A new global study of Chief Marketing Officers by IBM has revealed that Australian and New Zealand marketers are lagging behind their international counterparts when it comes to technology savviness and social media expertise.
From Stretched to Strengthened – Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study, was presented to a round-table of marketers yesterday in Sydney and some of the findings were concerning in this age of global competition.
The major insight appears to be that Australian and New Zealand marketers still rely heavily on traditional forms of promotion and research and are yet to embrace the more modern techniques of their global counterparts.
Especially concerning was the belief that Aussie and Kiwi CMOs rated technology savviness, social media expertise and finance skills as low priority capabilities crucial to their success in the next 3 to 5 years. in fact, IBM revealed that our ranking of 12% for social media expertise was HALF that of the global average.
This is despite CMOs acknowledging that ROI will become the primary measure of success.
The much anticipated move to paid digital subscriptions will take place in the next few weeks Richard Freudenstein, CEO of News Digital Media and The Australian, told a selection of bloggers last night.
Freudenstein was candid in his acknowledgement that this is a very necessary move for the organisation as the current model of free websites with display advertising is not enough to support quality journalism. When asked if this was a big risk they’re were taking, the general consensus at News was that it was a bigger risk not to try subscription. The current model just didn’t add up economically.
News will begin their subscription experiment with The Australian newspaper, the more “premium” of their daily news journals. Following the lead from The Times in England and the New York Times, The Australian will be serving up news content on a new website that leads to walled content. Headlines and the first two paragraphs will be viewable on the website but payment would be required to go further.
The key to success, News believe, will be the bundling of offerings. Pricing is anticipated to be:
- Digital pass of $2.95/wk accessible across multiple platforms.
- $4.50/wk for a digital pass & the Saturday Australian newspaper.
- $7.95/wk for a digital pass & 6 day a week Australian newspaper.
At this stage News do not expect that this will be something to lure new readers to The Australian, but will appeal to a percentage of existing subscribers who they hope to migrate to the digital products.
They cite the experience of the music industry that moved from a pirated free period back to a paid digital product as evidence that people will favour convenience and reliability over free in the long run.
News also draw on their experience in another subscription model, Pay TV, where Foxtel took year to grow and become profitable but is now the most profitable TV model in Australia.
One suspects that if this gambit is to succeed that bundling of all of the News products will come into play. Foxtel, news press and niche publications could all be bundled for a larger, but more cost effective combined spend. Tellingly, News acknowledge that they now consider The Australian a “media franchise” rather than merely a newspaper and they are exploring how it will be utilised on “bigger screens”.
Of course there are plenty of cynics who believe that digital subscription will not succeed. One respected pundit I had breakfast with this morning scoffed at the plans to charge for The Australian online, adamant it would fail.
However News have done plenty of homework on this and feel they have no choice but to launch subscription models. They admit that they don’t have all the answers and the experiment will continually evolve. They have deep pockets and seem prepared to patiently see the industry follow suit and join them on the other side of the paywall.
News Ltd has launched a new website to take the discussion further. Read more and have your say at Future of Journalism
Other coverage of the #newsdigsub briefing at:
Lets face it, influence is the main currency of the web.
Google realised it early on when they created an algorithm to rank the influence and relative power of websites based on inbound links and the relative authority or popularity of those doing the linking. Google called this PageRank, and whilst not being the perfect system of website influence it has been the standard measure of this currency for a long time now.
The advent of social networks created an informal market for peddling influence. As networks have grown certain people, celebrities and groups have become powerful influencers of their wider audience.
A mention, tweet or link by the likes of Robert Scoble can be extremely beneficial (or detrimental) for a tech company. A link in Seth Godin’s blog (which is usually shared in social networks thousands of times a day) can generate incredible traffic for the recipient. And believe it or not, having Kim Kardashian tweet her love for your brand can provide a powerful marketing boost. In fact, she now charges companies tens of thousands of dollars to access her Twitter influence.
Why? Because these people have credibility and influence within their respective audiences and communities.
That’s the premise behind a new influence metric called Kred. Created by the team at PeopleBrowsr, Kred trawls Twitter around the clock to measure levels of influence for different topics and people. They currently score 100 million Twitter users for 200 different groups (subjects).
