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The Future of Publishing Is in Personalization

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Gone are the days when a media company could choose among print, video or audio to deliver content. Now, your only choice is to use all of them. On top of that, you need to figure out how to best package your content to suit individual consumer tastes.

In a recent webinar, Why Personalization Is Media’s Next Frontier, Bob Kempf, VP, Digital Services at Boston public broadcaster WGBH, and Sandeep Hulsandra, VP, Media Practice at Perfect Sense, discussed this very topic.

“Audiences have moved into consuming content on different channels and platforms,” says Hulsandra, adding that this has forced publishers to figure out how to leverage the variety of outlets to disseminate information.

How to Thrive in the
Omnichannel Chaos

To successfully compete in today’s digital landscape, media organizations must develop multichannel publishing strategies that allow consumers to access content through mobile apps, websites, smart devices, social media, podcasts, video, etc. By leveraging multiple channels, you can build an omnichannel experience for consumers, allowing them to seamlessly switch between channels to access content.

For instance, a person may start watching video content on TV at breakfast and watch the rest of it on her iPad at lunchtime. Or she may begin reading a news story on a smartphone and finish it later at her desktop computer.

Once a media company gets its ominchannel strategy in place, personalization is the obvious next frontier.

Understand the Challenges

When it comes to omnichannel delivery and personalization, technology often ends up being a stumbling block for many organizations. As new delivery technologies have become available over the years, publishers often have added capabilities that serve a single purpose. As a result, they end up with disparate platforms for text, video, native applications, social media and podcasting.

As with any technology environment that expands out of necessity and without proper planning, separate content platforms eventually create a hodgepodge of technology that requires tremendous effort to use and maintain. Siloed platforms force publishers to do a lot of cutting and pasting just to share content across channels.

The reality is this: Repurposing content from a CMS to fit into social media or a mobile app is no longer enough. Seamless integration is paramount. Publishers need a modern platform that integrates all channels so that content can be delivered without the digital gymnastics required by cobbled-together platforms. But even when companies realize that’s what they need, another challenge emerges: How do you migrate everything to a new platform without disrupting the service your audience has come to expect?

Thankfully, migrations no longer have to take 12 or 24 months. In fact, with the right platform and planning, you can complete a migration to launch your omnichannel experience in as little as 90 days. That allows you to start making important decisions on which content is best suited for which channel. (For example, a website could host longer videos for consumption through desktops and laptops, while a mobile app could deliver snappy pieces of content for mobile consumption.)

Launch Your Website in
as Little as 90 days

Get Personal

Media companies need platforms that offer not only multichannel publishing capabilities but also the analytics to capture and analyze consumer data. With personalization becoming a requirement, publishers must take an audience-first approach by collecting information on what each consumer expects—plus where, when and how she expects it.

Consumers have been conditioned to receive personalized experiences, thanks largely to the pioneering efforts of Amazon and Netflix in this area. An overwhelming majority of marketers—88%—believe audiences expect a personalized experience, according to the 2018 Trends in Personalization study by Researchscape International.

To refine personalization efforts, platforms are starting to employ artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI is manna to omnichannel and personalization initiatives because, through machine learning, you can absorb more and more information about each consumer. As models get refined, eventually a publisher can assemble a mini-website for each consumer, giving prominence to a consumer’s preferred content whenever that person visits.

One company that’s made serious strides in that direction is public broadcaster WGBH in Boston, which delivers content through TV, radio and digital outlets. By leveraging Brightspot’s enterprise CMS, WGBH modernized its content delivery with premium video integration, customized editorial flows, personalization capabilities, membership-based premium content and other advanced features.

Keep Them Coming Back

Delivering omnichannel and personalized experiences increases monetization opportunities. Precisely targeted content boosts consumer loyalty. When people feel they can’t live without the content you’re delivering, they keep coming back—which is good for advertisers as well as subscription-based services.

And that’s why, as media companies look to the future, it’s imperative they understand the need to deliver a personalized, omnichannel experience. Learn more about how WGBH and other leading publishers have taken an omnichannel approach to content distribution and used deep personalization to grow loyalty and unlock new revenue streams here.

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