At Vision Critical's 2014 Summit in New York City recently, the media space accounted for nearly 40% of the approximately 300 participants in attendance. And after securing an Insight Community of the Year victory at Vision Critical EMEA's 2014 Summit (via Exterion Media, formerly CBS Outdoor UK), the media space was at it again in New York City, finishing with two runner-ups for the prestigious award in North America: Warner Bros and ESPN.
The strong presence of the media industry at the Summit speaks to the growing adoption of the community approach to audience intelligence in this space. And customers from media and entertainment have told us that engaging audiences has never been more critical.
Here are 3 reasons why more media companies are committing to engaging with their audience:
- Content provides the last battleground. It is more important than ever before to develop engaging content to match the interests and behaviors of your audience. You can no longer afford to "miss." You can no longer afford to guess what will resonate. The key is to test everything you create and launch "winners" with confidence. At one of the Summit sessions, Discovery Communications' Colby Flint discussed how Discovery engages its viewers to inform programming. Time Inc.'s lifestyle brands, as another example, harness their insight communities to develop digital content that has already been tested with its digital subscribers in advance.
- Audience intelligence drives business results. Engaging your audience improves revenue metrics as a result of more informed business decisions and greater advertiser support. Exterion Media provides a great example: the company's work.shop.play insight community helped drive å£6 million in topline revenue. To get buy in and to secure budgets, insight departments at media companies need to speak in terms of improved revenue metrics - far beyond an increase in viewers/subscribers/readers. With tools like insight communities, media companies are becoming better at tying back research activities to meaningful business metrics.
- The engaged audience demands it. With mobile, new technology and social media all enabling new audience behaviors, you can't grow your business without engaging in a two-way dialogue. Relationships with your audience are in dire need of equal, uncompromising communications. As a media organization, you're expected to actively engage and communicate or risk losing your invaluable audience base. Just like many industries, your relationship with your audience is your last competitive advantage, and companies need to go beyond one-way surveys and other traditional research approaches to build trust.
On the first day of the Vision Critical Summit, CEO Scott Miller posed this question: Do you really have what it takes to survive and thrive in the customer revolution? The overwhelming sentiment from the media organizations attending the 2014 Vision Critical Summit was a resounding yes. But companies in this industry cannot afford to rest: media and entertainment's transformation has just begun.