Archive for category Business Model
I think that Mark Ramsey is one of the best thinkers about radio today – here is a very helpful post that I think sums up what we are all trying to do in the FTMC project. His focus is for profit – but the ideas remain true for all of us.
As we come to the end of the year – I look forward to looking at what we have learned – my bet is that it is more than we think!
- We are solving problems
- We are organized around an audience/people versus a platform
- We work directly with our partners – some of who will fund the work
- We are creating whole channels and platforms for content
- We are measuring outcomes rather than ears and eyeballs”
He starts with this provocation:
“Don’t read this if you don’t care about radio’s future or if you’re counting down the days to your retirement.
Every now and then some thinking comes along that puts it all in perspective. This piece from Ad Age is one such summation of thinking that has been bubbling up over the past few months from folks like Tom Asacker and others.
What is the blueprint for what radio will need to be to compete successfully as a vital enterprise in the years to come?
The trajectory of our future can be summed up as follows:
Almost every consumer marketer I’ve spoken to…is moving toward the goal of making marketing more outcome-specific, targeted, useful and conversational, and less about blasting of what we’ve generally called “brand” messages via specific platforms. They see some of today’s media companies as shaping into useful potential partners in those efforts, and others as increasingly redundant — and they’re spending less and less with the latter.
The radio – media – company of the future will:
1. Act more like a marketing company than a media company.
Says Ad Age: “Good partners will be marketing companies, operations set up and focused on solving brand marketers’ problems by means of the connection they can create with an audience and results that connection can deliver.”
In other words, the model will shift from selling access to listener ears in bulk toward selling solutions to marketers’ problems via connections. That is essentially the difference between “advertising” and “marketing,” so choose your side of the fence wisely.
2. Be organized around an audience and not a platform.
Broadcasters frequently talk about being “platform agnostic,” but too often what that really means is putting our radio signal in other places or on other devices. That’s just transporting the problem, not solving it. Your job is to rally an audience of raving fans and satisfy the appetites of those fans while connecting them to the marketers who crave them. Period.
3. Work directly with marketers.
Being bought off a ranker is not the same as working in partnership with marketers. Increasingly, the ranker-buyers will be the obstacles to our success, not the reason for it.
4. Not just create spaces for ads next to content, it’ll create whole media channels and platforms for brands
Writes Ad Age: “Brands want to be at the center of content and communities and they’re going to create these channels with or without media companies.” It’s up to us to bring the talent to the party and to build these channels in concert with advertisers. Or they will simply build them without us.
5. Employ technologists who can build device-agnostic platforms for marketers.
Note the distinction between building these platforms for marketers and building them for your radio brands. Recognize above all else who is in the driver’s seat. Hint: It’s not your radio brand. It’s your radio brand’s customer base, the marketers.
6. Know how to deliver instantaneous gratification when it comes to measurement, and it’ll be measuring outcomes not outputs. A rating…stat is not going to be enough in the future, and certainly not when it’s presented weeks after the fact.
The dawn of the post-Arbitron world is before us”
What about us? What about our economic future as stations? I can see that we, by working on this project, may be learning how to answer that question. We may be discovering our new business model that will offer us our own sustainable future.
Jeff Jarvis has fired the opening shot in what I think will be the most productive discussion so far in the media wars.
But I think Owens hit on it when he wrote this: “I realized I needed to flip the expense/revenue picture upside down. Instead of thinking about how to generate more cash, I needed to figure out how to create a news operation that could exist profitably based on a reasonable expectation for local online revenue.”
Everyone that I have talked to recently in senior pub media roles worries that they cannot find the gross from their web operations that they need to replace their 1.0 gross.
I think they are right – it seems clear now that the web revenues cannot be grown fast enough. So the costs are out of synch. Many are reluctantly finding themselves in the same kind of death spiral that the newspapers are in. So what to do?
I don’t think the Holy Grail is an attempt only to grow web based revenue. I think it is to use a new business model. The good news is that enough of this new model is now here. Our challenge is to “see” it and having “seen” it to build upon it.
So let’s “see” where we are now – “see” what is emerging and “see” what can be done to implement it. Please follow me after the Jump:
Our economic model has been based until now on the value of scarce and good content. Many of us are learning during the FTMC project that we can develop deeper relationships by helping in our community.
Deeper in that saving a home means more than liking a program. Deeper in that by helping people and communities, we can bring new supporters who would never have watched our programming.
Here are two examples of what I mean from KERA – First of all here is a video showing the power of developing a deeper relationship based on offering real help.
La Voz Del Anciano works to help the Spanish-speaking elderly community overcome cultural, language and literacy barriers to access existing community resources and education.
The nonprofit, which is the only bilingual and bicultural program of its type in Dallas, was created in 1976 by a group of religious leaders, social service agency workers and community volunteers to serve the estimated more than 50,000 low-income, elderly Latino men and women in the area.
I see the beginnings of a new model for value – don’t you?