SCOTT BENNETT – DIGITAL SALES DIRECTOR – NEWS CORP
Can you please provide a short career bio here?
My career in media started in 2005 following my University graduation and completion of the media sales cadetship program, with my first role being an Account Executive working across the newspaper inserted magazines at The Age. Over the following 13 years I have held various positions ranging from radio sales and branded content with MCM Media, through to programmatic video with AOL and then Group Sales Director at News Corp. Still working for News, I have recently moved into the role of Digital Sales Director at the Geelong Advertiser.
What is the focus of your current role?
To provide effective digital marketing solutions for businesses within Geelong and the Surf Coast via display, social media and search engine marketing campaigns. I am also responsible for training and upskilling the sales team in all areas of digital marketing, as well as building and hosting workshops and events for local businesses to help them navigate their way through the digital landscape.
What do you see as some of the exciting trends coming up in the Media/Digital landscape in Australia in 2018?
The proliferation of data-driven marketing never ceases to amaze me. Whilst data isn’t necessarily a new or innovative element to marketing, the increasing accessibility of mining data from more sources than ever before, means that major media organisations are getting ever-increasingly innovative in the way they can tailor advertising messages to businesses’ most valuable customers. Used in the right way, from a business perspective, this means more of our marketing investment is becoming more accountable as we can minimise wastage and invest right down to a specific demographic trait or behaviour. From a consumer perspective, it also means that done correctly, the advertising experience should be one based on relevancy, need, and desire, derived from the information that we have volunteered through our internet consumption.
Whilst exciting, it’s also scary, and we’re truly entering the world of Big Brother, with many experiences of voices being recorded and this subsequent data being sold to the highest bidder. I guess in 2018, that’s the price we’re paying for faster accessibility, more social networks, smart connected devices, and new technology such as in-home smart speakers.
Do you think there are any hurdles we face as an industry? What could we do better?
I wouldn’t necessarily say there are major hurdles that we face, but rather opportunities to adapt to the ever changing and evolving industry. For example, the rise of ad-blocking technology, whilst may be deemed as a hurdle, also provides an opportunity for media organisations to find more innovative ways to engage with their client’s customers outside of some traditional formats that can now be effectively switched off.
What is important to you when building your team at News Corp? Is there a defining/key trait you look for when hiring?
I think confidence paired with a positive, can-do attitude is a defining trait that, for me, demonstrates the candidate can tackle challenges head on and roll up their sleeves. We work in an industry that is always evolving, and we need people who can adapt quickly to the changing environment with the right mindset and work ethic. Whilst experience and qualifications are equally important, a positive attitude can drive performance, productivity, and team morale.
Who is someone you admire and why?
I think admiration for me goes to those who invest their time, expertise, influence, and passion into causes that drive positive social change. Samuel Johnson, Neale Daniher, and Charlie Teo are three individuals who encapsulate these qualities and are literally changing lives. Particularly Neale who is in the fight of his life.
What is one thing people are work wouldn’t know about you?
I’m a pretty open book when it comes to working relationships, so I don’t think there’s much that my colleagues wouldn’t know.
At the moment, it’s Japan. My wife and I are heading there in April, so we’re spending a lot of time building our bucket list for Tokyo!