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MediaCorp’s CCO Jack Lim on the company’s big digital transformation

It’s not easy transforming an establishment like MediaCorp, but it’s certainly trying.

The past two years have seen many major changes at the organisation. While the firm chalked up staff turnover, across all levels from senior to junior, it also saw new blood come in.

Earlier this year, it also did a major re-organisation, segmenting its business by consumer groups: Family, News, Youth, Parents, Women, Men, Malay, Indian, Foodies, Learners, Live Entertainment and Premier.

Meanwhile, late last year, it also appointed Sony executive Jack Lim to head its commercial offerings, reporting to CEO Shaun Seow.

Seow says that the company’s new direction will be more “customer-centric”, and highly data-focused. He says the firm will become platform-agnostic, which is “drastically different from how any media company in the world currently operates.”

This saw the company hiring a whole inhouse data and analytics team, and hiring its first data scientist as well. MediaCorp’s data unit is now 12 in staff strength led by head of consumer insights and analytics Roger Moy. Moy was previously executive director of marketing analytics at UOB.

Lim says that this will be used to help the company identify new interests and consumer segments for MediaCorp. For example, working on internal content recommendation engines will now help the company to identify new areas of need which will help with business and product development. “We are now looking at new areas which were never of importance to us because we now have the data available,” said Lim.

One instance is how the company is finding that most of its users are interested in travel and living, a topic many look at before coming to MediaCorp’s online assets.

However, it is still early days for MediaCorp with digital – the share of revenues for digital are still low, with its broadcast offerings still pulling in bulk of the revenues.

Beyond establishing digital efforts, the toughest part is changing mindsets. Lim talks about how the company is currently looking internally to address pain points for the company.

“People are trying to make sense of the media business globally but no one has cracked the code,” said Lim. When asked if there were any particular business models the company is currently looking at, he said that there were currently none that were apparent.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty as we enter unfamiliar territory,” he said, but added that he hoped the changes would add new energy and enthusiasm.

 

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