‘You Can’t Move From Want to Need on Guesswork’; the Rise of Data and Culture

Lucy Kueng, senior research associate at Reuters and internationally renowned expert on digital disruption, has published a new ebook titled Transformation Manifesto: 9 Priorities for Now. It delves into how publishers can change for the better in the aftermath of the pandemic. She wants to help them “seize the opportunities presented by the undeniable crisis we face, because those opportunities are truly huge.”

Let’s go over some of these priorities, paired with upcoming sessions at our big annual BIMS event featuring the SIPA Sales & Marketing Leadership Summit, Dec 2-4.

1. Move from nice-to-have to ‘must-have’: triple down on data. “You can’t move from want to need on guesswork,” Kueng writes. “You can only shift… by diving deeply into understanding customers and how you can become more important to them… Triple down on data, not just on the volume flowing into the organization but on the caliber of discussions around that data, on the insights derived from it, the hypotheses you develop and test.”

BIMS session: Keynote: Audience Data: Creating Inclusive Connections to Grow Your Business. Data journalist Sherrell Dorsey, founder and CEO of The Plug, will share how she has leveraged data integration at The Plug to forge meaningful connection with her audience, attracting thousands of subscribers, several hundred paid members and over $500,000 in equity-free capital.

2. Seize the moment to do clean-up work that’s overdue. You have cover. In the same way we have been cleaning out our homes of its junk, Kueng wants us to do the same with our business—and stop doing things that aren’t successful. But also she wants us to pivot in the way we do age-old processes. “Remote working clearly offers opportunities to rebalance fixed costs.”

BIMS session: Marketing Pivot: How Are Publishers Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic Now? How are publishers pivoting in this new environment? What marketing ideas can help you turn this pandemic into opportunity? Hear from Charity Huff, CEO, January Spring, Stacey Bailey, VP, Chartwell, Inc., and Jeson Jackson, marketing & customer experience manager, Education Week.

3. Your culture is unfrozen. There will never be a better time to change it. “Culture is incredibly efficient – it works as an internal protocol that silently influences actions and decisions,” Kueng writes. “Ensure digital voices (often younger and more diverse) have equivalent ‘voice time’ and that they are heard first.”

BIMS session: Keynote: From Media To Intelligence: How National Journal Became a Premier Insights Platform. Kevin Turpin, president of National Journal, will discuss National Journal’s evolution from a trusted 50-year-old media organization to a premier insights and intelligence company. This presented a huge culture change for them! He will provide insight into how his organization stays relevant and forward-thinking.

4. Take extravagant care of your teams. “Remote working is often a boon for productivity when tasks are known. [But] it is bad for innovation and setting up new things (and finding a workaround for this is the challenge right now)… Ramp up communication as much as possible. Gather everyone together more often. Remind them that they are part of a cohesive organization”

BIMS session: Power Panel: Operating in the New Normal. A panel of B2B executives share their views on leading in the “new normal,” including: return to work and balancing legal concerns and workplace liabilities of the COVID era; balancing in-person and remote workflows; morale and productivity; business lines they’re prioritizing for growth.


5. Timing is the rarest of strategic skills. Now is the time. “Agility, innovation, optimism—these were the most critical traits for now, according to 22 CEOs surveyed in September 2020. This is a rare reset moment. COVID-19 has been a crisis on so many levels but it is also a huge opportunity: to rethink, to innovate, to shed things that need to be let go of, and to build for the future.”

BIMS session: Executive Discussion: Why Innovation Fails and How to Fix It. 80% of innovation managers believe that customers do not know what they want and have needs that they cannot express. This gets to the root cause of the problem with current innovation processes and why the majority of new products fail. Tony Ulwick, founder & CEO, Strategyn, will give you a framework to understand your customers that unite the entire organization around a common language of the customer.

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