For the media company looking to become a disruptor, success is going to require taking a long, hard look at the organization’s managerial focus, organizational structure, key performance indicators and workforce strategy.
As is the case with any large-scale change to the business environment, disruptive technologies represent both opportunities and threats to established media companies. However, the results of our survey indicate that at a time when too few executives and board members appear to be sufficiently focused on the implications of technological disruption to their businesses, cash flows and monetization strategies, the threats will outnumber the opportunities for those that fail to take action.
For the media company looking to become a disruptor, success is going to require taking a long, hard look at the organization’s managerial focus, organizational structure, key performance indicators and workforce strategy. We believe that to successfully navigate the winds of change in the media sector will require leadership teams to:
Get the timing right: While our survey results reinforce the fact that successful media companies are early movers, the pace and degree of change will depend on the specific circumstances of the individual company. A newspaper that moves too quickly to an all-digital format could put its current revenues at risk. Conversely, a media company that waits too long to act may find itself losing market share to more agile players. Media leaders need to actively monitor the business environment and engage in scenario planning to inform decisions around timing.
Get their CEOs more engaged and involved: Fewer than half of media industry leaders agree (31 percent) or strongly agree (15 percent) that their C-suite executives keep a close eye on disruptive technology. In today’s business environment, that is simply not enough. Who will make the difficult prioritization decisions? Who will take the case for funding to the board? Disruptive technology must be raised to a top-tier C-level concern in the media industry.
Hire/train the right workforce: It will be critical for media organizations to have well-trained employees with the skills to excel in a fast-changing environment. Therefore, a significant element of their strategic investments needs to be in the recruitment and training of personnel.
Become more active innovators: Media company leadership teams cannot simply sit on the sidelines and wait for the restof the marketplace to discover the most effective ways to apply these disruptive technologies. There needs to be a team or function tasked with focusing on experimenting with new ways to utilize these technologies in their own businesses to create an operational and/or customer experience advantage.
Engage in robust scenario planning: One of the most important processes media companies should be engaging in is robust scenario planning. What do the different scenarios look like? How will you respond to each? If you anticipate that your current advertising revenues will disappear within five years, what is the plan to respond to that situation? Leadership teams need to understand which levers to pull if certain changes take place in the market.