From companies announcing plans to launch standalone streaming services to conglomerates buying other giant brands, the media and entertainment (M&E) industry is in flux. Made complex by the empowered customer, and spurred by the ubiquity of social, mobile and cloud technologies, M&E customers have more choices than before when it comes to media consumption. At the same time, they have more opportunities to make their voices heard.
In a recent article featured in MediaPost by Vision Critical's President of Media and Entertainment Bruce Friend and by renowned media expert Bill Harvey, they explore how customer empowerment is disrupting old ways of doing business in the M&E industry. They write:
"Today's empowered consumers have different expectations from media companies. They want to digest media on their terms and timeline - consuming content anywhere, anytime and any way. It's increasingly typical for audiences, especially millennials, to consume multiple forms of content across multiple platforms simultaneously. In this new environment, media and entertainment companies are struggling to keep existing customers happy, while also trying to attract new ones. The need to create and maintain personal relationships with audience members has never been more crucial for media and entertainment companies to succeed.
In the media business, getting actionable insight about customers has never been more critical. But unfortunately, media companies aren't doing such a great job. According to Bruce and Bill, there are three reasons why M&E companies lack a complete picture of their customers:
Ratings fail to answer "why"
Ratings data "doesn't tell media companies why people behave the way they do or why they prefer the programming they do, argues Bruce and Bill. While ratings capture how, when, where and by whom various media are consumed, they don't answer some of the most important questions: How can we best target different consumers? How do we retain their attention? And more importantly, how do we keep them coming for more?
Old-school MR isn't fast enough
Traditional MR has lost its mojo because it doesn't keep up with today's always-on, highly connected media and entertainment customer.
"The same 50-plus page reports that were being produced decades ago remain hard to digest today and seldom yield actionable insight," Bruce and Bill explain. In the age of social media and big data, old-school research lacks the agility needed to provide timely insight.
Social media misses the mark
Since it's rise, one of social media's grandest promises is that it can provide a lens into consumer behavior. Years later and the promise has mostly been unfulfilled. Why? Because companies turning to social media to listen and understand their audience are hearing only a fraction of their entire customer base. Social media is a great marketing and customer service tool, but as a customer insight tool, it provides an incomplete picture.
The good news is that it's not all doom and gloom for media companies. The same technologies that have empowered customers can be used to collaborate with customers and bring them into the decision making process. Top media companies such as Discovery Communications, NASCAR and Yahoo are proving that putting the customer at the center of what you do can help drive business results. As Bruce and Bill conclude in their post, customer intelligence is the key to building audience in the media and entertainment industry today.
To learn more about the transformation of the media and entertainment industry, please download our white paper, Building Audience: Courting and Keeping Customers in a Media and Entertainment Industry Awash in Data, also authored by Bruce and Bill.