Armonk, N. Y.-based radio media gency Hybrid Media Services is celebrating its 10th anniversa- ry in 2017. Recently, Response
caught up with Kevin Mannix, Hybrid’s
president, to chat about the first 10 years
of the business — and what he expects
in the future.
Q: What was the most memorable
moment of Hybrid Media Services’
first 10 years?
Kevin Mannix: The realization that the
premise and process we started with
was spot on. We believed that direct
response advertisers of all kinds — from
hardcore, direct-to-consumer, MER
(media efficiency ratio)-driven clients
to more brand-response driven, and
even B-to-B clients — would love our
strategic method of buying, tracking, and
optimizing their radio media. After the
first five years of perfecting our media
platform, and during the next five years,
we saw our staff more than double and
our billings nearly triple — and they’re
still growing each year.
Q: What have been the biggest
surprises during Hybrid’s history?
Mannix: In any business, there are
always unexpected road blocks and op-
portunities. But, all in all, the core of our
business model has unfolded exactly as
we had hoped and predicted. We simply
followed our plan and more than reached
our goals. The biggest surprises certainly
included the enormous growth of our
business based on word of mouth from
clients, as well as the longevity of clients
in a world where loyalty seems to be a
lost virtue. We are very excited to say
that we connect with clients on both an
ROI basis and a relationship level.
Q: What services is Hybrid
providing today that set it apart
from others in its space?
Mannix: For one — and this is a big one
in our business — we are full disclosure.
Every buy, every rate is presented to
each client as part of our model. How
else can you work to optimize and maximize any business’ marketing without
seeing exactly what’s working and not
working each week — and then turn
on a dime to make it better? At Hybrid
Media Services, we like to say that we
are “all things radio,” so as far as services go, all we do is radio. It’s not part
of a mix of other media services —it’s
all we do and we can handle any aspect
of it: local markets, network buys, host
endorsements, and satellite radio. Also,
no client ever works with only assistant
level employees. From senior management down, our clients receive hands-on
attention every day.
Q: What are the latest
developments at Hybrid that affect
the company’s outlook for the next
Mannix: There are several key aspects
we are focusing on: things like expanded
pre- and post-data analysis with new and
more robust reporting systems to help
optimize each client’s individual needs.
And of course, we stay on top of the latest in not only the emerging technology
of tools such as artificial intelligence in
digital radio, but also the entire landscape of radio media. From programmatic buying, through the growth in streaming media, including podcasting, we
don’t want to leave any opportunity or
client preference out. But, while growth
will continue and new services will be
added or expanded, our first priority will
always be to maintain the corporate culture and operational execution that has
made us successful.
Q: What changes in the marketing
world are affecting how Hybrid
Media Services is doing business?
Mannix: The linking of the entire marketing channel media mix is going to be
very important. Last-touch measurement
is too, of course, but more accurate total
media channel mix attribution is crucial.
Whether it’s an 800 number, URL, text, or
retail pull-through from TV, radio, print,
mobile, email, or social media, the linking
and true understanding of the holistic
media campaign response will be a natural evolution as marketers seek to harness the most accurate information new
technology now offers. With the evolution
of “closed-loop marketing” platforms,
marketers will benefit from less guessing
about what media spends are really working, and more precise accountability in
crossover media campaigns.
‘All Things Radio’
Hybrid Media Services’ Kevin Mannix says a laser focus on the
radio media environment has allowed the company to grow
powerfully during its first decade.
BY THOMAS HAIRE ( THAIRE@QUESTEX.COM)