5 Crucial Aspects of a Digital Media Transition
One of the biggest challeges facing media companies today is how to transition from the “offline world” to the Digital World. It can be an extremely difficult process, fraught with danger, overdevelopment and underperformance.
Unfortunately, most legacy media companies find little success, despite big plans. Here are five aspects that address the most common mistakes.
1. Basic Boring Proprietary Technology
Instead of rushing out to build web sites right away, your first step should be to build a core development team (3-5 people) and build a basic platform (CMS, database structure, design and CSS templates, etc.). Make a 3-6 month investment in building a basic platform and you won’t be sorry.
Getting and 3rd party to build your web site will ensure that you will never be able to be successful. You will be too slow to compete, your web sites won’t be secure, you won’t be able to partner effectively and your technology costs will be higher in the long run.
The biggest difference between old and new media is the level of communication and collaboration needed to be successful. In your new media business you won’t have the benefit of 50 or 100 years of standards. Your production (i.e. development), content, marketing and sales teams will have to work together much more closely than in your old business.
3. Revenue model:
The biggest difference between old and new media is that you’re going to completely re-think how you make money. Rather than just selling advertising, you’re going to have to learn inventory optimization, e-commerce partnerships, online events, etc.
4. Mine Your Talent!
Most old media companies start with a series of board discussions about “how we can get our people to buy in?” If you have a successful media business you probably have a wealth of fabulously talented people who are excited about digital media. Get them involved from day one, before they make their own digital transition…to another company!
Although the technology moves fast, online audiences move slowly. A new business requires building new relationships with audiences and advertisers. Give yourself 2 years before you expect to really get going.
Overall, I would say that the biggest mistake is for top management to to overstrategize . It’s mindblowing how many media companies spend years on a strategy and still don’t have a decent site built! As fast as the world is changing around us, speed is essential.
That means that you need to have people on the front lines driving the strategy by implementing ideas, seeing what works and learning as they go. No one really, truly knows what how digital media will interact with the consumer until the site goes live.
Mistakes are okay, as long as you can make them cheap ones. So get on with it!