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Social Media and UGC

[Interview] Shaun Joiner: Chief Product Officer, Perform Media

Our CEO, Kyle Wong, recently wrote a piece in Forbes about why Digital Marketers have the most entrepreneurial jobs in marketing. This week we sat down with Shaun Koiner, the Chief Product Officer at Perform Media, to learn more about how he created an innovative multi-platform digital sports solution that enables advertisers to deliver impactful digital programming around major events.

1) Can you tell us a little about your background and current role at Perform Media?

I currently serve as the Chief Product Officer at Perform Media with a focus against all of our strategic, global products and properties. Those products include Sporting News, Goal, ePlayer (#1 sports video property in the US), Spox, Sportal.au, Voetbalzone and the syndication of Opta, our worldwide sports data proposition.

Prior to that role, I served at Chief Product Officer or Sporting News Media with oversight over both product and editorial. Throughout that time, my goal has been to create innovative multi-platform digital sports solutions geared toward the avid sports fan that enable advertisers to deliver impactful digital programming around major events. I’ve also driven strategic partnerships with Apple, Facebook, Twitter and other industry leaders that specifically help steward the Sporting News transition to a fully comprehensive, digital brand. Prior to Perform Media and Sporting News Media, I worked at Yahoo!, Citizen Sports, and Sports Illustrated with a heavy focus against digital marketing, business development, and product.

2) How do you deliver digital programming around major/current events and seasons?

Speaking from a Sporting News specific perspective, we understand that there is a lot of content, and a lot of noise surrounding sports in general and particularly around big events. Our mission at SN is to evolve the sports conversation through unique and informed content that at the most baseline level is…interesting. We want to provide insight/additional context, be distinctive, have a voice, and have fun – it’s sports. We also want to do it with a singular, but 360 approach to digital, meaning we’ll provide written commentary, a wide depth of video insights and highlights, curated social content, and interesting data that takes you beyond the score.

3) How has the newfound power of your consumers' voice (user-generated content) impacted your marketing strategy?

Well, as our Deputy of Content (Chris Littmann) has often said – readers tell you what their interested in by reading and sharing it. That’s even easier to figure out today with different real-time analytical tools and aggressive approach to social.

We, like many publishers, understand the power of social media and without a doubt serve those specific on-platform audiences given the amplified reach they can provide. Specifically, serving (really, driving) trending topics on Facebook has been a huge growth area for us, something that’s evolving with their video and now Messenger platforms. We have to be nimble and open to understand how we can leverage these existing and new platforms to grow our audience and keep our existing one engaged. Given the targeting we can do on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, two of the largest places to hear the consumers’ voice, they are at the heart of our overall marketing strategy. We need to be present everywhere our readers are.

4) What advice would you give to other digital marketers facing similar challenges?

I think one of the best things I’ve read recently is an interview with Heart President David Carey on Digiday where he said, “we’re a content company with a platform mentality.”

That mentality allows you to focus on a large scale while also being able to continue to build experiences on your owned-and-operated platforms while taking advantages of content distributors like SnapChat and Pinterest.

In addition, you can’t be everything to everybody. Knowing what you do well on the whole, or even for us in a particular sport, and going hard at that, creating your differentiation will allow you to scale rather than trying to cover the world. To the extent that you can, try to take a leap at creating an expertise at the next big thing. Competitors beat you to Facebook and Pinterest? Consider if figuring our how Meerkat or Periscope will work for you consumers may be worth discussion. Taking, and obviously hitting, on a bet will drive interest from both the consumer and advertising community. Lastly, there are so many ways a user can get to any page on your site/platform. You have to take advantage of users on that experience alone to either drive further consumption or provide enough value that they are incentivized to come back… and do it, while thinking mobile first.

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