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Panpa Bulletin : July 2011
Certified Soft Proofing - what they see on screen is what you deliver in print. Adsend Certified Soft Proofing is the cloud-based, integrated calibration and proofing solution that Publishers all over the UK have mandated for advertisers and agencies. Why? To ensure the expectations of senders with Adsend’s on-screen simulation of how the ad will look in the publication when it’s printed. Now Adsend Certified Soft Proofing is here, allowing you to ensure the expectations of senders by mandating soft proofing (or offering it as an option) by publication or even by advertising type. Want to know more? Of course you do! www.adsend.com.au 1300 798 949 Australia Fra nce all roads lead to roam PUBLISHING to mobile platforms and charging for content have be- come the new strategic re-occupa- tions. Whether in Sao Paulo and Syd- ney, or Dallas and Singapore, pub- lishers confess they are struggling with cultural change and articulating a cogent strategy that either isn’t instantly shared with competitors or becomes dated by the next con- sumer-tech press release. Editors, long seen as oracles of wisdom for newspaper prosperity, are struggling to keep pace with tech- nology usage and business detail, causing many colleagues to express frustration at cultures that are now throttling ideas and progress. Arthur J Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times, expresses his alarm when colleagues say to him, “that’s not how we do it at the New York Times”. “We fight that,” he declared at the annual conference of the In- ternational Newsmedia Marketers’ Association (INMA). “We can never allow ourselves to think like this. We have to be flexible in a world where everyone watches our every move; we have to stay open and embrace change.” The chief executive of INMA was more brutal about the old ways. Earl Wilkinson, who will again be at the PANPA Future Forum in August, told delegates: “The print culture is choking our ability to in- novate. In some papers, 95 percent of the labour is dedicated to getting out tomorrow’s newspapers. “And when we mix the cultures of print and digital, the environment becomes toxic . . . because print always wins. “Our newsrooms smell the ten- sion. They are not taking integration seriously. They are gumming up the works and slowing down the transi- tion. “Too many print people are touch- ing digital. The outcome is that we are defensive. I’d like to see more digital people touching print.” Staff of a Norwegian newspaper would agree and have taken charge of their digital destiny. Colleagues on the Mecom-owned daily, Fredrikkstad Blad, handed in their resignations en masse so their roles could be re-engineered to move the business to one that split its operations equally between print and digital. Even though it is a small news- paper of 23,000 daily sales, its ap- proach has become a template for other Mecom businesses that wish to take a similar path. The major Norwegian daily, VG, is in a fight against time because it is trying to stem an annual 15 percent fall in print sales while its digital expansion struggles to make up the fiscal difference. Its CEO, Torry Pedersen, con- fessed his business lived in “two different worlds”. Some 77 percent of print revenue came from VG’s cover price; and 90 percent of digital revenue was advertising based. As print sales slipped, his business had to move from a “mono-product” culture. Delegates heard that innovation was often related directly to com- pany structures. The fast-movers were those held by trusts, such as The Guardian in the UK, Canada’s Toronto Star and America’s Journal Register. Growth opportunities often came in the form of what, in the old days, would be considered “sub-optimal business models”, according to Mr Wilkinson. Speakers also got stuck into man- agement for helping to commoditise the value of digital advertising, claiming the focus on beating tradi- tional print competitors had created over-supply when scarcity of space brought in the big dollars. Randal Rothenberg, president of the US Interactive Advertising Bureau, spelled it out simply: “You have to pull out of the commodity spiral. “Brand marketers want aware- ness, likelihood to recommend and favourability, and conversion rates. “You give them click-throughs, unique visits, impressions, message association, time spent on a page . . . this is not what they want.” Several newspapers have identi- fied ad agencies and brand market- ers as a problem because they lack understanding and confidence in new media; this in turn had held back publishers’ ability to sell digit- al-destination and social media-style campaigns. Denver Post vice-president Kirk MacDonald described how his newspaper had integrated print and digital sales, and had established an internal creative agency to help cli- ents, calling it a “really critical part of the whole process”. Brian Tierney, who lost the Phila- delphia Inquirer this year because it could not service its debt, said his paper had also set up its own agency process to help advertisers better understand how a community connects to brands online, and then gauge response from campaigns. “You can win Pulitzers and think you’re having fun, or you can con- nect with your audience and create journalism that shows some person- ality,” he said. One of the leading thinkers in American media, Rishad Tobac- cowala, observed that few publishers had achieved CPM rates (cost per thousand) beyond $10. He said marketers “never wanted to underwrite the content business”. “Marketers have no interest in content. The only reason they have underwritten it in the past was to get to an audience,” he continued. “Marketers never wanted to buy space but buy audiences. “Your challenge is to shift from volume to value,” he said. “You have no chance unless you reinvent yourself.” His message was clear and stark for those executives still fretting. “Suppress the word, ‘digital’,” Mr Tobaccowala told delegates. “Talking about digital is a little too late. These are exciting times: for your industry, this is an age of renaissance. “You have much to learn from technology companies and venture capitalists. You need to focus less on what the editor thinks and more on what your consumers want and are saying.” And he reminded those who like to lament the downward trend in print advertising: “Advertising and marketing are bigger (economic sectors) than hardware and software combined. “Yours is not a shrinking or dying industry. You need to change your perspective from product to market- place.” Speakers focused little on the print business compared with the time they spent trying to shine a light on how to approach business transfor- mation. Culture and its damage to strategic intent were constantly discussed. Publishers’ slow pace of innova- tion – as opposed to decisions to create logistic efficiencies – came up time and again. It was time to experiment and if a project failed, then make sure it failed fast. The need to charge for dig- ital content was almost unanimously agreed, and as Andrew Sollinger of the Financial Times pointed out, “the truth of what readers really want only emerges when they are asked to pay for it”. This transparency, and the result- ing data of readers’ behaviour, had to be used as a significant com- mercial asset to help develop future products, he said. Product differentiation was a fourth key point. Speakers con- tinually pointed out how journalists chased the same stories, presented them in similar ways and then sold or published them through the same sales channels. Mr Wilkinson said company lead- ers needed to continually achieve “strategic differentiators and cut- away non-differentiators”. A key facet of the future relied on publishers’ the ability to create rele- vant and exclusive content on mobile platforms. As analyst Juan Senor said, “all roads lead to roam”. www.panpa.org.au | JULY 2011 | The PANPA Bulletin Executives across the world are coming to similar conclusions about how to handle digital transformation – and not everyone will like what they hear. MARK HOLLANDS reports Presentations and an accompanying synopsis of the key speakers at the INMA conference are being posted on the NPA’s research-focused website, www.mediaplanet.org.au in the next two weeks planet media Clockwise: Chairman of Shepparton News and Association director Ross McPherson with Yasmin Namini, SVP of Circulation and Market- ing at the New York Times, and new president of INMA, Ravi Dhariwal, chief executive of Bennett, Coleman & Company of India; News Ltd senior executive Kylie Davis as she MCs the annual INMA awards; Michael Muir, of the Gisborne Herald, enjoys the networking, INMA boss Earl Wilkinson on stage; and Paul Johnson, Marketing Manager of the Dominion Post, picks up a coveted award from outgoing INMA president, Michael Phelps Norway’s biggest daily, VG, is working to halt an annual sales slide of 15 percent sPeCIaL RePORT: FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY