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Digital transformation hit the media and entertainment sector especially early compared to other verticals, and the impact is still being felt today. What customers expect and want from their entertainment, media, and news is radically different from what it was just a few short years ago. Newspapers, media, and entertainment companies that haven’t already transitioned to today’s digital world must quickly adapt if they are to compete and survive. And for those who have transitioned, staying on top of new strategies and technologies to ensure investments are optimized is a challenge. 

As ad revenues have plummeted, publishers in particular have found themselves looking to create new revenue streams. Some of them are creating original content, while others are exploring branded ecommerce opportunities. All of these companies will have to digitally transform their business models from the inside out in order to meet customer demand. 

Here’s a look at the challenges in today’s media and entertainment marketplace and how forward-thinking companies are succeeding with a strategy that puts the customer at the centre of everything they do.

Revenue Pressure and the Mandate to Monetise Content

Whether your business is a newspaper, a media company, or a sports entertainment franchise, chances are your top priority is figuring out how to create new revenue streams. Social media has completely disrupted the traditional news consumption model, streaming services are encroaching on entertainment properties’ market share, and some publishers are finding they must pursue content licensing opportunities in order to stay viable. Here are some of the challenges they’re encountering.

News organisations are under tremendous revenue pressure as ad revenue is dwindling. News consumers enjoy incredible choice today – they can browse the latest news stories for free right on their mobile devices or simply fire up Twitter and get instant access to breaking news on demand. This is as true for sports as it is for news. Fans often  check Twitter first to get real-time updates on a match in progress because they know that when they check a news site, it’ll always be a bit behind. Because of this lag, they tend to rely on social media channels for access to breaking news updates – and this has created a revenue crunch for news organisations as subscription models have begun to falter.

Entertainment properties are grappling with heavy competition from streaming services and those that don’t have a solid streaming offering are finding it hard to catch up. Blockbuster is a perfect example with which we’re all familiar. They failed to adapt to digital streaming and now they’re a relic of the past. By contrast, successful entertainment businesses have embraced streaming and used it to give their customers an even better experience at an attractive price point. For example, Sky TV has embraced Netflix and extended their capabilities so their customers can get Sky on its own as well as Netflix directly on the Sky service that they already know and love

Publishers have not been spared from the pressure to digitally transform their companies. Many travel magazines, for example, were once able to generate enough revenue from their attractive in-flight publications. Now, however, they have had to pivot their strategy to include more digital media and content. A massive publisher that produces airplane magazines might now also be building out content on a specific topic like the best way to spend three days in California, then selling it to the tourism boards there. This helps the publisher diversify revenue streams and offset the revenue challenges it’s encountering. 

All companies in the media and entertainment space are trying to figure out how to monetise content since this is the most viable option for business survival in the new paradigm. But the bar is higher now. It’s no longer about simply reaching your customers but motivating them. With so much choice and competition, how do you break through and keep people engaged on your site? The answer lies in creating memorable experiences they will talk about, turning anonymous visitors into your engaged fans. 

Putting the Customer at the Centre of a Personalised Experience

Media and entertainment companies have a golden opportunity to truly understand their customers and create digital products and services to match their tastes and preferences. Some industry experts, such as Myles Davidson from Inviqa, call this the “paid to pivot” strategy, and it can be lucrative when done right. According to PwC, customers would pay up to 16 percent more for a better customer experience since they feel today’s businesses lack the human touch. But to meet their expectations for a better experience, you have to think of personalisation as a holistic approach that digitally transforms your business from the inside out rather than something extra you tack onto your existing business model. 

Your future success lies in answering this question: “How do you turn the brand into a community?” Sports clubs are responding to this challenge by putting the fan at the centre of everything they do. This requires creating a single view of the fan and building out a 1:1 relationship with each fan at every single touchpoint of their journey. In doing so, these sports teams are demonstrating that they know their fan, what they want and need, and that they care about providing the experiences that matter to them.

Personalised fan experiences should be very context-aware, as well. For example, what the fan needs and expects may change from moment to moment depending on whether it’s just before a match, during the match, or just sitting at home streaming the content. The sports club should provide a relevant, personalised experience to this fan throughout their entire journey with that brand community, from start to finish. 

What makes this possible? A single view of the fan. This can be tricky to accomplish, however, when there are so many different touchpoints involved. You have to coordinate data sources ranging from Twitter to branded streaming services and everything in between. A Manchester United supporter might be tweeting about a match in progress as they’re watching it on their paid subscription to Manchester United TV, for example, and you need to capture all of that information in order to serve them the right content in real time.

To gain a single view of each fan, you must collect and centralise all of that data, understand it, use it to build fan profiles, then augment it to make it more actionable. Then you will be in the best position possible to serve up the right personalised content at the right time – which makes all the difference in keeping your fans engaged and focused on your brand community. 

In a dynamic and intensely competitive market experiencing strong revenue pressures, your best path to increasing customer satisfaction and engagement is through personalisation – the human touch. And if you put the customer at the centre of everything you do, you will reap the rewards in the form of increased customer loyalty and revenue.

Takeaways:

Digital transformation has changed the game for media and entertainment businesses, who are now under incredible pressure to create new revenue streams and monetise content.

  1. Customers now expect to be able to experience the content they want, when they want it, on their platforms of choice – and they expect this experience to be personalised.

  2. Media and entertainment companies know that they must monetise content and create new revenue streams in order to stay competitive in the new marketplace.

  3. To succeed, they must put the customer at the absolute centre of everything they do, providing a personalised experience that speaks to their unique needs at each stage of the customer journey.

  4. Sports entertainment businesses in particular are doing this by re-envisioning their brand as a community around which every experience they offer is centred.

People don’t consume media, entertainment, and publishing content the way they used to. Download the free eBook, "Creating Customer Experiences in Media, Entertainment and Publishing," to learn how to meet customer expectations in these areas.
 

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