Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to Zenith Melbourne managing director Megan Kay.

Time at the company:
Four and a half years at Zenith, MD effective 2020.

How would you describe what the company does?
We partner with our clients to achieve marketing-led business growth.

What do you do day-to-day?
Curate and develop the best high-performing talent, tech and tools for our clients.

Define your job in one word:
A rollercoaster.

I got into advertising because:
I couldn’t decide between studying marketing, journalism or PR and then I saw a two-year advertising course and thought – yep, I’ll fast track my way into the workforce.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Right now it’s COVID-19. Protecting the jobs of my staff and helping our clients navigate the road to recovery.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Staff churn. As an industry, we are notorious for burning out some of our best and brightest media talent. It saddens me to have media specialists regularly depart our industry because we are not providing either the flexibility or the culture that high performing talent requires. At Zenith Melbourne, we have been very focused on developing and retaining our high performing talent, and it is working, with our latest 12 month churn results at a low 5.3%, compared to the industry average of 27.2%.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

Leeds Media, AIS Media, Starcom, Fairfax Radio Monitoring, NewsLifeMedia, Havas Media, Huckleberry.

Notable campaigns you have worked on:
We recently partnered with Lego Masters for Honda. To extend the three-week broadcast sponsorship, we commissioned the show’s popular judge, Brickman, to create a life sized Honda Civic Type-R (made from 320,000 Lego bricks, taking over 1,300 hours to build). A national roadshow of the car extended the life of the partnership beyond the screen and pulled into the real world, extending the campaign and consumer engagement by an additional nine months.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
I have always been lucky in my career to have strong and successful women around me that have all impacted the way I operate today. Anne-Maree Frost, who I first met when she was general manager of Leeds Media, was always a driving force in my career, from the moment she interviewed me back in 1992, through to when we worked together at AIS Media and Starcom. She always ensured I never lost sight of what was important and propelled me forward when neither of us knew if I was ready. I am proud to still call her a friend all these years later.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Value and nurture your industry relationships above all else. Also, you need to have a passion for learning something new Every. Single. Day. Our industry never stops evolving, so neither should we.

If I wasn’t doing this for a living, I’d be:
Travel blogger.

My mantra is:
Dreams only work if you do.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?

We are a household of five, which is no excuse for the over-the-top amount of subscription services – Disney+, Netflix, Kayo, Foxtel GO, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+ and Spotify Premium. Recently cancelled Stan and Hayu – but the cull needs to continue.

Have just finished Season 2 of After Life with Ricky Gervais – laughed and cried at the same time. I listen to The Catch and Kill podcast by Ronan Farrow, while walking the dogs.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I can roller-skate backwards.

In five years’ time I’ll be:
Hopefully achieving the mystical work/life balance.

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