Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A road map for media companies

How do you come to terms with everything going on in the media/publishing landscape? How do you prioritise? Which hot cake do you queue for?
To be honest, at the moment I feel more like it's a question of 'which horse do you back?' No surprise then that the strategy for survival involves a bit of spread-betting by many.
Anyway, for what it's worth - and in the hope that this may stimulate a bit of thinking, here's my road map for media companies. It's a bit 'drawn from memory' and doesn't include all the landmarks, but it's a start.
Please do challenge it every step of the way!
This is not a long term plan - but one that has to be delivered extremely swiftly. Remember, we are in a world where being six months later than the innovator (Google Video vs YouTube) costs £900m within 12 months. (see Post on October 10)

The Road Map.

1. Depending on your market, understanding Generation C may have to be step one.
I hear a lot people say 'but do you think our market's ready for this? Personally, I think it's a poor strategy that only deals with where you think your market is today. To be honest, where ever you think you are today, it is probably behind where your market has already gone.
2. Engage with yourselves.
I mean within your company. If you can't crack this how well do you think you're going to manage when you go external?
3. Employ a team of full time developers:
Sorry that probably sounds a bit boringly pragmatic. But being able to develop new stuff and deploy new digital ideas quickly is now every bit as important as having staff to write content or designers to create pages. And there is just as much of an ongoing, every day need for them. And I'd prefer our ideas were fed direct to them, face to face.
4. Start a revolution in your ad teams.
We have to become expert in engagement marketing tools before our customers do. Consider the 'revolution in marketing skills'.
5. Establish 4-C platforms/communities. Hey - it's as simple as that. Well ok it ain't, but it's being done very regularly and we should be doing it too. More 4C stuff here.
6. Find your Alpha Users and engage directly with them.
7. Develop some new measures of digital success - are page impressions, visitor numbers or even market share important? Is quality of relationship with community of higher value in the long run - and how do you measure that - perhaps this one needs a discussion all of its own...

er... that'll probably do for now. What do you think? The above is there as a conversation piece. If it makes you think something - post it below. If it makes you do something - tell us how it went!

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?