Sustainable Growth

2024 OX7 Idea Exchange: Key Takeaways

The Omeda Idea Exchange 2024 was a treasure trove of insights and strategies for media companies looking to grow and engage their audiences effectively. With the conference now wrapped, let's take a look at five key takeaways from the event:Screenshot 2024-05-07 at 4.02.47 PM

5 Key OX7 Takeaways

  1. Needs alignment —> what you want vs. what you're doing: Bridging the gap between strategic goals and operational execution is crucial for sustainable growth, and a struggle for many media companies. Growth strategies need to combine easy-to-grasp strategy and actionable near-term tactics to be successful. 
  2. Content is King, But The King Needs Clothing: High-quality content fuels media companies. However, more focus needs to be put on the fact that high-quality content packaging matters just as much if not more to drive deeper audience engagement. 
  3. Audience Development goes beyond anonymous conversion: using audience funnel depth matters as much as breadth to driving effective and targeted audience development campaigns.
  4. Audience Command >> Engagement: Creating experiences that convert is more valuable than just engaging audiences. More focus needs to on the outcome of the engagement. 
  5. Viewing Audience as a Profit Center: Treating audience development as a strategic profit driver can significantly enhance revenue.

To get a copy of our conference resources and materials, please go to organic.ly/ox7docs.

http://organic.ly/ox7docs

#1. Aligning Goals with Actions: The Critical Disconnect

One of the standout themes from the Omeda Idea Exchange was the urgent need for companies to align their strategic goals with their day-to-day actions. Omeda's latest "State of Audience" report highlighted a startling statistic: over 60% of media companies lack a specific strategy to grow their audience and revenue. Moreover, despite 70% of these companies prioritizing audience growth, less than 25% are focusing on critical aspects of audience engagement.

over sixty percent of media companies lack a specific strategy to grow their audience and revenue

This gap reveals a significant disconnect between the decision-makers' intentions and the operational execution outcomes. To bridge this gap, it’s essential to articulate actionable, tactical next steps alongside proven best practices. For instance, improving SEO isn't just about technical tweaks; it requires a company-supported content initiative to identify the right categories of content that ensure sustainable, repeatable growth. 

 Moreover, despite 70% of these companies prioritizing audience growth, less than 25% are focusing on critical aspects of audience engagement.

If you find yourself getting lost in the divide between strategy and tactics, please reach out to us: ox7@organic.ly. We want to help. At Organic, we emphasize an approach to growth where continuous expansion comes with streamlining existing systems to enhance transaction efficiency. There's more on this topic in our presentation slides, which we've made available @ organic.ly/ox7docs.

#2. The Importance of Content Quality and Presentation

A powerful message from the Omeda Idea Exchange came from Adam Ryan and Jacob Donnelly's talk, emphasizing the necessity of creating high-quality content. Adam Ryan succinctly put it, "If you don't like the content you're creating, your audience won't either."

This highlights the crucial need for media companies to focus on content quality. However, it’s important to extend this perspective to include content presentation/packaging as well. Frankly, I thought this perspective was missing from Ryan and Donnelly's interaction. 

Consider the case of Joshua Bell, one of the world’s best violinists, who performed incognito in a Washington subway and struggled to capture anyone's attention. This scenario perfectly illustrates that even the finest content can go unnoticed if not presented effectively. The same holds true for digital media content. An outstanding article can fail if it doesn’t render properly on different devices, gets overshadowed by ads, loads slowly, or lacks a robust support network for social amplification.

Consider the case of Joshua Bell, one of the world’s best violinists, who performed incognito in a Washington subway and struggled to capture anyone's attention.

At Organic, we live and breathe the intrinsic link of content quality and content delivery. Please see our Organic Elements overview to learn more, and read more about how improving site speed and performance is a cornerstone of our approach. Technical upgrades lead to better content quality by eliminating high bounce rates, dead clicks, and other engagement issues. By ensuring that content is not only high-quality but also well-presented and easily accessible is the magic trick to make sure brands truly connect with their audiences. 

#3. Audience Development goes beyond anonymous conversion

A third critical insight from the Omeda Idea Exchange was the importance of thinking about audiences in more specific terms than vague personas. 

Prime example being the WinBack campaign from Endeavor Media, which won Omeda's award for "Best Idea." This initiative targeted former subscribers with specific messaging to re-convert them. The success of WinBack lies in its focus on extracting value from a specific, controlled/owned audience segment, rather than just chasing anonymous conversions.

The ingenuity of the approach lies in knowing how to take advantage of the data you have. By understanding and utilizing detailed metrics about their audience, media brands can create more effective and targeted campaigns.

At Organic, we support this strategy by integrating features like recommended articles for visitors based on their visit frequencies. This approach drives deeper on-site engagement and can be further enhanced using AI. By leveraging AI-powered website personalization, you can tailor content recommendations to individual user behaviors, thereby increasing engagement and conversion rates. You can read more about our AI capabilities for high-traffic websites here, or you can read more in our Grow-Book, which we unveiled at the conference.

http://organic.ly/growbook

4. Prioritizing Audience Command Over Engagement

A key takeaway from Jeff Stelmach and Kerry Smith's talk at the Omeda Idea Exchange was the notion that audience engagement is all that matters. They shared stories from their events business, highlighting unique ideas like incorporating a pickleball court or a puppy petting zoo to create popular experiences. While these tactics can generate happiness and enjoyment at events, my sense is that they might not align with budget constraints and strategic goals of many of the companies in attendance.

Instead of just "engagement or bust," brands should focus on audience command, where engagement more directly leads to conversion. This approach is particularly crucial as advertisers increasingly seek tangible results, especially with the impending deprecation of third-party cookies

So, next time you're in a meeting hearing about "engagement," drive the conversation to talk about "audience command." This shift in focus ensures that every engagement point is an opportunity for conversion, aligning with the core objectives of advertisers and brands alike.

IMG_8867

Yes, we did more than just work at OX7 : ) 

 #5. Viewing Audience as a Profit Center, Not a Cost Center 

A thought-provoking idea from Paul Daniel’s talk at the Omeda Idea Exchange was the concept of treating the audience as a profit center rather than a cost center. Paul, from Fusable, shared insights on how to enhance reader engagement through detailed reporting processes that delve into the user and behavioral levels. By understanding who the audience truly is, including the articles they read and the editors they prefer, companies can better tune their content strategies and cultivate their core readership.

Paul emphasized the importance of viewing the audience development team not just as a service center but as a crucial profit driver. By identifying gaps in newsletter distribution lists and refining procurement efforts, companies can offer tailored content that resonates with their audience and drives revenue.

This approach is particularly relevant for large corporations in specific sectors like trucking and construction, where proprietary data on inspection and violation trends can inform content strategies. By focusing on persona-driven content that addresses pain points and provides proof of value, companies can turn vague audience engagement into profitable interactions.

Paul’s talk highlighted that audience development should be seen as a strategic asset that contributes to the bottom line. By leveraging detailed audience insights and focusing on high-value segments, companies can create content that doesn’t feel like advertising but still drives significant revenue.


Interested in chatting more about the OX7 Idea Exchange, growing high-traffic website revenue, or superior digital experience for your audience? Please access our conference ebook and/or presentation slides at organic.ly/ox7docs.

organic.ly/ox7docs

You can also send us an email.