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How do we create new value from content?

Breakout session participants:

  • Jim Berry, Dallas Morning News
  • Kelly Bolyard, Paddock Publications Inc.
  • Ryan Davis, Philadelphia Media Holdings
  • Jim Lenahan, Gannett Co. Inc.
  • Sharon Prill, Journal Interactive/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Bill Densmore, Media Giraffe Project and CircLabs Inc.
  • Dale Peskin, partner, We Media


Discussion approach

As an approach to our task, we decided to consider the challenge in two parts:

  • How to develop new business opportunities
  • What new products or services appear promising to us

How to develop new businesses

  • Need strategic-planning process to set priorities then buy, build or partner.
  • Change enterprise structure to be less focused on function and more matrix-like
  • Develop funding for new competencies through hiring, retraining, partnering or technology
  • Whoever develops new businesses must have P&L authority and responsibility
  • Work through the audience vs. engagement axis to optimize

Promising business ideas

  • Lead generation, fulfillment
  • Selling metadata that has been merged
      a) User data -- subscriptions, registrations b) Behavioral data -- web usage c) Public data -- real estate, licenses, etc. d) Purchased data -- from aggregators
  • Be the agent or broker of transactional commerce
  • Be a principal in transactional commerce
  • Learn to make money providing users information from anywhere
    even other peoples' info with revenue share


can you restructure without a strategy?

It seems as if each industry player has a choice to make:

  • Either focus on sustaining and remaining in print and therefore have all other strategies support that,
  • Or determine to opportunistically exit print, and focus on developing new replacement businesses.

Industry's error has been to bet on 25 things instead of adopting a strategy focus on a few.

Sharon Prill: Problem with trying to have little niche service/product ideas conform to all the roles and processes of the larger organization.

is it fair to say that the industry doesn't have a good way of looking at new business models. is that a fundamental problem in approaching new business models.

Ryan Davis: The questions should be asked of people not in our industry.

Dale: Culture has always been peer based.

Jim Berry: How can we develop new businesses and revenue streams beyond pay walls?

One is how and the other is the what.

Sharon: Have to have people willing to understand to you have to expand out of your core business -- one example is event marketing -- cites example of Blogher.

You have to aim for doing something below the radar that doesn't get shot down. Go for the base hits.

Jim Lenahan: No shortage of ideas, inability to execute on the ideas.

Bill: Problem of inability or perceived inability?

Jim Berry: Both.

Philly: Strategy is prioritizing what you are doing. We are not short on ideas, they are all there. Prioritize and then build, buy or partner.

Jim Berry: Have to start looking at how do we monetize, how many revenue streams. Often we think of one -- sell advertising. Have to think about the five other ways.

Jim Berry: Invest $10K in something rather than $10 million. Find the 10 best features, not the one with hundreds.

Jim Berry: Let's get out there and try charging for something and see what happens.

Philly: Try selling tickets to things.

Sharon Prill: Have biz dev guy in charge of editorial guy.

Control of the site has to be in the hands of a marketing person. Have business and editorial folks together.

Dale Peskin: Great less in we media world -- bloggers who are individiual entrepreneurs only successful if they drive traffic and then revenue.

Jim Lenahan: Bloggers really successful make their money offline.

Bill Densmore: Points out that what is going on in Philly -- selling tickets as an idea -- is an example of commerce.

Ryan Davis: Have created a product owner for sports.

Jim Lenahan: P&G has brand managers. Newspaper structure is too lose, there aren't people who owns things.

Jim Berry: Newspapers are managed functionally.

Dale Peskin: if you are going to sell tickets, have to understand the relationships.

Jim Barry: Funding not as difficult for small experiments when people are so desparate.

Sharon Prill: Problem with adding FTEs.

Jim Lenahan -- how do you include in your strategic planning process the idea of new business models.

Ryan Davis: Priorities then buy, build or partner.

Jim Berry: Hard to know if strategy is set for corporate interest of the local interest. It has to be overcommunicated down.

Kelly Bolyard: Person responsible for P&L that doesn't have hands on autonomy is key.

Jim Berry: People think of launching as the end rather than the beginning.

Ryan Davis -- Had signed with vendors to do everything; had to kick some of them out.

Sharon Prill: Who sits around the strategic planning table? Is the CTO part of it. Nodd yes. Sharon owns their IT department.

Now talking about the what the new ideas should be

Jim Berry: When you take something local that has a broader audience.

Jim Lenahan: What about lead generation.

Kelly Bolyard: Have to agree what is the metrics of the successful lead. Have to have a process and a produt to track conversion rates.

EXAMPLE: Match bar codes at point of sale to where the lead came from. Thus lead generation might be a mutually agreed action by the advertiser.

Discussion about why big marketeers aren't going to be willing to have the middleman. But middleman is still needed for the smaller marketeers.

Dale Peskin: if newspapers are going to brokers in a transaction they have to have to maintain and gain a strong relationship with the consumer.