Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Be an 'Infomediary': Newspapers Already Possess New-Media Era Keys to Success

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Be an 'Infomediary': Newspapers Already Possess New-Media Era Keys to Success

Article excerpt

THERE ARE ENCOURAGING SIGNS THAT NEWSMEDIA organizations are not only transitioning into new models, they are also starting to succeed. This success comes from engaging their customers in a more informed and relevant manner.

Leveraging data-driven marketing automation, newsmedia companies are reaching out to consumers with timely, targeted information, entertainment and offers via the preferred medium of the recipient. The ability to deliver relevancy in a multi-channel environment not only supports the growth and engagement of the audience; just as importantly it facilitates the profitable delivery of merchant advertising.

This idea is not new. In their book Net Worth, John Hagel and Marc Singer introduced the concept of an information intermediary, or "Infomediary," more than a decade ago. Whether or not they've ever heard of Hagel and Singer or an Infomediary, savvy newsmedia organizations are migrating their models of content and communication toward that described in the book--an information intermediary providing credible, valuable and timely information between commercial enterprises and consumers through a channel most likely to generate response.

Although some might argue otherwise, newspaper brands typically maintain substantial credibility within their respective markets. Trust is a critical asset to the Infomediary. Consumers will share data with Infomediaries who they trust will deliver value, relevance, simplicity, and security. In return, the Infomediary must deliver on this implied promise.

Newsmedia organizations are well suited to take on the role of Infomediary. They have a wide range of consumer touch points, both online and offline. The data garnered from these interactions--including transactional behavior, intended purchases, channel preferences, etc.--represent the lifeblood of the Infomediary. The assimilation of this data and the communication of relevant content through multiple, integrated channels can be the unique domain of the progressive, dominant newsmedia enterprise.

Clearly, today's forward-thinking newsmedia company has something valuable to sell to the merchant community: timely, knowledgeable, cost-effective access to consumers delivered in a multi-channel environment. Most newsmedia companies also have sufficient credibility with that community to make their pitch as the ideal Infomediary to deliver profitable customers. …

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