I was at the Australian preview of Kred last night and was very impressed with the level of data and potential uses of the Kred system.
While it is easy to sneer at influence metrics such as Kred, Klout and Peer Index as ego driven vanity scores, that is missing the real point. Looking beyond your own score you can discover groups who are influential in certain topics and even gauge whether they are “spammy” or not.
To me, Kred seems to be the next step on from Klout in measuring social media influence. Jodee Rich, the founder of PeopleBrowsr, is the first to admit that influence metrics such as Kred will continually evolve and improve, but you have to start somewhere. He says that Kred’s granularity will continue to evolve as they measure influence in each country, then cities.
This can be a valuable resource for marketers, PR companies, political operatives, lobbyists and entertainment companies. Driving back from the launch I came up with many ideas about how I could use Kred as a marketer, for both my business and for my clients.
I’ve long believed that building your ‘digital resume’ is crucial for future employment and company pitches. Now we are coming to an era where many employers will use metrics such as Kred (and others) to help identify or compare potential recruits. If you are perceived to be influential in that area of expertise (relative to other candidates) then that might be enough to get you the job.
Kred launches this week. Check it out and tell me what you think.
Characteristics of new digital media and music environment:
Agile – able to move quickly to develop, produce & release
Independent – no longer controlled by traditional owners
Interruptive – whole industries being radically reinvented or fragmented. Rather than be protectionist we must embrace this otherwise we will be left behind.
Collaborative – clusters, crowd sourcing, geographically diverse
Fresh content – amazing amount of new, fresh content every day which can be organized and curated.
Fluid transactions – push button downloads for apps, music, books, TV shows & movies. New commerce models ie Facebook credits for content.
Issues and Needs for Australia
- Hi speed broadband required to keep pace with rest of world
- Better fostering of innovation – funding, tech VC market (tax incentives?)
- Digital Education – both business and students. Greater emphasis on modern digital practices. (NLYZR study). Strongly question whether current tertiary education is preparing people for the digital economy.
- Celebration of success – plenty of talent and up & coming media & music stories that need to be told. We’ve been proposing a leading event…like sxsw. But needs support and funding.
- Intellectual Property laws and processes are archaic and barely viable for current fast moving digital environment. We require a very different approach to licensing, IP, property “rights” and other elements of the underlying framework.
- Retaining talent in Australia – Oz mafia in Silicon Valley, moving where things happen.
- Overall need to decrease friction and roadblocks to enable rapid delivery of content and transactions.
Rather than laws to protect old establishment industries, new laws to enable creation of new business & industries.
Tomorrow I am speaking at the Digital Culture Public Sphere consultation run by Senator Kate Lundy and Minister Simon Crean in order to form a collaborative submission on digital culture in Australia to the National Cultural Policy consultation.
I NEED YOUR HELP.
I’m covering “The future of media culture creation in a digital world” but the Public Sphere wiki hasn’t had many contributions. Here’s you chance to contribute to a 10 year strategy for Australian digital culture, and the broader national cultural agenda.
There’s plenty of ways you can get involved via the Wiki, but for expediency and to help me easily deliver your ideas could you please either write a comment here or via Twitter using the hashtag #publicspheremedia so I can collate.
This is fairly urgent. I will be presenting the collated ideas at about 12.30pm tomorrow (6 Oct 2011).
Ideas to address include:
- How do you imagine the sector could look in the future? How could Australia excel? What would a 10 year plan look like?
- What are some tangible ways we could measure progress in this area?
- Ideas to achieve the vision for Australia.
- Add your thoughts and references for where this sector is going, emerging business models, opportunities for commercialisation
- Any additional information you think might be useful, including case studies, success stories, research papers.
- Leading case studies from the sector to help contextualise Australian innovation in this area
GO FOR IT.
Its been a busy month since the launch of NLYZR. Interestingly, launching a new product like this has resulted in a considerable lift in enquiries across my other businesses and general activities for me. Suddenly I am doing a lot more guest blogging, interviews and speaking at some really fascinating events.
It demonstrates to me the importance of taking new ideas to market in order to keep your name or brand relevant.
