How did Sky Media chief Ralf Hape react to the marketing attack by Netflix & Co.: kress.de

kress.de: Mr. Hape, turbulent times lately have given the entire TV and video industry a huge boost in interest and reach. How far has your company actually been able to capitalize on this and how successful is advertising on Sky now selling itself?

Ralph Heep: I like it almost in and of itself – I would say: our product is in keeping with the times and we have good momentum. At times like these, many people yearn for the opportunity to dive into other worlds. That’s exactly what we offer with a wide range of content, whether it’s blockbuster movies, captivating documentaries, countless great series including Sky Originals or exciting live sports. Everyone will find their favorite content here. It is particularly pleasing to see that the spurt of growth in the use of video on demand is sustainable.

“Basically, I think a VOD cake is still baked and it’s going to be big enough for all of us.”

kress.de: Broadcasting has taken root as a normal issue in society. How much does the weight in the market change when heavyweights like Netflix now enter into ad sales?

Ralph Heep: Basically, I think a VOD cake is still baked and would be big enough for all of us. We followed with great interest the announcement of other market participants about their openness to the subject of the advertisement. It is clear that media use is changing drastically at the moment and some target groups only move very selectively in linear television. Every partner supports our quest to provide advertisers with the opportunity to reach their target audience in this new world of VOD advertising helping the Total Video cause.

“It’s a huge advantage that we know our viewers so well. We know what drives them, what they want and how they interact with ads.”

kress.deAs an advertiser, the range of possible uses of budgets has increased significantly. What aces can Sky still play?

Ralph Heep: Sure, the range is constantly growing, everything is becoming more differentiated and fragmented. Keeping track of things here can quickly become a challenge. This is exactly what we at Sky Media come to: With our portfolio, we’ve been in principle living the new way of using media for a long time. We have extensive experience in video on demand marketing. It’s also a big plus that we know our viewers so well. We know what drives them, what they want, and how they interact with ads. We integrate all this knowledge into the advertising products so that our partners can achieve their specific goals as easily and as effectively as possible. Incidentally, very close cooperation with colleagues from other countries also helps us here. In some areas, these markets are already a little further away. One likes to look across the English Channel or the Atlantic Ocean.

kress.deYour company is currently beating the drums hard for so-called single campaign approaches. What exactly do you have to imagine?

Ralph Heep: Our goal is to put together a simple “carefree package” for the advertising market. One campaign contributes 100% of this idea. In short: We sell guaranteed and effective contacts at a pre-set price. No matter where, when and how viewers view the content, one thing is guaranteed: we will reach them and our advertising partner’s message will be executed accurately.

kress.de: Where are the incentives for customers, but also for marketing partners and agents?

Ralph HeepThe incentive is to combine guaranteed performance with a guaranteed price only in high-quality environments. Everything can also be reserved for advertisers with little effort.

kress.de: In the past, your many years of experience in managing subscriptions, and thus your close knowledge and seamless customer loyalty, were always viewed with envy by many competitors. How well can you actually run customer data for a marketing business?

Ralph HeepIn fact, we know very well who our viewers are, what makes them define, what they want, what they don’t want and what they expect. It is a very extensive database that we keep enriching with third party data. This allows us to act very accurately and effectively. The advertising industry can use this knowledge via AdSmart to accurately position its message on digital devices.

kress.de: Almost all media companies have recently ramped up their commitment to the subscription business. How mild can you smile at these market trends, and what can be learned from Sky’s volatile but consistent experience?

Ralph Heep: The following applies here: Dialogue is important. Only if you listen carefully to your customers can you develop products and launch new products that perfectly meet the demands of the viewer. I think Sky has learned to listen – and then put customer feedback into action. With products like the current WOW or the future Sky Glass, we give you exactly what you want from us.

“I keep asking myself the question before every task that is perhaps the most difficult in the team: How would I wish my manager would have acted?”

kress.de: If you look back at your previous professional positions, both permanent and freelance: which positions have shaped you most for your current tasks?

Ralph Heep: In fact, every stop in my career has contributed to me being able to develop in the way I have. Looking back, I don’t want to change anything. Frankly, there was no specific position. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself and in your leadership role, take the time to think. I keep asking myself the question before every possibly more difficult task on the team: How would I wish my manager would have acted?

kress.de: At some point it should be the end of the day: How do you charge your batteries yourself?

Ralph Heep: As an early riser, I usually start the day outside with a short walk, followed by a cup of coffee to get my thoughts wandering. It makes me feel way ahead of the world and watching it wake up – and it gives me strength for the day. I am also an absolute fan of travel. Whenever I can, I’m on the road to collecting new impressions and discovering new places.

kress.de: What gives you the best ideas?

Ralph Heep: Completely different things in different places. There is no one place to brainstorm with me. When I think about it, it often happens that—just like the classic in the shower—I had a flash or another of inspiration while brushing my teeth.

kress.de: You are running a Kresskopf profile. How important is communication to you?

Ralph Heep: I simply enjoy exchanging ideas with people. In this regard, it was never a targeted business decision to build a large network. It has evolved normally. However, the world of media in particular is and will continue to be a human business. Therefore, communication is important and it is good to see how the paths intersect again and again.

kress.de: What news and professional inspiration do you get from reading kress.de and kress pro?

Ralph Heep: For me, kress.de and kress pro are required for reading. The mix of topics and how they present them gives me a good overview of what is happening in the industry.

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