3 CRM Strategies Deliver Media Industry Success


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Headed for extinction?

Headed for extinction?

Characterize the decline of traditional media: fast or slow?

At Cloud Sherpas, we have a number of clients who operate in both the traditional and “new media” spaces. Both sectors face intense competitive pressure in the battle for viewers’ eyeballs, advertising revenue and customer data.

In the face of our ongoing digital revolution, of course traditional media channels — print, radio and TV — are being forced to reinvent themselves to compete. Take the cord-cutter movement, which refers to the growing number of people who use alternative means to access digital assets. Personally, I’ve kissed my cable subscription goodbye in favor of an Apple TV that accesses my Netflix subscription.

These digital disruptions have driven traditional media outlets — often still quite lucrative by Wall Street standards — to consolidate, cut costs and find new, more viable business models. And success stories have already emerged. Conglomerates are buying up local radio stations and running them from a central U.S. location; why employ DJs in every outlet? Meanwhile, The New York Times and Britain’s Financial Times have created paywalls to protect their digital assets, and resulting revenues have been better than expected.

Moving forward in today’s media space, however, will require all players — old and new — to keep refining their customer-facing business strategies. Here’s how Cloud Sherpas’ media customers are using CRM to address these challenges and achieve greater growth, efficiency and levels of customer satisfaction:

Growth: Relationship Management, Integration

Media outlets seeking growth are now pursuing convergence. The idea is simple: make multiple media properties more attractive to advertisers by offering integrated advertising and marketing campaigns across multiple outlets and formats.

If you’re chocolate maker Hershey, for example, and want to highlight a new confection, you could phone up each local media outlet. Or you could work with an organization such as News International, which offers one-stop buying across radio, TV and newspapers, in both electronic and digital formats. To get the most bang for your buck, the latter approach is the surefire winner.

Successfully offering these type of consolidated services, however, will require media organizations to master:

  • Integration: Advertising has historically been sold in silos. Beyond the cultural change required to offer converged advertising, giving self-service customers (advertisers) a single view of availability and customer demographics across multiple channels and advertising platforms will require CRM system integration.
  • Relationship management: Historically, sales were transactional — advertisers phoned up to buy ads. But with integrated campaigns, you don’t just want one-off transactions, but to build up bona fide relationships with customers. Accordingly, media businesses often benefit from bolstering their CRM account and call planning capabilities.

Efficiency: Self-Service, Ruthless Consolidation

Media organizations today tell us that they want to find better ways to make their sales teams — and sales processes — much more automated, efficient and productive, so they can cut costs. Organizations can achieve this efficiency in two ways:

  • Customer self-service: On the self-service front, the most successful media companies today — Facebook, Google, Twitter — rarely have a human involved in selling advertising. Instead, the vast majority of advertisements come from customers going online and scheduling their own ads. The question for traditional media outlets now is: How can they best follow suit, in part via self-service portals?
  • Ruthless sales force consolidation: Consolidation is the flipside of the convergence growth strategy, which seeks to drive higher margins by combining outlets. For example, at Cloud Sherpas customer A&N Media, publisher of such papers and websites as The Daily Mail and Metro, the business is asking: Why have multiple, redundant sales teams selling our newspapers?

Customer Satisfaction: Data Still King

Who’s a customer today? Media outlets typically have two different types of customers: readers/viewers and advertisers. Social media, however, has stirred up the pot; sometimes a customer is both at once. Some viewers also aren’t just targeted with advertising, but tracked for lucrative — at least, at scale — data-mining purposes. As the famous phrase about Facebook goes: “If you’re not paying for something, you are the product.”

That’s why outlets such as Facebook and Google are so valuable: because of the data and targeted advertising they deliver. While “pay per click” has long been a favored online metric, Facebook’s research has shown that even without clicking, social media advertising influences consumer behavior. Digital outlets also offer new forms of customer intelligence. TiVo, for example, is cross-referencing subscribers’ viewing and shopping habits, while Twitter plans to launch a system to serve up advertisements tied to what users are watching on TV.

As that suggests, to media customers’ level of satisfaction with your products and services, media players must find better ways to share rich information back with advertisers, mash-up customer data in new and valuable ways, and use CRM systems to deliver related sales and services in an easily accessible manner. That’s one of the most effective strategies not just for engaging customers, but keeping them coming back for more.

Learn More

Cloud Sherpas is one of the world’s leading cloud services brokerages and helps businesses adopt, manage and enhance their CRM investment by identifying desired business goals, finding the right tools and technology for the job, and delivering rapid implementations that remain focused on achieving the desired business capabilities.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Thomas Leuthard.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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