‘You Can’t Rely on Too Few Products’: SIPA 2020 Speakers Offer Crisis Path

“Two months ago, we asked, ‘Where do we go from here?'” said Caysey Welton, content director, Folio:, Access Intelligence. “The pandemic will have long-lasting impact. It will be important to have conversations with your audience. Those who have diverse portfolios, have managed cash well, have good digital DNA and are nimble and creative with product offerings will do well. You can’t rely on too few products. Legacy products will go on but we should probably lessen our dependence on them. Look at your data.”
One common theme during SIPA 2020 this week was the increased need for products. “Continue realigning your product portfolio with the client input that you get,” suggested Krystle Kopacz, CEO of Revmade. Because many publishers relied on events, the need for products and the revenue they can bring is crucial now. As Welton said, data could be the new buzzword.
Elizabeth Petersen of Simplify Compliance stressed the need for a diverse revenue stream. “We would like to get as much subscription revenue in now as we can. Try taking products that may be subscription in nature and bundle them to get a higher priced product.”
Here are more highlights from SIPA 2020. The two days of exceptional content are now available for purchase on demand here.
Experiment. “It’s important that the team is much more open to experimenting now,” said Diane Schwartz, CEO, Ragan Communications. “There should be a voracious appetite for trial and error, and being open to producing products that may not have a long life span. We put out a Crisis Communication plan back in March that’s been very popular. We’ll make that a subscription product. We’ve also gone to more daily subscriptions where we can repackage and monetize.”
Check your data. “[Data] value is in the eye of the beholder,” said Michael Marrale, CEO, M Science, in an informative Alternative Data 101 session with Meg Hargreaves, COO, Industry Dive. “You’ll find value in surprising places. Typically, we’ve partnered with companies that don’t fully realize the value of their data. They can be surprised” when told their data has value and content licensing potential. “Don’t think that size of the company is the main factor. It’s really about the data. You can have relatively small revenue but big data capabilities.”
Find hidden gems. “Look to see if there is someone in your organization who is being underutilized,” said Kopacz. “Maybe a younger person who is bored and wants to learn and do something new. Also look for sales people now on an independent basis. They may be good ones who are jobless and looking for something.”
Stand out. “Your [LinkedIn] brand has to be unique; you have to find the key differentiator that makes you different from your competitor,” said Steve Kearns, marketing leader, social media, LinkedIn. “That’s the foundation from where you start.” Michelle Peña, senior editor, Business Management Daily, urged people to “cultivate relationships” on LinkedIn. “When they comment on your post, take a moment to respond to them. It will show that you’re an energized member of the community.”
Be realistic. “Tailor your virtual event execution to the customer service and technological skills you have available, not what you wish you had,” said Matthew Cibellis, director of programming, live & virtual events, Education Week. He added that Zoom works best when content is linear and there are no concurrent sessions. Companies have been having success breaking out in small discussion groups.
Train and share. “We focus on training sales reps who aren’t used to selling [things like virtual events],” said Chris Ferrell, CEO of Endeavor Media. “We have 17 on the calendar so far, and we’re launching more to fill gaps in the market. Webinars are also up dramatically for us… We believe in sharing successes. You’ll hear enough about all the bad stuff.”
Seek clarity. “The offer is the distillation of your message,” said Jeson Jackson, audience development manager for Education Week. “Make sure you’re asking the customer to do what you want them to do… Listen to your customers. By listening we can [act accordingly] rather than assume. You want to uncover what your customers want, which may be less intuitive than you think. You want well informed customers making well informed decisions. Your company’s future is secured by innovation not persuasion. And clarity alone should be the only persuasion you need.”

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