As an online publisher, your day might go like this:
You wake up in the morning, pumped up and optimistic about this new digital world we live in and all the great opportunities it offers. You think about how you'll seize upon the promise of it all, engaging your customers in new ways; establishing deep, meaningful relationships with them; expanding your audience via community and viral campaigns; creating new user experiences that are compelling and differentiated from the competition; and ultimately hearing the virtual cash register cha-ching as you capitalize on the new digital revenue streams.
But by midday, reality sets in. You shake your head, feeling overwhelmed and somewhat scared about needing to deliver on the hype and promises you've made and keeping your online business in business. You secretly wonder if your company has what it takes to survive in a marketplace comprising an increasing number of competitors whom you've never heard of and who don't behave like you. You need to develop new content strategies that require things like metadata, taxonomies, entities, and relevance. Emerging technologies are way over your head; and you must consider new distribution and marketing options, like SEO (define), RSS, widgets, and social bookmarking. And let's not forgot all the organizational challenges you face with insufficient resources, lack of new media skills, and legacy organizational structures.
Plus, the rules of the game have been thrown out the window, and new rules are being created every day, often by your competitors and disruptive technologies.
To survive, nay, thrive in this digital world, you must have a digital strategy that integrates the key disciplines (i.e., content, marketing, technology, sales, business development, research, etc.) as well as a deep understanding of the details and how to execute them. You've got to be completely customer-centric and deliver a value proposition that's meaningful and embraced by your audience. You must welcome the new and experiment, but go in with eyes wide open. Invest in new technologies and new skills. Too often companies still work in silos, but with a cohesive strategy you'll be able to create a unique, compelling, and desirable Web experience for your audience and provide your advertisers and sponsors with highly targeted ad opportunities.
It's obviously very difficult to do this and there isn't a simple, fool-proof solution. But if you understand all the pieces and have a sound approach, you can develop a solid integrated strategy and action plan and execute them with confidence. With these in place, you'll feel better throughout the day and be more confident that you're on the road to thriving in this digital world.
This is where I hope to help.
This is my first column for ClickZ and I'm aiming to provide both strategic and very practical, actionable ideas to help you successfully grow audience, monetize digital assets, and improve digital operations.
Regardless of the type of online publisher you are, whether you're a consumer magazine or a B2B (define) publisher, whether you're advanced with your Web strategy or just starting out, I intend to provide some actionable takeaways.
I've organized my perspectives into a framework: the 12 Cs.
The 12 Cs for Thriving in the Digital Age
I'll be drilling into the 12 Cs in the coming weeks. I appreciate your joining me on this journey. Please send me your feedback and ideas on issues you'd like to hear about. I'm very customer-centric.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Lee Huang specializes in developing digital strategies that enable companies to monetize their digital assets, create innovative online products, and leverage emerging technologies to better serve their audience and advertisers. He is director of digital strategy and product development at NBC Universal. Before joining NBCU, he led the development of successful Internet strategies, Web sites, and interactive solutions for media and entertainment companies, including Billboard, Hearst, Scripps Networks, Hollywood Reporter, and Consumer Reports. Lee created The 12 Cs, a framework for thriving in the digital age that focuses on developing an integrated business and technology strategy, along with an adaptive infrastructure that enables rapid execution.
He serves on the board and leads the New York chapter of the Internet Strategy Forum, a professional association for executives who lead their company's Internet strategy and initiatives.
Lee lives in New York City. He can be reached at email@example.com.
March 19, 2014