Formerly known as Oracle Airtime Sales, DStv Media Sales’ revitalized image and strategy has clearly yielded results as they bettered their two previous MOST positions (5th in 2009 and 3rd in 2010) to scoop the overall prize in 2011.
Freshly Ground Insights MD Brad Aigner believes that the key to DStv Media Sales’ win is its high industry rating of knowledge of its own brands and of the broader media industry – assets highly-prized by media agency and client partners. “What I see in the data is a company that has delivered consistently high criteria scores since 2009 and which has steadily improved against some of the criteria year-on-year. Top leadership transition has also been fantastically managed,” says Aigner.
The MOST Awards were initiated in 2009 with the aim of creating excellence in media owner marketing and sales. In collaboration with the Advertising Media Forum (AMF), the MOST Awards aimed to ignite a renewed passion and professionalism within the media-sales arena, from management and sales staff alike.
Oracle Airtime Sales had a strong pedigree in the media awards space. The company had previously won 9 out of 10 overall awards in the former MOMA (Media Owners Marketing Awards) before regrouping to take the overall prize again in 2011.
DStv Media Sales CEO Chris Hitchings says that the telling factor for the company in 2011 has been an improvement in service levels. “The challenge for us now lies in maintaining those levels and hanging onto our top spot. One of the key things for us is that the whole business has contributed to this success. People are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and that will drive us all to keep the standards up. It’s harder to stay at the top than get to the top.”
The DStv-i return path channel audience metering system undoubtedly played a role in the company’s improved service and success. Launched in early 2011, DStv-i – the only system of its kind in Africa – has established a common currency across the DStv platform for channels and advertisers. Delivering robust audience sample sizes at an individual channel level, DStv-i has facilitated the development of a new sales model which provides the opportunity to guarantee audience delivery.
M-Net CEO Patricia van Rooyen said of DStv Media Sales’ most-recent success: “I am very proud to have DStv Media Sales represent all the M-Net channels on the DStv platform across the continent. They are professional, knowledgeable and have the backing of great data in the form of DStv-i. Their award is well-deserved.”
Amanda Turnbull, Director Client Services, Discovery Networks CEEMEA says that DStv Media Sales’ win is a tribute to the team’s hard work. “DStv Media Sales have been a great partner for Discovery Networks in South Africa and this achievement is a testament to their high standard of client service and performance. They continuously help us to achieve our business objectives in the market through a deep understanding of our portfolio of factual entertainment brands,” says Turnbull.
DStv Media Sales recently secured a stake in The SpaceStation, which won the Digital category. Overall, The SpaceStation moved up from sixteenth to seventh between 2009 and 2011. Congratulating them on their success, Hitchings believes that the collaboration between traditional television medium and the online space is the future of media sales. “We’re always looking at innovative packaging and our partnership with The SpaceStation has opened up new avenues,” he says. “Part of our mission statement is that we strive to reach DStv viewers across multiple platforms and the growth of The SpaceStation is delivering some exciting opportunities for media owners”.
The SpaceStation MD Mike Luscombe says his hard-working team is delighted with their success. “A third successive win in the Digital category and a second year in the Top 10 overall, is a really pleasing result for us,” he says. “With ‘digital’ still perceived as a marginal media allocation in most marketing budgets, this result highlights our commitment to service levels and innovation, and is great recognition of the effort put in by The SpaceStation team. Our joint performance with DStv Media Sales highlights the potential of our strategic alignment.”