58% of Publishers Say Lack of Time Is Biggest Tech Buying Obstacle
Last week Publishing Executive hosted FUSE Media: The Convergence of Technology & Media, a summit designed to help publishing executives discover and better understand the technologies reshaping the media business. Throughout the 2½ days of the summit, I heard the same line over and over again from attendees: “I’m here because I just don’t have the time to do this otherwise.”
Research conducted by Publishing Executive and NAPCO Research confirmed the stories I heard at FUSE were more than anecdotal. Released at the FUSE Media summit last week, the Special Report on Technology Adoption Strategies in Publishing provides insights on how digital media executives are approaching tech buying. More specifically, the report delves into how publishers are setting objectives around technology investments, the major obstacles they face, what their budgets look like, and what technologies they see driving the most growth.
Nathan Safran, head of NAPCO Media Research, presented the results of this research during the summit. Safran then welcomed a panel of digital media execs to comment on the findings.
Publishers Don’t Have Time to Find New Tools
One of the most surprising and underpinning the sentiment I gathered at the summit, Publishing executives indicate that “lack of time and resources to evaluate new technologies” is the biggest obstacle in their quest to adopt new technology. When we designed the research project, I had anticipated price would be the number one obstacle, but 58% of publishers indicated lack of time and resources to evaluate new technologies were the biggest hindrance to adoption. Lack of budget followed at 54%.
For Safran, there was a key takeaway from this finding: “For publishers to evaluate new technology, the value proposition must be clear from the beginning. They don’t have time to dig into a vendors’ website to find out how they can solve a problem.”
The data was also a nice validation of the FUSE Media summit, which was designed to help executives do months’ worth of vendor research in just 2 ½ days.
The Special Report on Technology Adoption offers several recommendations for publishers to accelerate the pace of their tech assessment and adoption, a topic that will be explored in upcoming posts.
Seamless Integration & “Ease of Switch” Are Key
The notion that time is of the essence when it comes to tech adoption was further evidenced when publishers were asked what the most important factors are when evaluating new tech. Again, I anticipated price would be the top response, but 77% of publishers said that simple integration was key. In a close second, 72% indicated price as a deciding factor.
Safran suggested that it appears publishers are beginning to think long term. The era of adopting heavy systems the have long implementation times and a tendency to become entrenched is over. Publishers are now pursuing solutions that they can integrate into their existing tech stacks quickly. If the tools don’t achieve their intended objective, publishers want to be able to move on easilyt and avoid vendor lock-in.
On the other hand, Safran thinks tech providers need to be cognizant of this predilection among publishers. “Vendors need to provide integration,” said Safran. “They also need to explain how integration works. Providing trials and pilots are important to getting publisher buy-in.”
Sitting on the executive panel to weigh in on the study, Source Media CDO and CMO Minna Rhee, reaffirmed that “ease of switch” is as important as ease of integration. “Vendors may not want to hear this, but it’s important that we can plug in and plug out as new technologies emerge,” explained Rhee.
While price and budget are important considerations for publishers as they evaluate new solutions, publishers’ time is limited. They need technology providers to meet them where they are and do the heavy lifting when it comes to explaining their solution and integrating it into publishers’ stacks. Technology vendors must remember that time is money, and publishers have less time than ever before.