What’s next?

SINEAD BOUCHER, GROUP EX­EC­U­TIVE EDITOR AT FAIRFAX ME­DIA

New Zealand Marketing - - The Change Issue -

The next few years are look­ing in­creas­ingly blurry. Not be­cause we can’t see what’s com­ing, but be­cause a hall­mark of the next chap­ter in dis­rup­tion will be the blur­ring of the bound­aries be­tween in­dus­tries, as global and lo­cal play­ers ex­ploit data, au­di­ence and tech­nol­ogy to move be­yond the con­fines of their orig­i­nal busi­ness mod­els.

Dis­rup­tion may be less likely to come from in­side play­ers or even star­tups in that field than com­pa­nies that used to play in a dif­fer­ent space en­tirely.

If Ali Baba can be a bank as well as a re­tailer, and Tesla can dis­rupt both the auto and en­ergy sec­tors in the same lithium-scented breath then what could a me­dia com­pany do?

Lots of ex­cit­ing things. If 2015 was a year of reimag­in­ing, then 2016 will be a year of some bold moves.

Mo­bile, so­cial and video con­tinue to con­sume us. We’re right in the thick of a mo­bile-first world now where peo­ple spend al­most 85 per­cent of their smart­phone time on just five apps.

It’s a safe bet that most top fives will be dom­i­nated by in­ter­na­tional gi­ants Google, Face­book, mes­sag­ing and gam­ing apps, so there isn’t much space left for lo­cal play­ers. To con­tinue to com­pete and grow, we need a sharp fo­cus on dis­tinct util­ity and sim­plic­ity.

Within New Zealand, that means that while we will not only keep a wary eye on the in­ter­na­tional be­he­moths, and some­times willingly put our small hands into their big ones, we also need to look in­ward at the needs of our own coun­try and its com­mu­ni­ties. What do they need from us that only we can pro­vide and how can we pro­vide it so that we are an es­sen­tial el­e­ment of daily life?

Ob­vi­ously for a com­pany like ours, Ki­wis’ need for rel­e­vant news and in­for­ma­tion that re­flects, chal­lenges and cham­pi­ons their com­mu­ni­ties is paramount. In an era where the au­di­ence is our most pre­cious as­set, we need to treat peo­ple and their pri­vacy and se­cu­rity with ut­most re­spect and in­tegrity while un­der­stand­ing that own­er­ship of data, and high qual­ity data at that, is es­sen­tial.

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