Fall is around the corner and always a time to address new challenges with renewed vigour. As you update your list of “leadership challenges” to tackle, here are three items worthy of a spot in the top 10.

Is your organisation’s digital marketing sufficiently consumer or data driven? 

  • Make sure you fully leverage your newspaper’s digital sites to generate subscriptions across products. These sites should be your primary circulation sales channel. Every year or so, your marketing organisation should be able to find new techniques to lift sell-through by at least 10%. Data driven marketing is that next boost and it’s worth a lot more than 10%.
  • Digital advertisers are using analytics to determine who their customers are, which of those prospects are currently in-the-market to buy their products, and how to find more of their customers. Advertising sales groups are building data management platforms (DMP) to address their clients’ needs. Circulation marketers would benefit from the same information. 

    If your publication doesn’t yet have a DMP, consider partnering with your ad sales group to build a business case. If the data is already being collected for advertising purposes, be sure to leverage and augment the data for stronger circulation sales.

What near-term evolutions and revolutions in the digital space will require changes in your circulation sales and marketing efforts? Some food for thought:

  • Advertisers are using augmented reality in their digital media. How can AR be best used in circulation marketing to ease e-commerce into the customer experience and capture the attention of younger readers? Let a prospective subscriber better imagine how smart and successful they’ll be if they only read your newspaper every day.

  • Mobile payment transactions are increasing steeply. Is your mobile e-commerce ready to replace sales from your newspaper’s Web site? Most newspapers have invested heavily on Web site targeting and order forms. It’s time to do the same for tablets and smartphones. How does this fit into your organisation’s investment roadmap?

Your newspaper might have an internal perspective regarding paid digital content, or might be taking a “wait-and-see” approach — but, have you formulated your own point of view?

  • Take some time this fall to consider the five main business models for digital content as outlined in Sandy MacLeod’s August 5th blog. Put pencil to paper to create your own assessment of which is best for your organisation. You might be surprised by what you learn, and it may be so compelling you can drive the recommendation within your organisation.  

What’s your perspective on the top 10 challenges circulation leaders face today?