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How Intelligence Can Help Media Companies Win the War for Attention

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[@AILA IMAGES/Stocksy United]

To capture the attention of consumers, companies need to not only understand consumer demographics but also their preferences and the reasons behind them.

Media companies face their biggest-ever challenge. They’re battling disruptive new competitors while in a war for the attention of consumers, fighting on numerous fronts against streaming services, social media, mobile apps, podcasts, games, and more.

Winning this war depends on media companies’ ability to intelligently apply data at scale to gain a deep understanding of their audiences and unlock new business capabilities. It enables them to provide personalized customer experiences, better monetize content and audiences, and become more agile and responsive to changes in the market or consumer behavior. Here’s how.

Use intelligence to make better decisions at scale

From radio disrupting print publishing to the web disrupting TV, the media sector is no stranger to change. Global subscriptions to video streaming services have outstripped cable TV, feeding the anytime, anyplace consumer consumption habits. Streaming services companies like Netflix have moved beyond content distribution and are doling out billions on original content. And, social media has changed how consumers find content.

Faced with this huge wave of disruption, media companies are changing how they do business. Mergers and acquisitions between media and other companies are radically reshaping markets as they’re forced to develop complex strategies to find new sources of revenue and maximize their audience.

But underpinning these strategies is one business imperative: to capture the attention of consumers. To do that, media companies first need to understand consumers — not only their demographics but their preferences and the reasons behind those preferences.

The solution is to apply intelligence to process vast amounts of different types of data and gain actionable insights. This enables businesses to make better decisions at scale, driving higher-quality engagement with consumers.

Let’s take a look at how you can apply intelligence through three primary lenses: personalization, monetization, and agility. 

1. Apply intelligence to personalize consumer experiences

As people consume content, each moment of attention creates a wealth of information that businesses can potentially use. The only problem is that data is typically siloed and scattered across numerous departments and companies. This is what we call the “consumer attention ecosystem.”

But imagine being able to connect these data points across this ecosystem. With the help of intelligent systems, a media company could have a far more comprehensive knowledge of its audience. And it could apply this knowledge to provide a holistic, personalized experience for each consumer across disparate moments and channels.

2. Monetize content through personalized experiences

With the ad revenue pot diminishing, the pressure is on media companies to find alternative ways to monetize content. The digital ad model isn’t going away, but companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon capture the lion’s share of the market. There is now an opportunity for another approach.

What if media companies could use personalization to provide more engaging ads and brands as part of our viewing experience? Viewers could interact with products directly within a scene. From simply wanting to learn more about a product to actually purchasing it, this type of advertising would give viewers the ability to interact more personally with brands.

Media companies also have a huge opportunity to apply intelligence to drive a variety of revenue sources, such as cross-media brands, new content formats, subscription models, events, and merchandise.

3. Become truly agile to maximize monetization

Intelligence can enable media companies to take this multi-pronged approach even further, using different content formats and revenue sources that reinforce each other. This creates multiple paths to gain consumer attention, maximizing audience reach and monetization. But it isn’t easy, because it requires becoming a truly agile organization — taking operational agility to a new level, so businesses can respond quickly to any new opportunity.

And all this must be done at scale and cost-effectively. By using artificial intelligence (AI), a company can connect disparate systems, streamline workflows, and give staff access to the insights they need to get new products and services to market faster. It also requires automation and to this end, AI tools make it possible to rapidly explore multiple content options and to streamline production, post-production, and complex logistics.

Remember: AI still needs people

However, while AI can automate routine work, media companies will always need talented people for high-value and creative work. Collaboration and industry partnerships will become even more important for gaining access to data across the consumer attention ecosystem.

These strong connections, informed by artificial intelligence, will be the key to winning the war for attention and, ultimately, achieving lasting success in the new media market.

Read the full report: The War for Attention: Bringing Intelligence to a New Media Ecosystem.


Kelcy Joynt Communications Industry Product Marketing Manager

Kelcy Joynt brings over six years of experience to her role on the Communications & Media Industries marketing team at Salesforce. On this team, she supports the marketing strategy for Salesforce solutions for the communications and media industries.

More by Kelcy Joynt

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