Q&A with Anouk Bondroit, Managing Director, Vizeum MENA

February 8, 2017

Anouk Bondroit, Managing Director – Vizeum MENA, has over 12 years of solid media experience in client servicing and business development roles across the Middle East. Prior to launching Vizeum to market in MENA in 2012, Anouk held various senior positions within Dentsu Aegis Network. She is now responsible for leading and delivering commercial and operational excellence for Vizeum across the region, delivering Connections that Count for clients. Prior to joining the network, Anouk had worked with leading media agencies such as Starcom, Zenith Optimedia and PHD with local and regional responsibilities across major global clients from various categories such as FMCG, automotive, airline, and luxury.

Q: Why should agencies enter the World Media Awards?
Anouk: First of all it’s great PR of an agency’s credentials, demonstrating that they’re not just talking about it, but creating great real time cases across key, strategic clients. Also it showcases an agency’s edge / USP compared to the competition.

We will want to showcase our consumer centric planning capabilities and ROI- led campaigns, showing the direct impact of sales through our media campaigns combined with strong storytelling to make brands more relevant and ‘’loveable’’.

Q: What will make a winning entry?
Anouk: There are five essential components : Storytelling ; unique (consumer) insight ; 360 degreeexecution of a campaign across both owned and earned media ; ROI : branded content that is ‘’meaningful’’ i.e. the less overtly commercial, the better

Q: Why should brands use branded content?
Anouk: From our region’s perspective, localised branded content is hugely popular and delivering much better in terms of engagement across our campaigns than even global content assets. So, it will be interesting to see who managed to create local/relevant branded content

Q: What are the challenges and opportunities of integrating branded content across different platforms – from print to video, from mobile to TV?
Anouk: You need to have clear client agreement that says digital can lead the comms strategy,whereby branded content (online) can be diffused across traditional media and not the other way around. This also means that advertisers need to have a unified communication messaging strategy across all platforms to deliver on the same.

Q: Do content-driven communications work better for brands in some industry sectors than others?
Anouk: Yes, across some of our categories such as sports retail / luxury, we have noticed higher engagement levels when we have branded content comms.

Q: What should clients look for in a native advertising/branded content proposal? And what should they look for in the team who will be delivering it?
Anouk: Content needs to be adapted to the format in which it will be displayed and always linked back to the campaign objectives. I.e. if we use native advertising, what do we want to ultimately deliver and can the creative deliver on this objective?

Q: How do you measure the ROI delivered by branded content campaigns? E.g. What KPIs should be measured? Is 2 seconds of video content really enough in terms of viewability?
Anouk: The KPI s we mainly use are CPCV(cost per completed view) and reach. Across our key clients, we mainly use Google brand uplift studies to understand if Brand KPIs have been improved during and post our campaign. We did notice across our region that shorter videos are getting higher engagement, especially against our millennial audience vs. young adults. When it comes to viewability, we still need longer copy durations than 2’’ as 2’’ is very tight to deliver a compelling brand message.

Q: What are the biggest challenges in planning and implementing an international campaign across four or more international borders?
Anouk: We usually recommend having a mix of global and local assets if budget permits.

Q: What distinguishes the ‘international’ target audience from the UK – and how granular can you be in your media targeting?
Anouk: For our region, we always use insight company CCS to identify our ‘’local’’ audience as this can be quite different to ‘’UK’’ audience as the region’s dynamics are very different

Q: How difficult is it to reflect the style and quality of a publication with native content – especially when creating international campaigns? Are many advertisers achieving quality journalistic standards?
Anouk: The bar has been raised in terms of style and quality and native content is becoming much more as per ‘’international’’ standards

Q: How do you balance what needs to be carried out from head office and what needs to be carried out locally in international content campaigns?
Anouk: It depends if there are global mandates on the usage of global assets. Usually we recommend having an optimal balance between using the global assets and –if budget permits – also creating local ones.

Q: What is the role of media in helping to execute ideas internationally?
Anouk: Ideally media is part of the idea creation, so the execution will flow from it easily

Q: Summarise yourself in three words.
Anouk: Go-getter, team-player, unstoppable

Q: What made you want to pursue a career in media and marketing?
Anouk: I have always been fascinated by the world of media and marketing; it is an aspirational industry which suits my character. I also love its fast pace and the challenges that come from its constant evolution.

Q: Describe your ideal client.
Anouk: One that thinks of you as their ‘ partner in crime’