The Fishbowl: Joel Turner, 75Media

The Fishbowl: Joel Turner, 75Media

The Media Leader’s interview series asks the media industry’s top salespeople revealing questions, drawn from our fishbowl. The questions will be drawn at random and contain some tricky posers set by the commercial chiefs themselves.

This week is Joel Turner, commercial director at 75Media.

Joel Turner joined outdoor advertising company 75Media from 26 Digital Agency where he was commercial director for more than three years.

Prior to that he held roles at Epiphany Search, KickOff.co.uk, Blueclaw, Tinderbox Media, Nexnet PR, and Quest PR. He started his career at Yorkshire Post newspapers as a journalist.

What was your first paid job and why did you do it?

My first job was working for a land management company doing forestry and fencing. It was pretty gruelling physical work. More than anything it was about being occupied during the summer holidays and earning some money along the way. The job was pretty varied and I learnt some new skills along the way, plus I got to drive a quad at times — which was very pleasing to a teenage me!

**Peer question** Who would you say had the most influence in your media sales career? and why?

I’m relatively new into media sales and actually started my career as a journalist. I then moved into PR and digital marketing — undertaking various roles including operations in a search agency and running a digital studio — before finally working in a commercial role within an agency.

This is might first media owner role, but I’ve always had an interest in OOH and a desire to get involved in the market.

All my varying experiences and the people I’ve met have shaped my career and outlook — with too many to mention individually.

** Question from Jean-Philippe Amos, managing director EMEA & global brand partnerships Mediabridge.

What one thing would you change when dealing with media agencies?

I’ve been on both sides of the wall, so can appreciate an agency’s perspective. I think overall it would be great to see agencies be more open-minded in their mix of media investment and not ‘follow’ industry trends at all times.

There is a lot of value in exploring different media and doing the opposite at times. I think overall, as an industry we can be a bit lazy in doing the same things, time and again. I’d also like it if we spent more time in partnership, and individually, educating customers on our medium — what they are buying, and why. Overall, we need to encourage brands to think more outside of the duopoly of Meta and Google.

If you could learn any new skill from scratch, what would it be?

I should have learnt more languages when younger, when it’s far easier!

**Peer question** Would you recommend your son, daughter, or another young person in your life to get a job in media and why?

Yes, I think media is a great industry to be in if you embrace the variety of opportunity on offer. I read some advice recently that highlighted, in effect, you always work for yourself. I think the media industry is great if you consider that to be the case. Doors will open very quickly if you’re good, but you also can’t be afraid to make the right moves and be in control of your own destiny.

** Question from Clare Turner, sales director at Pearl & Dean.

What key thing has changed in conversations with clients this year compared to last year?

I’ve had a variety of different conversations in the past year as I’ve moved from agency to media owner side. I think overall the UK economy is quite stagnant and there is bit of disillusionment with digital channels.

Everything has its place in the mix, but I think brand-building hasn’t had the focus it perhaps should have because the pandemic meant ecommerce demand grew hugely overnight.

Now that demand has stabilised there is a growing awareness that brands need to build that demand over the short and long-term, and in a lot of instances digital isn’t the best way to do so.

**Peer question** What (if anything) keeps you awake at night?

We are UK’s fastest growing billboard network so there are a lot of exciting challenges that crop-up day-to-day and plenty to think about.

My overall concern is growing the market in the UK though — I’d love it for OOH to break out and be more than 5% of adspend.

**Question from Ed Couchman, now Spotify head of sales for UK and Northern Europe.

What’s your favourite ad of all-time (specific to your sector)?

For me outdoor advertising is the ultimate expression of brand creative. Succinct copy and creative really distil down the essence of a brand or campaign. As a result there are so many great creative examples.

I admire how McDonalds use OOH in such a consistently effective manner.

What is one of your greatest achievements?

I’ve undertaken a couple of agency rebrands, which is always a challenging process!

But I think overall being in such an exciting role in an industry that is experiencing growth and on the cusp of significant change is a great place to be. Too often we don’t take stock of what we’ve achieved, but to use the experience I’ve accumulated to work in this role is big milestone in my career.

If you could have any job in the world (other than what you do now), what would you do?

This is a difficult one — I’m a fan of being outdoors, so in another life I would have quite enjoyed landscape gardening or similar.

Read more Fishbowl interviews here and see what media’s top salespeople say about working in the industry and what concerns their clients. To suggest an interviewee, contact ella.sagar@uk.adwanted.com.

Adwanted UK is the trusted delivery partner for three essential services which deliver accountability, standardisation, and audience data for the out-of-home industry. Playout is Outsmart’s new system to centralise and standardise playout reporting data across all outdoor media owners in the UK. SPACE is the industry’s comprehensive inventory database delivered through a collaboration between IPAO and Outsmart. The RouteAPI is a SaaS solution which delivers the ooh industry’s audience data quickly and simply into clients’ systems. Contact us for more information on SPACE, J-ET, Audiotrack or our data engines.

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