Summit Speakers Talk Innovation, Strategy
Addressing publishers, editors and salespeople, speakers from publishing, technology and consulting companies gave their advice on how to encourage innovation in the workplace and create a strategy for the publishing industry’s changing business model. In a presentation titled, "What is Strategy," SourceMedia CEO James M. Malkin said strategic planning is a process (not an event) that defines the future company and draws a roadmap on how to get there.
He added that the traditional annual plan media companies used to come up with is antiquated because the industry is in constant flux. "With a strategic plan, you can actually change the plan as you go along," he said. Malkin said companies can no longer survive by "thinking" they know their competition. "You have to define your position with data and market research," he said. "Know the strengths and weaknesses of your company. … You have to be proactive. You can no longer survive with a knee-jerk reaction."
Likewise, Jim Alkon, of Publishing Solutions, said media companies also need a strategy for dealing with advertisers. "Know you’re products, services, strategies and have a timely grasp of market trends and conditions," he said during his presentation called, "Media Strategies and Tactics." "Understand (the client’s) mindset – needs, goals, changes, how they process information. And listen, listen, listen."
Alkon said it’s not enough for publishers to say they’re the best. They also need to demonstrate it in a unique format. While he said it’s important to offer advertisers an integrated format of all the company’s products, it’s not necessary to try to force marketers to actually use all of the products. "Prioritize according to the customer’s objectives," he said.
During a presentation on innovation, Chetan Chandavarkar, director of product development at futurethink, said publishers should shepherd ideas from their employees, create a nurturing environment for innovation, and create a company strategy and process for executing innovative ideas. "It’s not luck, it’s leadership," Chandavarkar said. His advice for senior management:
Make it easier for employees to carry out innovative ideas through encouragement. Lead by example. Talk about innovation all the time. Invest. Fail more to achieve success. Hire employees to only concentrate on innovation.