The information industry is undergoing fundamental changes, which have implications across every aspect of businesses, ranging from new product development to sales and marketing—and ultimately enterprise value.
AMR International in London has worked in the information industry for over 20 years and has been dealing first hand with the challenges faced by management teams. Executive Chairman Denzil Rankine (pictured here) provides the following insight into some of the matters currently concerning industry leaders, after chairing a roundtable for CEOs of B2B media organisations at the IIN conference in London.
Information industry trends and implications
1. New product development
- Information companies are extending more deeply into their customer bases, offering solutions rather than standalone products and services;
- While innovation continues to be mainly driven through experimentation, management can now move towards more planned innovation by leveraging knowledge it has gained over the past 5-10 years of alternative business models.
- Internationalisation is now a more accessible goal, and smaller businesses are increasingly exploring the opportunities for international development;
- Cultural alignment and strong local management, possibly secured through a partnership, are essential ingredients for success;
- Following customers with a genuine need reduces risk.
3. Evolution of sales and marketing
- Sales and marketing functions are increasingly sophisticated, for example utilising marketing solutions such as microsites and automation;
- More capable sales staff are now required, with relevant sector expertise and marketing skills. They also need to be able to understand their customers’ businesses to provide genuine consultative selling
4. New competitors
- Specialists with a deep involvement with their audiences, almost operating as consultancies are becoming increasingly powerful players. Examples are Procurement Leaders and Melcrum. Some have substantial subscription or membership club models;
- Management teams should carefully monitor specialists operating in their markets and the potential risks and opportunities emerging.
5. Creating enterprise value
- Enterprise value continues to be driven by proprietary data, and embedding within customer workflow; businesses which support high value decision making are well placed;
- Information businesses that can provide solutions as opposed to simple products or services will also enhance value;
- Management should carefully plan technology investments to differentiate their business and drive value.
As the transformation of business media continues, CEOs are now more aware of the challenges they face and are better prepared for them. The most successful businesses are now wholeheartedly embracing the opportunities for change brought about by the continuing electronic revolution.
About AMR International
Denzil Rankine is executive chairman of AMR International, a strategy consultancy focused on media, information and events with offices in London, New York, Frankfurt and Paris. AMR has a deep understanding of business media, information and events; it has helped dozens of organisations to develop and execute their transformation and growth strategies.