different ways, build things, manage them in different ways.

The ecosystem has shifted and I think it's an advantage both for traditional players and non-traditional players. It really is who can adapt and who can really think through what the challenges of tomorrow are going to be.


Andy: What challenges do new brands face in terms of discovery?

John: As the world has gone more digital, it then becomes more addressable. So you think about the ability to really understand audiences at the ID level and then aggregate that up. The insights, we can see shifts over a six week period in terms of what might be happening during this current environment where we're seeing a lot of inflation.

We can pick up on the nuances now much faster because that data's more available. So really what that means, if you're a big or small player is that you have to own your customer. You have to find a way to make sure that you have as much data and be able to use that data to really get back to what are still the fundamentals.


Andy: Any advice to mid-tier brand CMO’s?

John: It's a collaborative world. You can't do everything by yourself. You can't do everything within your own agency ecosystem, even if it's a great one, because things are moving so quickly.

It comes back to fundamentally knowing what your strategy is and then having a plan that allows you to partner and manage all the moving parts and partners together in a very integrated way to get to that business outcome. So a good example there's a company I advise for called Zeta Global, and what Zeta has built is an identity platform that allows them to see over 230 million individuals in the US. And they're able to not only see them, but in a compliant way, be able to understand attitudes, be able to understand location, be able to understand buying behavior, and therefore they can activate it.

Now they're a technology company, not a marketing, not an agency, but a technology company built off years and years of CRM and bringing together different companies, but they've built an agile platform. So if you're a small, mid-size player and you can't afford or don't have the time or the technology or the technologist to be able to build your own identity platform or activation platform. There are partners out there like Zeta, and you could go through all the parts of the ecosystem that are doing this for us.


Andy: What moment in your career has refined you the most?

John: For me it's always been learning from other folks and being part of winning teams that's always kept me motivated.

Whether I see myself as a leader of that part of that, or learning from it, playing with winning teams and the energy that comes from that. I just love positive attitudes. We can hire all the smart people in the world, but what you can't hire are two things. One, I always find that positive people and positive attitudes make a huge difference. And then the second one is initiative and they usually follow each other. So yeah, I always say the world's littered with a lot of people that are smart and have answers. But then you add a positive attitude and initiative and people who are willing to work hard. I think that goes as far as we want to.


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