Digital Directions: 6 Tools for Digital Success That Won’t Break the Bank
Publishers have long understood that the successful transition to a digital media organization requires sweeping changes: changes to product models; changes to distribution strategies; changes to technology platforms; and changes to the skills needed inside the organization. The question often seemed not "What needs to change?" but rather "What doesn't?"
Over the past two years, the industry's learning curve has been significant. We are beginning to get a good handle on exactly what areas of activity are most significant in moving the organization forward:
- Digital asset management (DAM)
- E-books and digital distribution
- Mobile offerings
- Digital marketing via social media
- Business process platforms
- Metadata management
And, incidentally, it is critical for some of these activities to take place with great speed, lest market share be lost.
Now, how do we pay for this—especially in a recessionary economy and while dealing with eroding revenues in many markets? The answer will depend upon each organization's specific circumstances, but here are some effective ways to move your organization forward digitally without unduly harming your bottom line:
1. First, don't be first.
It is exciting to be first to market, but it usually is less than profitable. Try to be second, not first. Watch for successful product models, and adapt successful strategies. True, there is a risk that first- movers will end up dominating a market segment. However, first-mover advantage is less of a critical success factor for publishers with unique content offerings. Your differentiation of content is a barrier to entry for others. I am not saying to wait and let the parade pass you by. Just let others experiment with their money, and you can benefit from the lessons learned.
2. Get serious about social media marketing.
Publishing organizations have been exploring social media for some time, but it usually is given a lower status compared to "real" marketing and e-commerce websites. Smaller organizations should think about flipping this hierarchy. Well-executed social media strategies are great democratizing tools that level the playing field. Smaller publishers can tweet just as loudly as large competitors. Social media may be a far more economical and pervasive way to get markets talking up your products than building a bigger website. Instead of funding the next bloated website redesign, replete with a panoply of questionable ancillary content, organizations might be better served by hiring savvy social media marketers and keeping their old-school websites to a minimum.