Q&A with Jackie McGuigan

Marketing Director, Reach Scotland (Digital Day Joint Headline Sponsor)

This is the fourth year Reach have supported Digital Day (thank you!)
Why is it important for you to be part of this and champion digital best practice in marketing?

Our business has experienced exponential digital growth over the last few years.

From a Scottish perspective the Daily Record has 61 million page views every month and we have seen a 57% increase in users year in year.

Our portfolio of newsbrands including the Daily Record, Sunday Mail and The Express reach 80% of the UK’s digital audience every month. We are marketing our content to consumers every day through various platforms, so understanding what’s happening in the digital marketing landscape is important to us.

You are the largest national and regional news publisher in the UK. How are you seeing consumers change their approach to accessing news and how is Reach responding to this?

Having masses of real-time data at our fingertips allows us to get our content out in the right platform at the right time to deliver a better customer experience. Whether we are being read on a mobile app, opened in a newsletter or being read on a social media forum, we ensure our content’s in the right environment.  It means that our customers stay longer and read more. This forges lasting relationships so they come back time and time again.

Purpose and social virtue are more important than ever to consumers. How do you think Brands can gain the trust and respect of customers?

Brands need to be honest, transparent and accessible – as well as delivering what they promise.

In your recent white paper ‘why we shouldn’t trust our gut instinct’ you found that 48% of the agencies sampled identified as left wing compared to 28% of the modern mainstream. As marketers, how do we fully relate and understand our consumers without ‘over-assuming’?

We need to dispense with assumption that we are naturally good at empathising with mainstream audiences. We are only human, and we suffer from biases like everyone else. Confirmation bias is strong and as people working in advertising and marketing, our biases are bound up with group belonging. 

It is very difficult to associate ourselves with any message or media that challenges our identity. But to build empathy we need to slow down. Perspective taking is crucial to identifying relevant communication strategies. We don’t need to feel the same as the mainstream. But we do need the courage to understand and connect more deeply with them. 

Do you think there are any benefits we will take from the Covid-19 crisis?

The Covid crisis has cemented the importance of newsbrands. The record audiences show that in times of crisis, people turn to what they know and what they trust. Our regional and national brands are at the heart of communities and we are proud of the role we are playing in such a challenging time.

On a personal note, where do you seek inspiration?

Working within a news room environment. Listening to the schedules of breaking news, what’s trending, the real-life issues of every day Scots that brands like the Daily Record give a voice to inspires me.

Join us at Digital Day 2020 on September 2 - sign up now!