The BBC Disrupts Itself

Last week, it was reported that the BBC will soon be announcing a huge rBBCeorganization that involves eliminating divisions by media type – TV and radio – and organizing around content and audience-led divisions. This is the first large entertainment behemoth to take this bold move to restructure around the new media system that has emerged over the last decade – a media system where the audience is intricately entwined with the media. In entertainment, the business model has been built on an old 100-year old media system (based on the birth of radio, TV, film) and the only way for dying media companies to survive will be to evolve and rebuild business models to fit into the new, integrated media system that has emerged. Growth in this new system is reliant on the ability of content creators to develop specific audiences in a way where each piece of content – created and released – feeds and grows specific, unique audiences. It will be important that the BBC understands that the other key component for success will be to not only create a new internal structure, but also to create a new relationship with their segmented audiences – knowing who they are, what they want and how to enlist their power for business growth in an authentic, transparent way. It’s no longer marketing to them, it’s building a relationship with them that serves mutually serves both media company and audience.

Cheers to the BBC for leading the way in taking such a bold, risky, smart move. I look forward to watching if other entertainment companies follow suit. My prediction is if other studios do not follow the BBC’s lead, they take the even riskier choice of becoming entertainment history.

Why Brands Win When They Seek Audiences Not Customers

1440628624781Today, the most successful brand strategies are those that take an audience development approach. And by “audience” I mean your customers, users or members of your brand tribe. Why use the word “audience” rather than customers?

First of all, as opposed to customers, an audience is looking to make an emotional connection and will give their attention when they get what they desire. Plus, to a brand, customers are merely numbers reflecting a transaction. When we shift the language to audience, we evoke a connection with an individual that is more than transactional it’s emotional. And when brands build experiences for audiences, rather than their customers, a relationship is built that, if done right, can sustain for a long time.

“Humans are emotional creatures and they want experiences that engage them as humans. They’re not eyeballs, impressions, views, likes, shares, clickthroughs, or conversions.” – Brian Solis, August 2015

Further, if we look at the current role of content in successful brand strategies, the ultimate goal is that brands are creating added value content that resonates with your particular brand audience. (Btw, you have to get to know your audience and understand what they want before you can even create strategies that provides them with particular unique value). And no matter what kind of content you are creating, the goal is to get the attention of the right people via providing them with either entertainment or information that engages people emotionally.

Whether brands know it yet or not, with each foray into creating original brand content, they are, little by slowly, becoming media companies.

Indeed, customers are now audiences. And those brands that consider this perspective in their strategies will succeed quicker than the rest. Check out Red Bull, they’re a great example of this.

So …

Brands, meet your audience.

Audiences, meet your brands.

4 Key Strategic Approaches The New York Times Took to Save Their Business

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 9.46.54 AMThe New York Times’ leaked innovation report was probably the best thing that ever happened to the Times. Of course, the global humiliation of their digital failures had to have stung at first, in the moment, but in the end the way they responded to the truth of their situation – that they were stuck using old ways in a new world – become the source of how they found their way towards evolution. Rather than licking their wounds and doing the same thing they’ve always done, they embraced their need to change their perspective and adopted a new road map to help them take the Times legacy into the digital age, and today, they are starting to thrive. Continue reading

You, Me & Brands: Cross-Platform Identity Building

imgresToday expression of one’s personal identity includes both who we are offline and online. And our online persona is expressed across multiple media platforms. We all have a “cocktail” of platforms that we use to express ourselves in our digital life. For me, my “cocktail” includes LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the StoryDisruptive website. I also have a collection of content that plays a role in the expression of who I am to others. I have my status updates, blogs, pictures and videos. Some of these express the woman I am as a professional and in my personal life. Together, they stand to represent me to anyone looking to know me, professionally or personally.

This is how it is for all individuals expressing themselves in today’s digitally rich human communication system. Expressing who we are is a cross-platform experience created using our own unique content. Continue reading

Dodgers Dodged A Great Original Content Opportunity To Engage Fans

Article By Jonathan Tavssimgres-1

How exciting was it when the Dodgers were so hot at the end of the season to head into the MLB Post Season? For many in Los Angeles, just the thought that they will actually be able to watch the games on their television was enough to bring joy. Unfortunately, too many fans were unable to participate in the age-old ritual of being able to watch nearly any game on television because they didn’t have Time Warner Cable. For those who have sports superstitions (like I do), could it be too easy to blame the collapse on the very fact that many who couldn’t watch games when the Dodgers were playing lights-out could suddenly view every moment and, therefore, break the sports-win continuum? Naah! You can’t blame it on that. But the frustration the team felt with their post-season performance and the fans felt in not being able to watch as many games could possibly have been lessened if the Dodgers (and MLB) didn’t miss a golden opportunity to engage fans with original content production off the field.

Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Four of the National League Divison Series at Busch Stadium on Oct. 7, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri. JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES

Photo by Jamie Squire

The blown opportunity – like the blown mid-inning pitching and saves on the field – can be found in Continue reading

4 Reasons Audience Development Will Replace Traditional Marketing

1) Customers = AudiencesUnknown-4

With all the new devices and media platforms, to truly engage customers with added value content they want to be entertained. Brands that will succeed in the 21st century will be those that embrace this role of becoming entertainers and focus not on converting customers but building audiences. Check out RedBull who has masterfully done this and now claims 42% of the market share for energy drinks.

2) Larger Audience = Larger Profitsimages

The answer of how to monetize in a digital age lies in audience development. The larger your brand loyal audience is, Continue reading

Silicon Beach Fest: Social Media, Big Data & Ellen Selfie

Photo Jun 23, 4 14 54 PMLast week at Silicon Beach Fest I was on the Social Media & Big Data panel with Josh SpectorMarc KarzenDan LevittHannah Stiefel, and Salvador Aceves where we discussed how to engage social audiences by knowing your audience via big data and then using this data to build a relationship with them that serves them as much as it serves brands.

Much ground was covered and discussed, though the highlight was to hear Josh Spector discuss the evolution of social media around the Oscars and, in particular, the infamous, branded, Ellen selfie that went far and wide. This selfie was a genius moment that served all involved by giving something of value to the audience while simultaneously capturing a large number of eyeballs for both Samsung’s Galaxy and the Oscars. A win-win for everyone – audience & brands. What a great successful 21st century content and social marketing moment.

Overall, it was a great panel discussion which added to the larger, inspiring conference that was rich with insights and people passionate about innovation and business.