I had the opportunity last week to speak to the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA). The topic was the future of digital media guides.
Our company is one of the largest producers of both printed and online media guides in the world. We not only produce over 10-million fan guides and souvenir programs for every major racecar track in the country but we produce digital editions for our race track clients as well as for multiple magazines. In addition, we have created online media guide widgets for companies. These widgets update in real-time whenever the computer is connected to the Internet. When we work with clients that are contemplating taking their media guides online we make the following points clear:
– It’s not about taking your media guide online
– It’s not about budgets, printing costs, etc.
– It ‘s about REDEFINING how you are COMMUNICATING with your audience.
The transition to a digital media guide is a tremendous opportunity to change the way you interact with your clients. In the printed world the communication is only one-way (the writer telling the reader something) and the information cannot be updated. Digital technology not only allows three-way communication (you communicating with users, users communication with you and users communicating with each other) but allows information to be updated – in real-time.
We see the transition from print to digital taking place in three different phases:
Phase 1 – Replication Transition to an online media guide that looks and functions like the printed guide where few online features are added. (think online PDF or online page flipping)
Phase 2 – Integration Integration of social media, video, updates, etc. with magazine style page flipping software.
Phase 3 – Transformation This is the ultimate goal – to rethink how you communicate with your user and leverage the technology to transform the interaction with the client.
The companies that get to the Transformation Stage first will have a significant advantage over their competitors. They will redefine the future of how they interact with their clients or spend years catching up.