Tag Archives: Guardian

Let’s go back to the 90’s…

A quick story (please bear with me here  friends…)

Imagine it is 1997

Back in 1997 I was running a small marketing team for a global B2B publishing company.

We were developing online versions of our print publications & starting to experiment further with e-mail marketing.

Web sites were very unsophisticated – tending to be little more than facsimile versions of our magazines. There was very little interaction with readers and we really treated the Internet just as a distribution channel rather than a great disruptor of business models.

We had little idea of the emerging advertising/sponsorship models. Pricing decisions were agreed without any science or bundled in with physical products. User data was rarely gathered or intelligently used.

Remind you of anything?

Let’s fast-forward to today. We have a new and fast growing development in media consumption. The mobile web.

With the increasing penetration of smartphones, tablets, eReaders, apps and mobile enabled websites, all the rules are changing again.

Media companies are facing the same challenges that they faced in the 90’s and I know from personal experience that many are going to be taken by surprise by the speed at which things are moving.

All too often significant decisions about mobile are being left to tech teams or rushed into as part of a ‘me too’ stampede to get a press release out about ‘our latest app’.

STOP. You need to spend some proper time setting your mobile strategy..

Rob Grimshaw, the Managing Director of the FT’s digital operations said recently that he expected 50% of the FT’s digital readers to access content via a mobile device within the next 2 years.

That’s a fundamental shift in consumption habits and really shows that the mobile web has arrived.

The commercial realities associated with this shift in consumption mean that everyone in media needs to be involved in mobile product development – tech; marketing; sales and content creators.

Set the right strategy. Right now.

On June 14th The Media Briefing will be holding our second major conference.

Mobile Media Strategies takes place at The King’s Fund in London’s West End and will hear from some of the most innovative companies in the mobile field.

Companies including: Thomson Reuters * BBC Magazines * Guardian News & Media * The Economist * Incisive Media * Telegraph Media Group * Screen Digest * comScore * Microsoft * YUDU Media * Bonnier * DK Books * BSkyB * ImpulsePay & MobileTech.

There’s a fantastic line up of attendees already confirmed (here’s a link to our advance delegate list) & we have limited places still available.

Register today

The mobile media marketplace is developing so quickly. There are huge opportunities for the companies that can stay ahead of the curve. Register for Mobile Media Strategies today and we’ll help you on your way.


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Tim Brooks interviewed at Publishing Expo

A really good video interview with Tim Books of Guardian News and Media.

It’s quite long but well worth watching for Tim’s thoughts on newspapers, magazines and the digital evolution.

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The value of website traffic?

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a SIPA seminar about search (both search engine marketing and using search to create media products). It was really good.

One of the speakers was Julian Sambles, Head of Audience Development at the Telegraph Media Group. Julian gave an overview of what was happening at the Telegraph since the introduction of the audience development team – a team which focused on pushing content out to readers via search engine marketing and interaction with social media. He claimed that since the introduction of this strategy in the summer of 2007 global unique users of the Telegraph’s websites had risen by over 300% in a 14 month period. You may have seen some of the resulting fallout after claims that the Telegraph had overtaken the Guardian in ABC results.

Now, whether the Guardian, Telegraph or Times has the highest online readership is neither here nor there. Sure, it confers some bragging rights for the leader but what commercial advantage does it give? Anyone with experience of search & social media knows techniques for generating traffic – especially if you work for an authority site like the Daily Telegraph. Just take a look at Google Trends information for news, write loads of ‘linkbait’ top 10 list type stories for social media sites or even pay for a wide range of keywords & you can see your traffic soar. But what use are all these extra eyeballs? They mean nothing unless you can monetise this traffic – and hopefully at the sort of premium rates you were able to justify in print.

The reality, however is that CPM rates continue to fall & newspaper groups continue to lay off staff. So where’s the payback? 

I would argue that the newspaper groups need to learn some lessons from their B2B cousins. And quickly. They need to capture information about these extra readers and make sure they embrace a multi-platform media environment where advertising becomes a smaller part of their revenue mix.

Where, for example are the Telegraph’s conferences and training courses, shops, sponsored sections, affiliate programmes, books and paid reports, exhibitions etc. etc.? They may be there somewhere on the site but as a newly attracted reader I can’t see them. 

Traffic and customers are all well and good but until you have some way of making money from them it means nothing.


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