This Time, It’s Personal

Recently the global consulting firm Accenture released an important new study that points to the reshaping of the media industry’s competitive dynamics.

A key finding in the study was that successful media companies are engaging directly with consumers like never before. Sixty-two percent rank building and maintaining ?direct-to-consumer? relationships as one of their top three priorities. “The new battle ground is around the relationship with the consumer.” So entertainment companies are now scrambling to engage and secure the consumer at a personal and individual level.

Recommendations

The study points to several recommendations to drive future relationship management success.

1. Build comprehensive consumer capabilities, including consumer data management. Leverage appropriate technologies to enable a science-based approach to the analysis of large data sets for the purposes of targeting messages, experiences, and advertising to drive deep audience engagement.

2. Use consumer relationships as the foundation for revenue models. Turn your ability to engage consumers with relevant and customized experiences into the basis for monetization. Instead of focusing on inputs such as numbers of banner ads or page views (or rating points), focus on relationship-based outcomes – a known quantity of consumers whose interests are established and well-understood. Then create marketing and advertising pricing models based on these proven outcomes: X consumers delivered through the channel, leading to Y sales opportunities and Z increases in revenue.

3. Re-evaluate and reshape your organizational structure to support the new operating model and reflect your greater focus on consumer data and relationships.

4. Drive implementation of digital technologies to realize the full value and cost benefits. Launch aggressive continuous improvement of your digital capabilities, including targeting, additional R&D requirements and/or opportunities for alliances or partnerships with best of breed service providers.

Several challenges exist that limit firms ability and effectiveness in developing strong direct-to-consumer relationships. Two key challenges are strategy/analytics skills and data quality.

Companies lack strategy, analytics and tools

Almost all (80%) of the executives believe that the management of consumer and operational data provides a significant competitive advantage but only 29 percent say they are leaders in using this data both offline and online; suggesting that many companies still lack the sophisticated, analytical data management techniques required to be a high performer. Maintaining and analysis of consumer data is a critical enabler for more compelling consumer content.

A sign of shortcomings in these areas is the continued reliance on traditional tools for gathering and analyzing data. Research and focus groups still predominate over web analytics and more companies favor traditional surveys over online communities. So companies are missing out on the lower costs and higher accuracy that digital tools offer.

Data Quality Is Key

When asked which three factors are the most critical in enabling their companies to exploit consumer data more effectively, an overwhelming majority of executives ? 76 percent ? point to data quality. This reflects the fact that high-quality data is key to creating both a more personalized content experience and deeper consumer relationships.

Download a PDF of the study here.

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