"Uncertainty is the theme that Martha Mathers, marketing practice leader at consulting firm CEB, said she sees most from her clients as she works with them to define their digital transformation efforts. 'Digital presents so much choice, so much opportunity and such a different way of working that it creates tremendous uncertainty. Most marketing leaders feel overwhelmed by technology ... and they're not sure where to begin.'"
That quote came from a story on eMarketer titled, What Is Digital Transformation, and What Does It Require? We throw around the word "digital" pretty regularly, but are we fully taking advantage of all it has to offer?
"Digital transformation forces businesses to not just think about how they leverage technology to do things better, faster, cheaper," said Greg Verdino, managing partner at content consultancy Verdino & Co. "It is [also] about using technology as a means to an end, to innovate and do something they've never done before."
The SIPA 2017 Annual Conference, which begins exactly three weeks from today on Monday, June 5, is designed to elaborate on those digital "opportunities" and to encourage innovation to help publishers monetize and grow. The list of industry people who are attending is impressive, and there will be plenty of time for networking and picking some knowledgeable brains.
Here are quotes from five speakers at SIPA 2017 who will talk about digital revenue and growth:
1. Serve the unserved. "The primary thing is, 'Who is unserved?' Who's hungry for what we're really good at doing? There was no financial information [in the marijuana industry], no legal or financial news service that was doing a good job. 'We can do that.'"
—Anne Holland, co-founder of Marijuana Business Daily and a keynote speaker
2. Understand your audience. "The biggest thing that publishers need to do more of is to understand their audience and customer. I feel strongly that you do that not by general demographic overlay and old school print marketing tactics, but by gathering all the sources of first-party data and marrying that with third-party data to figure out, 'who is my audience, who is my customer?' Then you can develop different revenue streams and products."
—Nikesh Desai, co-founder and CEO of InvestingChannel, and also a keynote speaker
3. Learn what customers want, not just what they need. "People really need to understand this. People may need it but don't want it. Do they want People Magazine or The New Yorker, chewing gum or vitamins? Don't use valuable real estate [or] webinars to sell something people don't want and don't want to pay for."
—Lynn Freer, president of California-based Spidell Publishing, will present the session, How We Attract 18,000 People and Millions of Dollars to Our Seminars Year after Year
4. Know the problem your customer needs to solve. "There is one secret to success: Really understand the problem you are solving for your audience, then determine how the customer wants you to deliver that solution so it fits seamlessly into their everyday. If you can do that, the correct product form will emerge naturally."
—Rob Ristagno, CEO, The Sterling Woods Group, will co-present the session, The Difference Between Winning and Losing the Paywall Game
5. Speak in a unified voice. "Make sure that people inside your organization are emphasizing and representing the organization how you want them to. If CQ Roll Call is marketing itself that we understand the government affairs process and we're here to solve your problems, then our training can't just focus on what our prospects want to do. They have to understand what our clients are trying to do. How is their success measured? What does their day look like?"
—Kristina Dorsey, manager of client success for CQ Roll Call, will co-lead a session titled, Your Single Most Profitable (and Often Neglected) Marketing Effort: Best Practices in Boosting Renewals
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…