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What digital news trends mean for specialist media businesses

Sunday, August 19th, 2018
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The annual Digital News Report by the Reuters Institute for the study of journalism (RISJ) is a comprehensive look at trends in online news across the world. Whilst news itself is a specific discipline, I have found that people’s behaviour in consuming digital news content provides clues for future trends that will affect all media businesses. To save you reading the full 144 page report, these are my main insights for specialist publishers planning their digital strategy.

 

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, technology

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Seven insights for digital publishers

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018
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Future grows ecommerce revenue

New ideas for digital publishers were shared at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in June, with speakers from traditional and digital startup publishers, agencies, brands and broadcasters sharing their latest experiences. I moderated the first day of the summit, and these were my seven top insights for ambitious digital publishers. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, commerce, consumer, content, marketing, technology

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Free to paid: 7 questions before you set up paid digital subscriptions

Monday, May 28th, 2018
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Subscription packages

Niche B2B publishers are now considering paid digital subscriptions after years of a free online, wholly ad funded model. In the last two years I have had many conversations with independent publishers, some with print publications, others now digital only, about setting up paid subscriptions for their online content.

Of course each market and title has its own idiosyncrasies, but here are the broad questions to consider If you are planning such a move for your media brand. (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, content, marketing

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Will publishers still provide value to advertisers in future?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
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How will publishers provide value to advertisers in future?

As B2B marketing becomes more targeted, and marketers focus on creating their own content and generating and nurturing leads, do they really need traditional media brands? What exactly is the role that a publication plays for marketers and advertisers, whether in print, digital or live formats?

At the Marketing in Maritime conference last month I chaired a panel of established print and start-up digital media owners, plus a major advertiser to explore this issue. The conversation raised some interesting questions for both B2B media owners and B2B marketers about how they can work together which I believe are applicable to all markets. These were the main themes:

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Posted in b2b, marketing, news

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Five future tech trends that media businesses need to watch

Friday, April 13th, 2018
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Alexa News skills

Technology developments that only recently felt in the realms of science fiction: such as voice and visual search, AI and blockchain are now being explored by innovative digital media businesses.

At the Digital Innovators Summit in Berlin in March, some mind blowing concepts were shared, and the audience of publishers realised that they needed to do some more research.

These are five technologies that you need to watch… (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, technology

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Seven new digital business models for media owners

Thursday, April 12th, 2018
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Future plc revenue sources

Publishers are exploring a range of new business models to reduce their reliance on advertising, grow digital revenues and develop multiple revenue sources. Some are focussing on subscriptions and other premium paid services, others exploring e-commerce and affiliates, or reinventing their approach to advertising.

Below are seven approaches to new digital business models with examples from the speakers at the Digital Innovators Summit in Berlin:

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, commerce, consumer, content, technology

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The new digital storytelling rules: how journalism is changing

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018
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Atomised content for multiple platforms

Digital storytelling is different to traditional print journalism. As mobile becomes the default device and visuals beat text, journalism is changing. Navigation is based on tap and swipe, video commands attention, graphics and quotes communicate better than copy. Distribution on third party platforms is essential to reach an audience. We are drowning in data on user behaviour, and only just grasping how to understand what it is telling us. Most publishers are aspiring to build paid subscriptions to reduce dependence on advertising revenues.

So how are publishers and journalists adapting their editorial craft for digital media? There were plenty of smart ideas available at the FIPP/VDZ Digital Innovators Summit in Berlin – here’s my top four themes. (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, technology

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How should publishers engage with social platforms?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018
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Economist on Snapchat

Facebook and their ilk have become an important part of digital content distribution and promotion. But how should publishers navigate the minefield of tech giants and social platforms to reach a global audience without losing direct contact with their readers, or losing control of their data? There was plenty of debate at the FIPP/VDZ Digital Innovators Summit in Berlin about social strategies; in this article I have summarised what seems to be working on both sides of the Atlantic. (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, marketing, technology

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New thinking on Digital Subscriptions: 8 successful strategies

Thursday, March 29th, 2018
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Digital subs mobile options

Digital subscriptions for online content have maybe just reached the tipping point.  Free content, ad-funded business models are struggling, and traditional print publishers are now focussing on building a compelling digital subs proposition.

A growing number of publishers are refocussing their business model towards subscriptions.  The New Yorker now has 65% of its revenues coming from readers, and paid circulation is growing at a rate of 12.3%.  The Economist is now financially sustainable on subscriptions alone. BILD has grown from zero to over 300k digital subs in 8 years.

Digital subscriptions were a hot topic of conversation at the Digital Innovators Summit in Berlin, organised by FIPP and VDZ.  I chaired a panel discussion on reader revenues and there were multiple presentations from European and North American publishers on their subscription strategy. (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, marketing

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How tech will affect your readers and your media business and what you should do

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
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Revenue sources for media businesses RISJ

Digital technology is changing how people want to consume news and content, and how media businesses must evolve. Publishers will need to change how they package and present stories, how they attract attention, and how they generate new revenues.

The RISJ have made a number of predictions of trends for journalism and media, based on their research primarily among news organisations worldwide. You can download the full RISJ report here.

This is my interpretation of how these trends will affect more specialist media businesses and what you might need to do… (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, marketing, technology

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Why B2B media brands need an events strategy

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018
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fleet news awards

While digital tech grabs the headlines, what with AI and VR and AR et al, one of the strongest growing revenue sources for media brands is low tech, face to face, in person events.

