World Media Mentors: Nicky Owen, Credit Suisse | M&M Global
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World Media Mentors: Nicky Owen, Credit Suisse

In the first of a series of interviews with World Media Awards 2017 judges, Nicky Owen, advertising specialist at Credit Suisse, offers advice about making a content marketing campaigns truly international.


Nicky has nearly 20 years international brand strategy experience across advertising, media, research and innovation agencies, and is now working client side in the global brand team at Credit Suisse.

She has developed comms strategy for some of the biggest brands in the world including American Express, Vodafone, Dove, HSBC, Tate, Sony and Nestle. Nicky is also a non-exec board member of The Akram Khan Dance Company, one of the world’s leading contemporary dance companies and based at Sadlers Wells, and has an MBA from Nottingham University Business School.

1 – Why should agencies/advertisers enter the World Media Awards?

“Content is probably the most used word on briefs these days, but it can be quite a subjective area to sell in to stakeholders and prove its worth. A World Media Award win is acknowledgement of the effectiveness and the value of the activity from an organisation celebrating the best in this field.”

2 – What does great branded content look like?

“Great branded content is a result of clarity of purpose and appropriate connection with the intended audience to deliver the results that matter.”

3 – Are there any issues around ownership of branded content depending on who authored it?

“It is vital to clarify rights before any content is developed or commissioned. It can take time – in some cases a lot of time – to go through legal details when the temptation is to push to production and the more creative aspects, but it is the foundation for expectations further down the line.”

4 – How do you measure the ROI delivered by branded content campaigns?

“KPIs for us are around efficiency – number of (well targeted) people reading it from the audience we want to reach and length of time spent/completion rates to justify the costs involved. The number of shares is a testament to the quality and relevance of the piece. It is not always about high volumes – a handful of billionaires sharing our content with their friends could definitely represent success!”

5 – What are the biggest challenges in planning and implementing an international campaign across four or more international borders?

“Challenges usually come down to politics (personal agendas and reluctance to give control), processes (ambiguous responsibilities amongst involved parties) and practicalities (resources like time and sign off being more complex across multiple markets).”

6 – How difficult is it to find a content marketing idea that can translate across borders?

“Our audiences and the businesses they own or work for rarely exist within borders. Therefore the same topics of interest and ideas that resonate largely apply regardless of geography. There may be differences in how to distribute the content (particularly in terms of social platforms) and adapting for cultural or language differences but if responsibilities for delivery are clear then it is not a difficulty.”

7 – What made you want to pursue a career in media and marketing?

“It’s the perfect blend of science and data with creativity and ideas. What’s not to love?”

8 – Who is the best industry speaker you have seen?

“Bear Grylls, 15 years ago at a brand conference. He was not famous at the time and captivated a huge conference room with tales and photos of his perseverance and bravery – it was truly inspirational.”

9 – Favourite social media platform and why?

“WhatsApp. Photos, chat and organisation for my social, work and family lives in one stream – yet all separated and not aware of the others.”

10 – What is your favourite restaurant?

“The Breakfast Club before noon; Roka from noon onwards.”

11 – Which industry buzzword would you ban?

“Where do I start…?!”

12 – Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

“Older and wiser!”

Nicky is a Judge for the World Media Awards 2017 which are now open for entry. For more information and advice on how to enter, please visit

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