4 Takeaways for Media Sellers from the 2017 MediaXChange Conference – Create Digital AND Print content that spreads


Fresh out of the 2017 mediaXchange conference we are bringing you the best insights for publishers. mediaXchange covers a gamut of ideas and thoughts across the spectrum of publishing. Which, if this conference is any evidence, is ever expanding. Publishing is pushing the boundaries and breaking out of their traditional confines.

With talks urging publishers to take advantage of Over-the-top (OTT) content and to embrace podcasting and events, publishers are poised to take up the charge into a multi-channel future. Which means the sales force behind the publishers need to be prepared to sell unique advertising solutions to take advantage of new verticals, like VR, podcasts, live streams, etc.

Here are 4 salient tips from the mediaXchange you should take with you to improve your revenue and success for the future of publishing.

Publishing Tip 1: “It’s Print AND Digital not Print OR Digital”

This was repeated over and over again. Most of the sessions dealt with ways a publisher could grow their digital portfolio and enhance their print offerings. Some ideas for that include:

  • Packaging together digital advertising with print ads.
  • Repurpose content for Facebook, YouTube, print and website.
  • Tell stories across mediums (podcasts, video, print) and pair those stories with advertising.

There’s no OR when it comes to Print and Digital. The only way forward is connecting the two in your sales and advertising strategy. Google and Facebook provide tools for publishers to get the right analytics and insights to grow the business. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Which brings us to our next point…

Publishing Tip 2: Act More Like a Startup

Startups aren’t all ping-pong tables, standing desks and daily happy hours. Startups survive because they build an environment of trust, innovation and lack a fear of failure.  It was a message that Tony Hunter, Chairman of the News Media Alliance, was pushing from the podium. The core of the idea is that publishers need to experiment, take more chances and don’t be afraid of failure. The latter is easier said than done.

But, if you can create an environment that isn’t hesitant to embrace new ideas or is willing to push the boundaries you’ll find new streams of success. If you can create new solutions for customers and advertisers you’ll see a boost in revenue. Selling digital and print doesn’t have to end at full-page ads and banner ads. Get creative with how you sell space for a newsletter or how sponsored content can be engaging and lucrative.

Publishing Tip 3: Grow Through Complete Change

Mitch Joel, President of Mirum, who has been crowned as a “digital visionary” said that for an organization to grow they need to change. Not just a “new coat of paint” change, but a whole, internal, destruction and construction into a new entity change.  He compared this change how a seed transforms into a tree; the seed is completely destroyed in the process and the final version of itself looks nothing like its origin.

In this hyper-connected, digital world, publishers need to leverage three key areas to change:

  • Transform – Build your business for the future by making changes both inside and out.
  • Innovate – Improve your products and build better experiences. Remember that campaigns should surprise and delight customers.
  • Transact – Find ways to market and build equity with customers. This includes microtransactions, premium subscriptions, or unique advertising campaigns.

USA Today

Publishing Tip 4: Spread Across New Channels to Find a New Audience

Are you looking into snapchat? How are you handling the idea of putting your content on other channels? As more proprietary social channels emerge in the marketplace, it might be wise to embrace those new avenues of distribution. Mostly because that’s where your audience is hiding.

“If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead” was a phrase that Jonathan Perelamn, Head of Digital Ventures at ICM Partners (previously VP of motion pictures at BuzzFeed), repeated during his presentation about growing a business with shareable content. To sell more advertising you need to attract a new audience. The more impressions you have on hand, the more you can sell advertising. As publishing diversifies, so too does your sales strategy, to grow revenue is to work together to experiment and create better content.

USA Today has embraced both podcasts and events to grow and add new audiences to the fold. Here’s some benefits to USA Today embracing events: New Revenue, New Client, Renewed Branding and more seen in an image from their presentation below.

USA Today Event Benefits


Bottom Line: Don’t Hesitate to Experiment and Embrace Digital

After mediaXchange 2017, the one thing that is for sure is that there’s no shortage of opportunities for those selling advertising. Work with your teams to collaborate and create meaningful advertising packages. Providing a poignant, specific advertising to your visitors across multiple channels will help your clients see a better return on their investment and show them that you are the media expert.