Can Publishers Monetize Their Digital Technology Expertise?
Recently I sat down with Thorin McGee, editor-in-chief of sister publication Target Marketing, to discuss the technologies publishers are adopting – and in some cases have mastered – to consider how this impacts the marketing ecosystem.
In many cases, publishers are now leading the way in terms of innovating with digital media and marketing technology, instead of chasing marketers’ quickly-evolving digital expectations with the tools of yesteryear.
Watch the full episode of Target Marketing’s regular Tech Talk Face Off series to hear our full discussion.
For me, there were two key takeaways from this conversation:
1. In addition to offering marketing services and lending content expertise, publishers can now offer technical expertise on implementing and using digital tech, such as content analytics or data-driven solutions, such as account-based marketing. Marketers today are essentially trying to build a tech stack that supports content distribution and audience development much in the way many publishers have done in recent years.
The question here is whether you are positioning yourself this way. Are your salespeople capable of talking tech and data strategy to support the media solutions you’re pitching? If not, are you supporting them with digital marketing specialists? If you’re only pitching real estate and distribution, you’ll always be viewed as a channel and not a partner.
2. Publishers need to keep pushing the envelop in terms of creating digital media-based experiences that audiences want to engage with and marketers can participate in. Podcasts happen to be the perfect example du jour.
Obviously, The New York Times isn’t the first publisher to launch a podcast, but the pace at which their podcast The Daily has gained traction with the public is an indication of how thirsty readers were for a new format to consume the NYT’s brand of news and analysis. They’re really building a franchise on something that has very little startup costs.
Publishers need to ask themselves a couple questions on this point as well: Are you building the products of the future or just planning to repeat what’s working now? It could be podcasts, could be voice-assistant-based media, or something else entirely new. And are you giving yourself – and your teams – the room to innovate?
Related story: How the Internet of Things Will Change Marketing
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.