The Marketing 5606 assigned reading, “Your Company Doesn’t Need a Digital Strategy,” was an eye opener for me. I was able to understand the concepts from this article, because it talks about something that is often made very complicated (Digital Strategy) and broken down into a simpler set of concepts. It examines digital strategy in a way that many businesses miss.
“Technology doesn’t provide value to a business. It never has (except for technology in products.) Instead, technology’s value comes from doing business differently because technology makes it possible.”
The article led me to seek out real world examples of companies that are doing it right. I found a great article in DIGIDAY, “Fewer stories, told better: News UK is changing how it commissions stories to grow subscriptions.” In this article, the author writes about how publishers are competing for the attention of audiences and need will need to create experiences that best suit the users’ needs and circumstances. The article focusses on the Times and the Sunday Times (UK).
Reading habits are changing, the Times and Sunday Times are going about a new strategy the right way by changing the types of coverage they offer. This digital strategy is not about technology it is about transformation.
Edward Roussel, head of digital strategy and development at the Times UK came on board in May and under his guidance a new digital process aims to prioritize visual, digital journalism. This strategy is effective because it’s a better business strategy, enabled by digital. The focus is not on technology, but technology will most certainly be part of it. A perfect example to compare this to is E-commerce, because, “E-commerce is not about the internet – it’s about selling different.”
The company has successfully built essential leadership capabilities not just technical. Changes included hiring staff for a digital hub dedicated to video journalism and growing the audience through social media and enhancing SEO. The staff is broking in two – a digital staff and a journalism staff aimed at increasing spending on it’s journalism and aims to anticipate how a story will be represented across the internet.
“The more that we can integrate our news into places where people are spending their human attention, the better, the chances that we have are that we’re going to capture people’s attention. And we just have to recognize that. Gone are the days where you can simply create a set of content, put up a paywall, wait for people to arrive,” Roussel said. “You’ve got to work really hard to catch people’s attention.”
Roussel wants the company to tell fewer stories. Producing fewer articles alone would not make much sense, but the idea will be to tell each story better, with more thought. This strategy doesn’t seek to push the envelope too far, too fast. “I don’t know what the right number [of stories per day] is, but I do know that for a brand like ours, it’s about being deeply thoughtful about every piece of content we publish,” he added.
According to our Mobile Marketing book, over 50 percent of visitors to many sites get there using mobile. Many mobile optimized sites have demonstrated up to 76 percent increase in conversion rates. Publishers like the Times will need to also take this into consideration when creating new digital strategies.
What do you think should be the key differences in the Times’ desktop site and its mobile site in terms of experience?
Image from DIGIDAY
DIGIDAY, “Fewer stories, told better: News UK is changing how it commissions stories to grow subscriptions: https://digiday.com/media/fewer-stories-told-better-news-uk-is-changing-how-it-commissions-stories-to-grow-subs/
George Westerman, Your Company Doesn’t Need a Digital Strategy:
Daniel Rowels, Mobile Marketing, 2nd Edition