Like every other industry, media, entertainment, and publishing (MEP) is working to keep pace with radical changes in consumer habits. Gone are the days of purchasing a bundled phone/internet/TV service. Today’s consumer has so many choices of where, when, and how to consume content, companies are compelled to put strategies in place that put the customer first, and create an exceptional experience tailored to their preferences. That evolved experience can also draw from new technological options like alternative reality, integrated social media, and more.
Digital transformation in MEP is also driven by revenue pressures. Elements of effective responses often include dramatic change to business models, such as offering ad-free services, or launching completely new services or products.
While MEP organizations are still focused on audiences, engagement, and monetization through ads, their digital transformation efforts are frequently more focused on developing personalized, omnichannel experiences across devices that nurture loyalty.
Consumers have evolved, too.
Audience expectations have never been higher. That leaves MEP organizations searching for strategies that result in the immersive experiences consumers want, often including alternative reality, virtual reality, social media, and personalized recommendations.
Those recommendations hold value. According to the Connected Audience Report from Salesforce Research, 40 percent of millennials and Gen Z consumers value personalized recommendations so much that they’re likely to pay for them.
Today’s media consumer is a multi-tasker, simultaneously watching TV, and discussing the program via social media or a smart phone app. They crave ever-deeper engagement - even participation - in the content they enjoy.
Challenges to successful transformation abound.
From cable to streaming services to websites and beyond, consumers now have a range of content resources. All of those touchpoints create an explosion of data to be gathered, analyzed, and acted upon. MEP organizations must integrate all of that information to form the hyper-segmented audiences that can serve as the foundation of a tailored relationship. A consumer who is immersed themselves in the content’s world, and raves about their experiences to others, is one who feels personally involved and understood.
Advertising still poses the largest challenge to MEP organizations. Their business models are dependent on it, but consumers are frequently skeptical of ads, and even annoyed by them. (According to the Salesforce report, 39 percent of all media consumers claim a willingness to pay extra for ad-free content.) Finding new, better ways to put an advertiser’s message in front of a consumer is a top priority.
The solutions are out there.
To thrive in this ever-changing landscape, MEP organizations must focus on the entire spectrum of change management, which encompasses people, process, technology, and strategy.
Understanding the customer journey is vital to determining specifics such as where advertising can work, and where it’s a disruption. Original content, user-generated experiences, (such as “choose your own adventure options in movies,) and sometimes even a complete rebranding and relaunching are all viable actions.
Setting digital priorities.
To monetize their consumers with advertisers, MEP organizations must keep those consumers engaged, offer them immersive experiences, and hold their attention. Original content is key to those goals.
MEP organizations are making large investments in virtual reality, video everywhere, and social media. Additionally, they’re looking at artificial intelligence and machine learning options that make hyper-segmentation possible.
A look at what’s next.
The largest potential in MEP lies in enabling consumers to discover more new content that aligns with what they already know they like. Movie and music recommendations, interactive social experiences, connecting with celebrities and content creators, and other avenues to create lasting relationships are all on the table.