February 29, 2024

Australian-born Kevin Kivi says Canadian media companies have grow to be ‘extra linked and convergent’ – and are reaping the rewards

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Like their companions within the Canadian information business, the nation’s media companies are present process unprecedented transformation. The Nationwide Publish is holding conversations with leaders of Canada’s largest companies on the fast-changing fundamentals, and the place the enterprise goes subsequent. This week, Kevin Kivi, EVP, common supervisor, Horizon Media Canada, speaks to author Rebecca Harris.

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As an company chief with international expertise (in Australia and United States), are you able to share how Canada’s media-buying panorama is completely different or distinctive?

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(Fifteen years in the past), it was a really native, insular take a look at the way in which issues had been achieved. It has developed to be a extra linked and convergent atmosphere now, the place company leaders in Canada are taking larger dangers, they’re making larger bets they usually’re investing in another way than they had been 10 to fifteen years in the past. After I joined the business in Canada, I discovered it was a complacent business — “that is how we’ve at all times achieved that” — and it’s been rewarding to see how that has developed. A whole lot of it’s being pushed by the digitization of our business….

There’s clearly loads being written concerning the Canadian media business and Invoice C-18 (with the invoice’s passage, Google and Meta introduced they may cease linking to Canadians information websites). As an Aussie and as somebody who watched what occurred in Australia (the nation launched a legislation forcing know-how platforms to barter funds with media retailers), I’m very dissatisfied with among the outcomes in Canada. We must always have discovered other ways to barter … I really consider (Invoice C-18) has flaws, which was not its intent, however these two massive, international organizations can’t steamroll what a authorities decides is the perfect factor ahead for the individuals of Canada, so to talk. So, I consider they should come again to the desk.

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How is your company responding to business shifts and making ready for the long run?

As an impartial, we’re free to put money into not solely our purchasers’ companies, but in addition reinvest again into our group. We don’t essentially have the purple tape that exists throughout among the bigger international gamers. (One funding space is) thought management. Our (new) multicultural research was an enormous endeavor for our group over the past six months… Investing in thought management and having a transparent perspective on the place we’re seeing shifts from a client standpoint and the way that can profit our purchasers is an absolute curiosity for us. Moreover, we’ll be rolling out some information associated to our viewers administration platform… We spent the final 12 months investing quite a lot of time, vitality and monetary capital into an answer that’s custom-built for our Canadian purchasers with Canadian datasets.

One discovering in your multicultural research (“How Cultural Fusion is Reshaping the Canadian Client Expertise”) is that promoting is just not as efficient in driving model consciousness for newcomers (in comparison with different techniques). How ought to entrepreneurs strategy brand-building with newcomers?

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I used to be fairly struck by that discovering as effectively as a result of all of us are inclined to assume promoting goes to be efficient throughout the overwhelming majority of demographics and audiences that exist on the market. This (research) has helped to shine a lightweight to say promoting is least efficient with a few of these newcomer teams. What grew to become evident is the model of knowledge that newcomers to Canada want may be very completely different. They’re reliant on rankings and evaluations, details about pricing and (product descriptions). We have a tendency to take a look at on-line search as one thing that’s going to assist us drive a sale. What the analysis advised us is that search performs such an important position for lots of newcomers, and it must be considered extra as a strategy to educate customers and never simply shut a sale. That’s in all probability the place some manufacturers are lacking the mark a bit as a result of we are inclined to assume search is a performance-driven tactic… It’s received such an even bigger position to play right here, primarily based on what we’re seeing within the research.

What different research findings stand out to you?

One of many different huge learnings for me is {that a} newcomer or first-generation Canadian is much extra more likely to store in-store than they’re to purchase on-line. On-line performs a job for the way in which they analysis and begin to collect their ideas, in addition to their consideration set. They’re not bodily making the acquisition on-line — they’re going in-store. That speaks to the search behaviours I discussed earlier and serving to them navigate and perceive your model and your product, recognizing that the acquisition (might or might not) occur on-line.

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If I may give my very own private anecdote. I don’t really feel like I’m a newcomer anymore, however I’m definitely somebody who didn’t have quite a lot of understanding of among the manufacturers and the ability of these manufacturers in Canada. If I take Canadian Tire for example, because the title implies, you assume it’s a spot to get your tires modified. However that was by no means one thing that was clearly communicated to me as I and my now-wife had been on the lookout for pots and pans and kitchen utensils and out of doors furnishings and a barbecue…

Our research helps to encapsulate elements of that. There are some huge Canadian manufacturers which might be rooted in Canadian tradition: they’re iconic, they’re part of the Canadian psyche. With the quantity of newcomers who’re coming to Canada … we’re doing ourselves an enormous disservice because it pertains to how we market a few of these manufacturers and the way they’ll proceed to thrive, particularly in retail the place it’s so aggressive.

Are you able to share a prediction on what’s subsequent for the media shopping for business?

There may be quite a lot of uncertainty within the market — are we in recession, are we not in recession, inflation, value of dwelling… It appears like we’re in a little bit of a limbo part, the place we’re so reliant on what (the Financial institution of Canada) goes to announce that everybody is hanging on by means of tenterhooks. I don’t know what the (resolution) is, but it surely’s definitely having an affect on enterprise, on our workers, and on customers and the way in which they’re shopping for and consuming merchandise… We’re in a mode of short-termism and we have to begin transferring past that as a result of I don’t foresee issues altering anytime quickly.

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Learn the remainder of the sequence of conversations with leaders of Canada’s largest media companies on the place the enterprise goes subsequent:

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