When Zahra Media Group and eumom merged last year, we acquired a Board of Directors that help us to shape the vision and structure of our “new” company. We sat down with John Mullins (our CEO), Gina Miltiadou (our Managing Director), Annette Burns Young (eumom Executive Director) and Olive Fogarty (ZMG Board of Directors). In addition to asking about what they thought ZMG had in store for the future, we also asked why our company is well-suited to respond to the trends in the marketplace. Read on to see what they had to say…
Q: What are you most looking forward to this year for ZMG?
ABY: Putting into action the exciting ideas that we are planning across our company. Being part of a merger means that we have fresh eyes looking at the business, people and brands. New team formations can make magic happen.
GM: Rolling out our extended service and product offering to clients now that we have a bigger portfolio across the group, and enhancing our Parenting platform through content and the addition of innovative new products & services to our community.
OF: Continuing to integrate our teams, capabilities and ideas to drive new products, services & growth across the group.
Q: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from the merger last year?
OF: People make mergers work, not numbers or spreadsheets. Spending time with your new partners at the initial stages and getting to know each other really pays off in the long run.
GM: Take the time to create a shared vision from the outset and make sure that your values are truly aligned. Also, your people are key to a successful integration of teams. They will require a lot more reassurance than you may have anticipated.
JM: Due diligence is more than just numbers.
Q: When you think of ZMG, what is the one word that comes to mind?
ABY: Expertise. Our food division is comprised of food experts rather than media people. Our content agency grew out of our publishing expertise and benefits from our ability to engage with audiences. In our parenting division, our continual multiway engagement with mums across our numerous touch points ensures that we can expertly advise brands.
OF: Scale. 40+ people, 100+ clients, #1 in parenting and food platforms, 400,000 members & readers = infinite possibilities.
Q: What trends in the marketplace do you think ZMG is best suited to tackle?
GM: The importance of building communities and the desire for brands to connect with their customers in real life rather than just online.
JM: The need for targeted relevant content.
OF: Businesses today need to deliver both as a brand and as a media platform in order to win & hold share of market. This requires highly collaborative cross-functional teams to maintain this type of always-on brand engagement & content, and is not always easy to assemble or implement. At ZMG, this is how we work every day because we’re a publisher, a content developer, a community brand, an advertising platform and a marketing agency. We literally practice what we preach across our own brands, our advertising partners and our content marketing clients.
ABY: The growth of Irish-sourced ingredients, the joy of cooking and the way consumers want to be engaged are all trends that we’re seeing in the food sector. Most importantly, our focus on great content that has proven to engage consumers sets us apart from the other content providers that exist in the market.
Q: What is your favourite part of being involved with ZMG?
ABY: Working on brands that are meaningful and purposeful to their audiences and the teams that create them.
OF: The opportunities that our bigger, combined business can take advantage of, and the collective energy to go for it.
GM: Having seen it develop from the start and now seeing it poised for growth. It feels like we have done all of the training to make it to the Olympics and are now poised and ready with our feet in the starting blocks, ready to spring into action. It makes my heart race!
JM: The wealth of ideas and willingness to pursue new thinking and opportunities.