Innovation Mission: Raleigh, N.C. & Atlanta We’re traveling to Atlanta and Raleigh-Durham to meet with several of the most dynamic companies in and around local media.

WRAL gets deep on their platform and distribution strategy

On Tuesday at WRAL, the media company dug into what makes their platform and distribution strategy work. Here's what they had to share:

One of the more interesting elements of their deploy strategy is through regional and national distribution of their Capitol Broadcasting Company content. Here are a few other areas of focus.

There's a lot to love about their "live, lean in and lean back" approach to OTT. It helps set up how the organization thinks about the experience they are providing their audience.

And their video-ize strategy goes across numerous brands including a few really interesting ones like SmartShopper and GoAskMom.

Podcast: UNC Center for Innovation & Sustainability in Local Media visits with LMA's Jed Williams

The UNC Center for Innovation & Sustainability in Local Media welcomed the Innovation Mission group on Tuesday in the Reese News Lab. Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penelope Abernathy and Associate Professor Ryan Thornburg both shared their insights with the group.

They spoke with LMA Chief Innovation Officer Jed Williams about hurdles local media face and how they can best prepare themselves using innovative ways of thinking and challenging their own ingrained habits.

Listen to the podcast with Jed here.

Photos from Day 2 of the Innovation Mission

3 case studies that show how leveraging customer data can maximize marketing efficiencies

At a special event on Monday night for Innovation Mission attendees hosted by Blue Venn, individuals learned about utilizing customer data to address business problems.

Here’s a look at three business problems that Blue Venn outlined and how customer data could help solve them.

Data Analytics & Modeling

• Business Problem

Gain better insight into growing customer base

• Action

Conducted analysis and modeling on propensity to buy among different consumer segments

Enhanced customer records using third party sociodemographic data

Profiled most profitable customers and identified prospects for acquisition with similar characteristics and profiles

• Outcome

Enhanced segment granularity (increased segments for targeting from 20 to 80) leading to more cost effective outreach

Discovered trends in product growth and differences in purchase patterns across segments

Increased new customer acquisition rates and customer retention

Journey Orchestration & Campaign Execution

• Business Problem

Improve marketing productivity across many regional papers, websites, and properties

• Action

Created comprehensive segmentation for each newspaper market

Drove all multichannel marketing campaigns through this segmentation model

Constructed customer lifecycle curriculums to manage the customer journey

Automated campaign triggers and communications for start verifications, easy pay upgrades, renewal notifications, etc

• Outcome

46% improvement in subscriber retention – annual savings of over $1 million

Increased revenue per subscriber by 8.4%

Reduced discount investment by 30%

Performance Benchmarks & Reporting

• Business Problem:

Report on key metrics that drive the business (cost per acquisition, retention rates, spend per customer, LTV and orders per customer, average selling price, items per order) to influence marketing strategy

• Action

Brought marketing data into unified database across channels

Managed campaign and segmentation activities using full customer history

• Outcome

Added 45k high-value customers to marketing file that were previously being dismissed

Reduced campaign concept to action time from weeks to under 24 hours

Leverage attribution model to make more informed decisions about where acquisition spend should go

A few photos from Day 1 of the Innovation Mission

What does a Harvest strategy look like at McClatchy?

How does McClatchy think about accelerating the conversion of strategic accounts?

It was one of many topics discussed during their presentation that kicked off the Innovation Mission on Monday.

They went deep on their Harvest approach, which means keep what you can, while you can, for as long as you can.

McClatchy said the core of their strategy has been to place Strategic Account Managers in their largest markets, those that have the most opportunity. They said this is particularly the case when it comes to accelerating the conversion of strategic accounts, and their most at risk revenue from a legacy perspective.

That’s when the mentality of Harvest comes in, they said. They are able to lead conversations with a more robust, comprehensive, digital strategic discussions.

The slide above does a nice job showing how Harvest accounts and Strategic accounts work together.

These are some of the leading themes you'll hear about on this Innovation Mission

This is WRAL's homepage. A big part of the North Carolina visit will be spending time here.

The LMA Innovation Mission kicks off today in Raleigh-Durham. Here are four things you will learn:

Best Practices for Transforming Your Media Company

Cox Media Group and WRAL are among the most progressive companies in local media. But they too have felt disruption, and in turn have evolved their core businesses and built new digital brands to compete and thrive. Their top executives will share the biggest lessons they’ve learned in transforming newspapers and TV stations into next-generation media enterprises.

Winning Ideas for Building Loyal, Engaged Audiences to Generate Meaningful Revenue

One of the biggest opportunities – and imperatives – is diversifying revenue (both digital and non-digital)…primarily by monetizing audiences directly. However, key questions persist. Namely, what are users actually willing to pay, and what value exchange and experience do they expect in return? IM attendees will get an in-depth look at a number of successful audience development models, including Cox’s industry-leading approach to subscriptions at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Also, LEAP Media Solutions will share several examples of how to identify highest-value users to move them toward a paid relationship.

Achieving Real Sales Transformation

It’s one of the most persistent pain points across local media – how to create more effective sales machines to grow our businesses. The challenges are wide-ranging, from hiring to structure to training to benchmarking. On the IM, attendees will get a behind-the-curtain look at how several traditional media companies are approaching their own sales transformation…and emerging with models that deliver real results.

Solving for “News Deserts” with Sustainable Solutions

The University of North Carolina’s Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media is leading groundbreaking research on how community news organizations can cultivate a profitable future. Their Reese News Lab then experiments with new products and emerging journalism models to put this research to practice. IM attendees will meet with the Reese News Lab Director and Knight Chair to discuss the big ideas that are emerging for reimagining local news ecosystems.

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