Behind the Screens: Meet Senior Product Manager Molly Osmon
Welcome back to ‘Behind the Screens’, a monthly blog series in which we introduce members of our Cox Media team. From coast to coast, there’s a lot of collaboration and behind-the-scenes efforts that go into each client relationship and campaign, and every person on our team of experts brings a unique background, perspective, and area of expertise. While we each have different day-to-day roles, we’re all working toward the same goal: to help our clients’ businesses succeed.
This month, I was joined by Senior Product Manager, Molly Osmon to talk a little about Cox Media’s product roadmap and what’s in store for the future.
Thank you for joining me today, Molly. Let’s kick it off with a little introduction for the readers.
My name is Molly Osmon. I have been with Cox Media for about three years and my role is Senior Product Manager on the Corporate Product Team.
My background is in marketing, but my expertise is focused on digital marketing. I’ve been in marketing for 10 years and specifically focused on digital for about 7 years. I’m originally from Mississippi but have lived in multiple places. I went to Ohio State for college and spent the first part of my career in Ohio. In the past, I’ve worked for an ad agency, in non-profit, a startup and then prior to coming to Cox, I spent about five years working for Victoria’s Secret on the digital and brand media team.
Over the last several years, Cox Media has added several products to our portfolio. Which would you say has really cemented Cox Media as a digital-first organization?
I would say TVE. The product was just being launched as I came into the organization back in 2018. We were in the final stages leading up to the internal product launch. So, I’ve kind of gotten to see the initial onboarding of that product into the organization over the last three years and then just seen the overall growth of TVE holistically. TVE has been the product with the most growth since I’ve been here and has been the most important product to our customers, especially with COVID. People are spending more time at home streaming content, and so naturally we’ve focused a lot on that product considering it’s importance.
So, you mentioned how COVID impacted the growth of TVE. Did COVID also increase the need to add more capabilities to our products set? Did it change our product roadmap at all?
I don’t think it changed the direction. I think it intensified the direction. Cox Media has been on a journey over the last few years to add new digital products and become a digital first business. This has been challenging, considering our traditional media roots. However, COVID really amplified this need. So as businesses shut down, they needed more opportunities and more ways to connect with people –virtually. Having a digital presence during that time was never so important to continue connecting with customers through channels like social media. Social media is actually one of those products that saw growth in 2020. Even as customers were reducing their marketing budgets overall, they were still investing in channels like Social Media and Paid Search. These are table stakes digital products that are critical to our customers. With this in mind, we knew that we had to continue to onboard more digital products and further our capabilities in this area.
How often are you evaluating the various capabilities that we have?
We’re doing that all the time. We’re constantly looking at new products, services, and meeting with potential partners in the industry. I feel like I meet with a new vendor once a week to see what’s out there in the marketplace. We also do a product roadmap every year, that looks one to three years out, but that road map is a living, breathing document. We’ve never stuck exactly to the roadmap since I’ve been here. We have always been flexible in terms of listening to the market and adapting accordingly. We are constantly evaluating what’s happening in the advertising industry and how we can better meet the needs of our customers.
What would you say is on your product “wish list”?
Well, the thing that I’m really focused on right now is marketing services. This is an area of our industry that we have tried to get into for a long time but haven’t been very successful at. Really this is about figuring out what additional services Cox Media should and can offer to our customers that may or may not be paid media. These services could include things like social media page management, content creation, and website development. These types of services require different expertise and different operating models. That is where my time is mostly focused at the moment, is understanding how we onboard new services like this into our portfolio.
If you could tell Cox Media’s clients and prospective clients one thing that we haven’t talked about yet, what would that be?
The one thing I would say about Cox Media is we’re deliberate and thoughtful about our decisions and that goes for any decision, but especially as it relates to bringing new products to the market. While we might be “slower” to launch something new, we’re really thoughtful about it. I think that’s why we’re such great partners to our advertisers. When we do launch something, we are very organized instead of rushing to market and making avoidable mistakes along the way.
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