Over the last year I have had in depth conversations with several B2B leaders convinced that live events are a strategic part of their future, as part of a joint research project with Helen Coetzee of MPG.  This article explores why events work so well and how they can add value to your media business. (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, events

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Webinar: 10 Practical Strategies for the Future of B2B Media

Sunday, February 4th, 2018
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This is the recording of a webinar I presented on Navigating the Future of B2B Media: 10 Practical Strategies, for InPublishing Magazine on 30 Jan 2018.  I consider the importance of events, data and intelligence products, customer insight, content marketing solutions, marketing automation and the digital talent gap.

Below is a summary of the Q&A session after the webinar, covering topics from paid subscriptions to the future of display advertising, artificial intelligence, social media, the future for print and the potential of virtual reality technologies for publishers. (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, content, events, In Publishing, technology, Webinars

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Navigating the future of B2B Media: 10 practical strategies

Thursday, January 4th, 2018
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Business to business media is in a state of flux, with subscribers and advertisers’ own businesses changing fast thanks to technology and internationalisation. The organisations formerly known as B2B publishers are having to reinvent themselves as information services, networking facilitators, lead generators and marketing solutions consultants.

Where are the nuggets of future value in this more complex environment for B2B media? How should publishing leaders be evolving their brands?

Over this year I’ve been working with several B2B publishers on aspects of their digital strategy, and also interviewed ten B2B leaders as part of a research project for Merit Group. This article summarises my observations on how to create long term value in B2B media. (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, content, events, people and culture, technology

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Building communities at B2B events: learning from Web Summit 2017

Monday, December 18th, 2017
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Events are a growing part of B2B media portfolios, building brands and increasing revenues. A successful event, however, is about more than the speakers, sponsors and content: delegates are keen to use live events to expand their network and make new connections. So building a community in advance of the event is increasingly important. I’ve looked in depth at one event, Web Summit, which has always focussed on networking, and drawn out some ideas which could be applied to other B2B events. (more…)

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Posted in b2b, events, marketing

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How artificial intelligence could affect media brands

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
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AI landscape

This article on how artificial intelligence could affect media brands is part of a series on key themes in new technology and their likely impact on media brands – from the Web Summit 2017.  Read about the other trends here.

Artificial intelligence was everywhere at Web Summit – from the high profile Chief Humanoid Sophia to the use of chatbots for customer service and machine learning to analyse mountains of data.  AI is also behind the real time natural language processing of Amazon’s Alexa, which could revolutionise how people search for answers to their problems.

So what are the main developments in AI and what are the implications for media brands? (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, technology

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New digital storytelling: video, VR and AR

Monday, November 13th, 2017
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This article about new digital storytelling with video, VR and AR is in a series exploring key themes in technology from the Web Summit in Lisbon and how they may impact on media brands. Read about the other themes here.

Video already drives engagement on mobile and social.  So media brands need to adapt to this form of story telling and engaging audiences. But the gaming and entertainment industry, in search of more immersive experiences, are already developing augmented reality (AR), volumetric video and virtual reality (VR). As mobile devices evolve to be capable of handling these forms of content, consumers will become used to these new visual experiences, and media owners will need to develop new ways to present content.

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New frontiers in tech: what media brands can learn from web summit

Monday, November 13th, 2017
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Web Summit Lisbon 2017

Technology is enhancing and disrupting every sector of business and society, in every part of the world. Like a benign virus, technology can worm its way into any value chain, find efficiencies and share information transparently, automate and simplify processes. Startups are endlessly seeking markets that might pay for new and better services.

Web Summit in Lisbon in November 2017 brought together 60,000 people working in tech businesses, from aspiring startups to large corporations, from marketers to developers, plus investors and policymakers. New products were showcased and ethical problems explored in hundreds of talks and panel sessions. Hundreds of startups hustled for investment and partnerships. The energy, ingenuity and ambition of the movers and shakers in the tech ecosystem was awe-inspiring.

Nobody can ignore the pace of technology change, and what may seem futuristic and far-fetched on stage here will be affecting consumers and businesses in a matter of years, or maybe months.

So what trends should media brands be monitoring? I have summarised six key themes to be aware of:

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Posted in agile publisher, b2b, business strategy, consumer, news, technology

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10 strategic themes for the future of publishing from FIPP Congress

Saturday, October 14th, 2017
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FIPP World Congress

What is the future of publishing and media brands?  Magazine media businesses from around the world gathered in London for FIPP Congress 9-11 October to share experiences and emerging business models, listen to tech innovations and navigate an increasingly complex world.

These are the top strategic themes I took away from the event. (more…)

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Posted in agile publisher, b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, events, marketing, people and culture

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How to build a compelling premium intelligence product: 10 tips

Friday, October 6th, 2017
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premium intelligence product

“We need more repeatable revenues.” Practically every media owner I speak to is focussed on driving higher ticket, subscription propositions, as advertising continues to be volatile.

And most are exploring data-driven, digitally delivered intelligence products, sold into organisations that want multiple logins for their team.

But this is a very different discipline to providing industry news and comment and running events and conferences.

If you are contemplating building an intelligence product here’s what I have learned from speaking to dozens of leading media businesses who are developing premium subscription propositions. (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, content

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Sponsored content: how publishers can deliver value to advertisers

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017
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Sponsored content IA Schroder

Display advertising is declining, and advertisers are focussed on creating content.  So for media and publishing businesses to thrive, they need to collaborate with their ad clients to create and promote sponsored content.

How are clients marketing plans shifting in specialist markets, and how can publishers deliver greater value?

Based on recent conversations with niche publishers and their advertisers, here’s my summary of what clients are looking for and how publishers should respond.

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, consumer, content

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