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Connect With: Parminder Singh, Chief Commercial and Digital Officer, Mediacorp

2 May 2018 | ConnecTechAsia

The national broadcaster’s CCDO believes in the importance of investing in new technologies and innovating on existing strengths.

As the Chief Commercial and Digital Officer at Mediacorp, what’s a typical day for you like?

I’m a big believer in checklists, so I would usually list out the big things I would like to achieve over a week. I start each day by creating a daily checklist that ensures some items of the weekly list are covered as new ones are added.

There’s no typical day but I try to ensure that over a week, I have a healthy balance of interactions with:

  • my teams across commercial and digital groups,
  • partner functions,
  • meetings with clients and agency partners,
  • meeting interesting and new technology companies and vendors

I also try to ensure that over a week, I divide my time between activities of three types – problem fixing, meeting quarterly goals, long-term strategic goals.

What do you like best about your role at Mediacorp?

I like that I get to solve problems for our clients and audiences using a mix of marketing and technology solutions and also getting to meet people both within the company and externally. It is also an exciting time to get exposed to new and cutting-edge technology solutions that will enable us to serve up customized solutions to our clients and partners. I like the fact that there is no playbook for a role like this, allowing enough latitude for innovation and creativity.

Mediacorp first announced its digital transformation plans in 2015, with a new digital group set up to drive those changes. How have things progressed thus far?

We have made good progress in improving user experience across key digital sites like CNA and our digital entertainment service, Toggle. We also implemented a single sign on across Mediacorp digital properties, enabling personalization and customising more relevant content for our users.

We have started Bloomr.SG, a Mediacorp Creators Network, to nurture rising local content creators to be a part of a new force in the creative ecosystem, inspired by the spirit of innovation that Mediacorp is driven by.

We have also entered into an important partnership with SPH to launch a new programmatic advertising alliance, the Singapore Media Exchange, to create a new digital advertising marketplace using world-class programmatic solutions and offer brands access to a wide audience of consumers in Singapore.

There are many new initiatives on the horizon that we will be sharing with our audiences, clients and partners in the coming days.

With your wealth of experience in the digital sphere, what are your thoughts on social media’s role in driving the aforementioned changes?

Social media is an enabler. It helps companies expand their footprint and engage in meaningful conversations. It is also useful for bringing the right content to the right users. Having said that, this is still an evolving field as media companies continue to experiment with models to bring content to new users with social media and ensuring they get paid for creating content.

As Singapore’s national broadcaster, Mediacorp possesses a rich broadcast heritage. How has Mediacorp utilised its inherent strengths in its digital-first strategy today?

Storytelling is in our DNA and it permeates the core of whatever we do: whether it is breaking a news story on Channel NewsAsia online, introducing a new Toggle Original web series on Toggle first, setting up one of the largest creators network of Singapore or telling stories using a mix of offline and online (example: Channel 8 drama, Doppelgänger).

Considering how much emphasis is placed on digital-first initiatives, will traditional media platforms (e.g. print) be phased out eventually?

We don’t think of things as digital-first but believe that our audiences want their information, stories or even advertising messages across a range of mediums. While digital media is important and it is occupying a greater share of consumers’ media time, other mediums continue to remain strong as well. The average listenership on radio is still growing in Singapore. Free to Air TV continues to reach out to 3.2M viewers making it one of the most effective mass media.

In an ever-changing digital age, how can Mediacorp continue to remain relevant?

By ensuring that we fully understand where and how our audiences, clients and partners are investing their time and resources, so we can bring to them relevant content in the medium of their choice. I believe in the mantra: ‘Invest in New Technologies, Innovate on Existing Strengths’.

Keen to hear more from Parminder Singh? Join him at ConnecTechAsia Summit 2018! View the Summit Programme here. Delegates may register for the Summit here.

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