Here’s a quick summary of what been happening:
- Blogging weekly at iStrategy on topics around the digital economy and inbound marketing.
- Presenting online at The Business Growth Summit, with the likes of Chris Brogan, Tim Ferriss, Dan Schawbel, Guy Kawasaki and plenty more. My presentation was “5 Ways to Turn Your Website into a Marketing Machine”.
- Guest blog at Starfish Consulting on overall web marketing.
- Interview on Sky Business News regarding the lack of website optimisation by Australian businesses.
- Speaking at the PublicSphere Digital Culture event as part of a collaborative submission on digital culture in Australia to the National Cultural Policy consultation.
- Speaking at an upcoming HunterNet event on social media as part of modern marketing.
- Joining a panel discussion for the New Institute on how to help make Newcastle an Ideas City.
……And there’s a few more trips for speaking engagements on the horizon.
Seems launching something new can be good for business in more ways than expected. What ideas, apps, sites, businesses or campaigns are you launching to get your name out there?
UPDATE 23 SEPTEMBER 2011: Tim Ferriss has just been added to the lineup for The Business Growth Summit. Sign up now to watch Tim and other great speakers online.
There are so many inspiring bloggers, marketers and business leaders out there that it’s nearly impossible to see them all. You could fly to Texas for SXSW Interactive or San Francisco for one of the better web conferences like Web 2.0, but even then you won’t catch all the presentations.
That’s where The Business Growth Summit comes in. Here’s an innovative way to catch some of the worlds best marketers, business leaders and speakers all under one roof……yours.
The Business Growth Summit is an online conference that allows you to watch what you want when you want, and its happening right now until 30 September.
Already there’s been some excellent presentations by Guy Kawasaki, Peter Kim, Rick Liebling and there are plenty more to come.
Entry is FREE. All you need to do is register and you’ll be sent the links to view each of the presentations.
By the way, I believe I am the only Australian presenting at The Business Growth Summit so please check out my short video: 5 ways to turn your website into a marketing machine and help me fly the flag. I have included a special NLYZR offer on the site beneath my bio if you decide you’re inspired enough to tackle your online marketing.
This blogsite has never existed as a money spinner. Sure, I sometimes promote the activities of my various businesses and that can be beneficial, but I have never tried or expected to make a dollar from publishing blog posts.
I’m also a big advocate of inbound marketing and tend to believe the rather funny recent study that found its more likely your will survive a plane crash or win the lottery than click a banner ad. That’s because we don’t go to our favourite websites to look at ads, we go for what that site offers; information, advice, entertainment etc. And its very rare that we are actually served up advertisements that are relevant to us.
Advertisements are pointless and annoying unless they are actually relevant and of service to readers. So that’s why I haven’t included any ads on Media Hunter or even on Urban Insider….until now.
Times have definitely changed. Until recently a new business would measure itself against a series of metrics like foot traffic, advertising reach and frequency, number of phone calls, number of calls or meetings by sales people, presentation to sales ratios, and of course actual sales.
But that was before the web, before Google and before social media networks took off.
In the era of inbound marketing the metrics have totally changed and I am studying them frantically in the wake of our recent NLYZR launch.
One week into my new start-up’s life I am able to track key metrics on an hourly basis to determine what’s working and what’s not. Here are some of the things I’m keeping track of:
As we move from a bricks and mortar economy to one where we are increasingly doing business online the is a growing need for businesses to adapt.
The media this year has been full of doom and gloom about the impact of the digital economy on a beleaguered traditional retail sector. Some of our most famous retailers have been crying foul over purchases made online from foreign websites being GST exempt.
Yet despite the anguish it is surprising to find that very few Australian businesses are taking the appropriate steps to effictively compete online. We have just completed a study of over 6000 websites by NLYZR to determine the standard of website optimization in Australia and the results are telling.
The NLYZR study found that the majority of Australian websites are not up to scratch when it comes to SEO:
- 87% of the sites had substandard SEO
- 29% had no SEO at all
- Only 6% of sites tested were properly optimized
The study looked at over 6000 different websites in a cross section ranging from large publicly listed companies to small businesses and sole traders.