My subjective and incomplete „takeaways worth sharing“ from DISummit 2015, Berlin, about topics like Media Transformation, Big/Smart Data,
Bait Paid Content, Programmatic Advertising, Industry 4.0 and Creativity as the driver of it all.
Conference language has been english, so is this contribution to my blog. I am not a native english speaker, so please apologize incorrect grammar – or take it as an entertainment 🙂
Media Business Transformation (and Growth)
There were several examples of media companies having made their switches from print-only based publishing houses to successful players in the digital world (EMAP UK, F+W content and ecommerce company, Harvard Business Review, Hearst Magazines International, TU.no, Elsevier, Sanoma, others). Here are some topics out of their recipe books:
- Embracing the inevitable change („change or die“)
- Implementing an „agile“ and „fail and learn“ enterprise culture „with a deadline“ („Forget. Borrow. Learn.“)
- Getting your team behind your vision (err, you will have to need one…)
- Building business models from the customers perspective („customer joy“, „be obsessed with the users“)
- Delivering mobile, mobile, mobile.
- Embracing latest commerce and advertising technologies („build your digital team“)
- Don´t throw out the baby with the bath water („we publish print for profit, digital for growth“)
- Using Social and Data for growth of relevant audiences („we were book- and magazine sellers and not into a community“)
- Using e-commerce as a strong revenue channel („OUR customers, not amazon´s, not the newsstands´“)
- Using Data to recognize new product- and service-opportunities
- Every business needs Sales Excellence
- Event is a double digit growing business and a great opportunity with community individuals and advertisers as well
- Being focussed: Kill outliers, akquire and/or build your Blue Ocean
I felt there was a generation change going on compared to former DIS events and particularly to german publisher conventions. Casual, no suits. Colors, no ties. Creativity, not conventions. And executives, who can judge the potential and risks of technologies by knwoledge, not hearsay or belief. Beneficial that, in my personal opinion. Nice anecdotic evidence: „We do not blog. We are to blog about.“ was the management announcement at Harvard Business Review some years ago. Today, HBR is successfully into many social media engagements, with prolific conversation with users: „social media is our new newsstand“.
B2B was formerly seen as the „poor cousin consumer media“. Interestingly enough, B2B is evolving strongly, helping their users/readers to go along successfully in their careers and giving them values for their daily professional lives – with great content, within social networks, with events, with online education, with „kits“ (combination of real goods and digital services).
New Media Job Descriptions
Yes, all the change and technology based evolution will bring layoff situations. But yes, there is an opportunity for new staff positions. These are the new jobs created at f+w media, and you can complete the list with the new jobs around digital advertising, data science, legal IP stuff, scrum managers and so on:
Digital Advertising, Programmatic, Data Driven Advertising, Advertising / Media Sales
Yes, digital advertising has the power to overtake print advertising (BBC Worldwide) that are data driven and that are using programmatic. No, we are not only talking about the Realtime Bidding process. We are talking about bespoke campaigns that are managed via platforms into the publishers´ inventory and the data tools to identify and to spot users and their interests within the publishers inventories. And yes, there is a vibrant sales staff needed – not only needed still, but needed badly, but with technology and digital skills to explain the new possibilities to advertisers: You will need them to maximize the yield and to increase your business.
Whenever you will think about „how to stop with giving away your best articles for free“ (Marten Blankesteijn, Blendle), it comes to paid content. As Kelly Leach (Piano Media) pointed out, it may be gainful to think more about optimizing the content business experience. In fact, print products are kind of limited because of all of the production and distribution processes it has to go through (Leach). On the other hand, there is a young audience with a willingness to pay – but on the go with a digital device (Blendle). In total, there were 5 representatives about paid content technology suppliers (Blendle, Piano Media, Readly, PressReader, CeleraOne) – and not to forget all the other suppliers not on stage like Tinypass, LaterPay and so on: Technology ist there, now. Proofs of success, too. O publisher, where art thou, they may ask.
The evolving ecosystem for media and news (by Google)
Thinking of paid content yes or no or the pros and cons of unbundling your issue´s content to standalone pieces reminds me of our visit to Google HQ, Mountain View CA, together with the german VDZ group of publishers. There we met Richard Gingras, Senior Director of News and Social Products, and he was telling the publishers they didn´t understand the ecosystem of the internet (see my related blog). In the face. In California, he was speaking free without script, and he was what you call charismatic. In Berlin, there was another Richard Gingras. He was delivering a sort of inciting speech, he seemed to be upset by anything, and the people I spoke about his track had no clue what he was talking about. He was still talking about that the traditional publisher does not understand the ecosystem of the internet. He was talking about the aggregation of press articles within Google News, which is free and without ads and is bringing traffic and business to publishers in billions. He stressed the need to preserve the internet as a FREE internet (and not regulated, or, god forbid, handicapped by an ancillary copyright like the VDZ-supported Leistungsschutzrecht). He was not speaking free, he read a manuscript from a Google tablet device. Maybe that all or his sojourn in the EU area with its ambitions concerning a Google monopoly and antitrust law or something else, charismatic Richard Gingras looked like an angry old man this evening.
