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180 Seconds with Starcom's Donna Sharp

Welcome to InSkin Media Asia’s 180 seconds with… series.

Donna Sharp, Starcom MediaVest, Digital Business Director

What can we learn about some of the industry’s leading thinkers, in 180 seconds, the average dwell time on an InSkin Video?

Name Donna Sharp

Company Starcom MediaVest Group

Title Digital Business Director, Greater China

What do you do, tell us about yourself? I support a team of great people to deliver best-in-class experiences in a digital world.  With the Hong Kong market so saturated with mobile devices and pervasive access to all the content people would want, we continue to find ways to leverage this media touchpoint and emerging technology to solve our client’s business problems.  For me, that was a major reason to move to the HK market and this region after starting my career with SMG in Chicago.  For US marketing we were talking about what’s coming – but all those trends are already commonplace in Hong Kong.  The pace of consumers in this market is extremely fast, which is why our role is to move at that same speed including taking risks and trying new things on a regular basis to better understand what works and when things don’t to learn and move on.  It’s a great market to work in and made better by working with fun people who embrace the challenge to innovate.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the digital market in HK? There is no limit in the creativity in this market, where we need to develop is on the accountability. There is actually much more accountability available in the digital world with one to one tracking and real time grasp of campaign performance. I believe what we need is to catch up the rest of media to leverage digital technology to make all of our communications touchpoints more measurable.

Given your experience in China, what can the HK market learn and take from it? When I moved to China in 2012, I was surprised (and happy!) to see the very pragmatic approach to a lot of digital spending. Being the first market to really embrace standardized tracking (GRP / Reach / Frequency – the same as TV media) and look at using digital not just for innovation but foundational support of our marketing campaigns. This is something that can be embraced in HK more fully that digital is not an “emerging” media – it’s consumer’s primary screen and more intimate media, so we should be thinking about it that way too. It doesn’t mean TV is dead, just that we have to rethink the roles of media differently and that means digital is no longer a “nice to have”.

If there was one thing you could change in the media industry, what would it be? OT. There I said it. We have a lot of great people working very hard to make media magic for our clients. Yes, I’ve heard it “OT is part of the job” – but the more we think smartly about using technology solutions, the better we can be at using people for what they’re best at (insights, observations, creativity, big ideas) and machines for what they’re meant to do (calculate, estimate, optimize).

Tell us something about you that no one knows? I wrote and directed several theatre and musical productions in college – to this day I still use stage directing techniques sometimes when preparing for presentations and coaching teammates. Glad to put that passion to good use in another field!

  1. More about InSkin Video

  2. More about Starcom MediaVest

  3. Connect with Donna Sharp

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