Media agencies are best placed to lead content marketing, argues MEC CEO James Hier

Hier: content marketing is a space we have a competitive advantage in.

Hier: content marketing is a space we have a competitive advantage in.

The CEO of one Australia’s biggest media agencies, MEC, argues that it is media agencies rather than publishers, PR, creative or specialised content agencies that are best placed to lead the growth of content marketing.

James Hier CEO of MEC, speaking about the Australian launch of its new content marketing offering Wavemaker, argued that the insight and data media agencies have given them a competitive advantage in the space.

“We would also not have gone into this unless we thought we could do it better,” Hier told Mumbrella. “It is because we understand channel, where on the path to purchase they are, format and message.

“I mean we could could have gone into PR if we had wanted to, but it is not something we would would have a competitive advantage in doing.” 

Hier says content marketing is a space that is well-suited to what MEC is already doing.

“MEC is already a content company,” he said. “It is about building media not just buying media and creating content around it. We already do this.

“What we are doing is not only creating an identity for it but spreading across the agency responsible for it. We now have three individuals responsible for driving it.”

The launch of Wavemaker for MEC is a global push across 10 markets, with MEC Australia’s Tim Flattery leaving Australia to head up the content push globally.

Tim Flattery

Flattery: CIO heading to NYC to push Wavemaker

Flattery was MEC’s chief innovation officer and led a number of the agency’s recent content pushes, including its AANA marketer series, Marketing Dividends on Sky Business.

“Tim’s remit was across a whole lot of areas and he was part of a business development team,” said Hier. “What Tim would say is we have done is replace him with three people. He was expensive but it’s true.”

Andrzej Kowalski has been appointed managing partner of MEC Wavemaker Australia. 

“Tim was working with Andrzej, who will be running Wavemaker here,” said Hier. “He is basically creative agency, production background and has the network to be able to fulfil what we need to produce.

“Right now he runs all our existing (content) newsrooms.”

Hier argued many marketers were overpaying for content and that a media agency could produce high volumes of content at a cheaper price than its competitors.

“It is also how we come to the content we create,” he said. “A media agency’s core competency is to come off data and analytics and into insight and channel recommendation and in this case content recommendation.

“The content clients are looking for is high-volume, low-cost and quick-to-market. That’s not something more traditional agencies have been doing and it’s not something that would be competitive to what that traditional product would be.

“That is where media agencies are competitive. We are incredibly good at execution; the high-volume allows us to be good at that.

“We would not have entered this (space) if demand wasn’t already being fulfilled by us.”

Nic Christensen


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