Photo: Julia PYKHALOVA
Konstantin Mayor, three-time winner of the Media Manager of Russia award, founder and owner of the media holding company MAER, spoke about trends in the digital outdoor advertising market at the open studio of the Komsomolskaya Pravda media group at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
AFTER THE PANDEMIC THE MARKET GREW 40 PERCENT
– Konstantin, MAER media holding is one of the leaders among operators of large-format digital outdoor advertising. Let’s look at the situation in this market as a whole. How seriously have recent events affected the digital outdoor advertising market?
– The advertising market, including outdoor advertising, has been divided into two halves. The first are those companies that have technological advertising structures. I believe that despite the crises, despite the departure of large transnational companies from Russia, these companies have a great future. The other side of the coin is non-tech companies using standard outdoor advertising formats. Here, of course, there are problems, there is a crisis and a drop in sales.
We consider ourselves technology companies. To companies that are engaged not only in placing advertising information on large and beautiful media facades, media screens, but also in collecting data and processing this audience that has seen this or that advertising content.
– Is it possible to “digitize” your words?
– Let me start from today. The first quarter flew by with us in leaps and bounds of 2021. That year, the ad market grew between 20 and 40 percent. I mean, the post-pandemic jump was strong! And the first quarter of this year flew by on the basis of a beautiful last year. From the second quarter, of course, very strong changes began. The 10 largest foreign advertisers have completely suspended their advertising budgets, that’s all. Accordingly, we began to deal only with Russian companies that have advertising budgets, but consider spending every penny in great detail. Consequently, only technology saves us today. If we couldn’t measure the audience that goes through our structures, if we couldn’t reach them using our Internet technology, then, probably, we wouldn’t have a growth point like the current one.
– As I understand it, you work not only in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also in other large …
– We cover about 75-80% of the country’s population. These are Moscow, St. Petersburg and the largest cities of more than a million.
– You have unique information: can you compare how the situation is changing in the capitals and in the interior, who has been hit the hardest by recent events?
– They all hit at the same time. Because as small and medium-sized enterprises were in the region, for example, in Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Sochi, so it is. Yes, we see a sharp decline in the activity of large foreign companies. But another more interesting trend is that the largest Russian companies have doubled or tripled their activities. Since March this year, all Russian companies have changed their approaches to the way of promotion. These are construction companies, this is the banking business. We see how deposit rates are increasing, respectively, financial institutions are all very active in promoting their own products. We have developed new approaches to promote and place our products.
360 DEGREE EFFECT
– Lately, not a week goes by without Western companies abandoning some industries. Which in fact you have already said briefly. Are your competitors trying to leave your industry? Is there any technology output?
– Until now I don’t see any output of technologies. But it is obvious that the companies that were rapidly developing the advertising market have now taken a very hard and active position. For example, we started negotiations with the heads of all companies, we began to receive orders, so to speak, first hand. We start to understand the tasks, problems and find solutions to promote certain products together. That is to say, the first people of the companies entered into the manual control of their positioning in the market. And for us, as a technology company, this is very interesting and, in principle, we are on the same page with them. Of course, those companies that do not have technologies find it much more difficult now. All the same, those who did not have time to technologically prepare for today’s rapid business development, for those, of course, it is difficult to develop now.
– How do you think the situation in the market will develop further?
– You know, nobody today will give guarantees that it will be in a month, two, three. I’ll tell you one thing. I have been working in the media market for more than two decades. By the way, our media group turned 20 this year.
– But the key is that we prepare in advance for the development of our participation in the media. As we have grown rapidly, today we meet all market requirements. We keep growing. The market will change. The situation that has developed in the media business today will only give a huge boost to the growth of this market, to the development of technologies. Today, for example, we are signing a partnership agreement with the Russian Media Group. We have already managed to get our multimedia screens in sync with all radio stations in Russia. In other words, we can sell not only outdoor advertising, but also provide additional coverage. You drive in your beautiful car through the city streets, listen to the radio, look at the media facade and see the same advertising information as on the radio. There is a 360 degree effect. You can imagine?!
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