The only problem I’ve ever had in life, is not getting my own way.
I’ve spent the last 24 hours with some of the brightest minds in publishing. The C-level folks from organizations like Hearst, CNN, SheKnows, USA Today, HuffPo, and more. Really smart folks who’ve built legacy brands with massive reach.
At their core they want to be an agent for change in the publishing space. They want more revenues, more ROI for their advertisers, more audience engagement, more, more, more. They want to be really good at a lot of shit.
In my media business, I’ve done very well at leveraging network, finding the right folks that are doing one thing really well and plugging them into another group doing something else very well. The returns are prolific. The advertisers get reach and ROI while the consumers don’t feel screwed watching a damn commercial or ad in every thing that they watch, read and consume.
Ads are increasing the amounts of misinformation and pressure to put out more content more cheaply . At the expense of quality. It’s unsustainable.
I’m not suggesting that I have the solution to any of this. I’m merely suggesting that publishers get out of their own way. They’re stuck in ads and subscriptions, while talking about platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and more.
What if they listen to consumers rather than advertisers in order to go beyond ads? I get it. ROI is important. It’s a great buzz word that comes up often. How many brands (not publishers) have learned to embrace ROR (return on relationship) and have won big because of it? I’m not sure that we can focus on advertisers and their needs without focusing on consumers and their wants. Connecting to consumers garners the data that becomes meaningful to advertisers.
I get the sense more and more that marketers (brands) get it. Agencies do not.
In all of these conversations and roundtable discussions one theme emerged. All of us want the same thing. And none of us are getting our way.