The Digital Shift: What Traditional Media Companies Can Do
Large organizations tend to adapt to change at a slower pace than small ones. This is a big problem for major media organizations with their fast paced, chaotic, no-time-to-adapt transition to digital. It’s not as if other traditional media organizations aren’t facing the same problem but now there are new media companies that have embraced digital as part of their core business offering and culture. That is where the traditional media giants are struggling.
What are the new media organizations doing? Well, they are really defining the standards of the digital ad sales world. Google has been saying for some time now that they are moving away from the standard method of tracking customers online: Cookies. Facebook uses their vast knowledge about their users to target specific ads in a way no one else can. Many of the newer broadcast and content services were born online, so their entire business structure, ad sales process and technology is geared towards selling, supporting and managing online services.
Traditional media companies now face the challenge of adapting their sales process and technological and organizational structures to the digital marketplace. This is especially difficult for companies that have been based in broadcast or print ad sales for decades, most of them with the bulk of their sales and business still in those platforms. There are very clear procedures in place to manage ad sales for broadcast and print because these are media outlets where the ad type – times slots and ratings or sections, positions/color/size – are well established. The online world adheres to practically none of these standard procedures and is making companies re-write the book on how a spot or a display ad is sold. This is where a total analysis of the current sales process is needed to understand what transformations the organizations need to go through. Online sales are faster and more open with less defined parameters. They are based more on data analytics provided by social networks.
The end goal here is to understand and sell online media competitively. But in order for traditional media organizations to thrive and gain a competitive advantage, they will have to provide a unified sales effort across all platforms, one that shows buyers they can offer a full blown set of services across all of their properties. It may not seem like it in the current market but traditional media organizations have the advantage of a well established presence in other media outlets. Their ability to offer multi-channel campaigns is very attractive to potential buyers and will place them above new media companies. This should be the focus for major media organizations: Consolidate leadership on other platforms and be able to engage the online media marketplace with the right process and technology, while taking advantage of what they already have.