Innovation, 3rd Industry Revolution, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things. And: Creativity.
Also, there have been entertaining, feuilleton-like presentations. Shane Wall, CTO Hewlett-Packard, predicted the blending of physicals within technology within the next 3-5 years, which might lead us to technology getting embedded into our bodies. This being anticipated or not, the internet of things will be the internet of ALL things, creating a network of humans, machines and particular parts and devices around us whereever we may be. One of the major thrills will be the 3D printing revolution that will allow consumers to get anything physical, from clothes to mechanical spare parts, at any place, turning raw material to goods without all processes and distribution-chains in between. Retail watch out.
The power of creative individuals, teams and ambience has been pointed out by Phil Thomas, CEO Cannes Lion Festivals, and Justin Ferrell, Fellowships Director at Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. Creativity is everywhere and creativity is driving all. You have to let it happen and you have to support it in your enterprise and teams – but it is likely you have to disrupt your own products/services or your own enterprise. When creativity, which is nothing else then expression, will be combined with simplicity, data insights and technology, this will be at the heart of great communications, according to Phil Thomas.
Mobile / Millennials
Mobile is more than another channel or another kind of device. Mobile is the culture of the digital natives. Mobile is the future of work and creativity. And mobile is the new publishing. As we can experience: Any content that is not optimized for mobile sucks if we really need or want it NOW. When it comes to advertising, display ads or Google Adwords won´t work on a mobile – storytelling and native advertising will replace them: Video will be the dominant mode, native advertising will be the dominant vehicle, programmatic will be the dominate buying method, data will dominate decisions. There you go.
John Avlon, Editor in Chief at The Daily Beast, delivered insights into mindset and media consumption behaviour. Although news content may be seen as „bitter medicine“ when it comes to content for millennials, 75% of them say it´s important to be informed about current affairs, 60% of them rely on social media to keep up with that news – and they have a „highly defined bullshit detector“ 🙂 In another track, Marten Blankesteijn / Blendle said that there is a willingness to pay for distinctive magazine content, if the purchase would be available and convenient, just like iTunes is there today for music, where illegal and risky sharing was before.
Big Data / Smart Data
The CERN in Geneva is processing 1 Petabyte per second to find out about the big bang theory. Have an idea what a Petabyte is? If one bit will be one leave of a tree, a Petabyte will be all leaves of all trees of the planet. This is surely not the amount of data a newspaper usage or buzz is generating, but media is surely not god´s big bang on the other hand. And in a dead trees business, will there be any leaves left? 😉 All jokes aside:
Is Big Data Bullshit? Yes, according to Lutz Finger (LinkedIn), if you do not ask the right questions, or if you do not measure the right data (Read his book). „The problem of the media industry is not the data. Whats missing is how to tell the questions“. Using Big Data as a gathering of dispersed data, it may lead you from benchmarking to prediction, and there were other speakers that left no doubt about the prolific opportunities Big Data can deliver, in advertising business, e-commerce, distribution, editorial or becoming viewable to the relevant audience. If you ask the right questions and Big Data Tools give you feasible answers AND you can reproduce this automatically, you will have a Big Data product.
But there are skills and employer roles to be filled. You will need a Data Scientist which is a different one to the BI Analyst, which is needed also. You will need Engineers, you will need Product Managers. They all have to have communication skills and domain knowledge. They will find out then, which data method will be useful to address users in media fragmentation: Probabilistic or deterministic oder log-in-based method.
Then you will be able to get from averages to individuals. Or from the marketing of someness to the marketing of differentness. Or getting close to the objective to have „unique 1st party consumer data“ – which you might like to be linked to your CRM-system or better not because of protection and data privacy? Think twice, says Paul Lee (ecuiti.com). According to Paul it is good to have personalised small data in your CRM and, separately, anonymous big data. Because there would be no need to have personalised big data, because of legal risks on the one hand and the possibility to get your predictive clues out of anonymous big data, too, on the other hand.
The DISummit 2015 was a very good roundup of hip and hot innovative and technologic topics with relevance to the media business to me – and due to the many parallel track sessions I had not the chance to see all of the presentations. It was worth the time and the money to me and I want to speak out respect for conducting such a big event to Alexander von Reibnitz and the staffs at VDZ, FIPP, EMMA and emediaSF, Beate and Ray.
And a big thanks goes to all who retweeted my posts and to my new Twitter followers @HMUE!
On behalf of myself:
At muellerPrange, we are supplying the media industry with „best of breed“ software tools around CRM, Advertising Sales, Advertising Opportunity Radar by Smart Data, Order Management in the crossmedia world. At mROBOTA, we are offering these solutions as cloudbased Software as a Service and, additionally, we offer an outsourced ad order management (print and digital) under the brand DispoQueen as a „shared service center“.
Good reads, by the way:
- The Zero Marginal Costs Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin.
- Who Owns The Future? By Jaron Lanier.
- Silicon Valley: Was aus dem mächtigsten Tal der Welt auf uns zukommt von Axel Springers Christoph Keese (deutsch).