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Elliott and Associates Corporate Strategic Planning Review Europe Tokyo Paris Asia


10 Tips for Creating Your Strategic Plan

Given the current economic and media-industry environment, the best advice I can provide to publishers is to update your strategic plan—now. And if you don't have one, then develop one. Why? In case you haven't noticed, profound changes are happening in consumer behavior, information needs and information-consumption behavior that are affecting your business. The marketplace is dynamic and highly volatile, with your competitors trying to re-invent themselves in order to gain an advantage.

Your strategic plan may cover lots of important topics, but it needs to specifically address the most important current issues and opportunities that are affecting your business. It doesn't need to be complex, but it should:

1. Clearly define your target audience. In fact, you should begin to view your audience as a constituency of current and future customers that want to engage with your brand. Cater to your core customers, and carefully define your new-customer acquisition targets and how you will engage with all of your customers.

2. Be clear about your brand promise to your customers. Know and deliver on what they expect. Think about the products in your portfolio from the perspective of how they help your customers, what unique benefits they provide. And, make sure that the delivery of your products or services is consistent across all media platforms (print, Web, digital editions, mobile, video, etc.).

Create, package and deliver content that delivers clear value to your customers. Whether your content is uniquely created by you, curated, or generated by your users, make sure that it satisfies a need and exceeds the expectations of your readers.

3. Optimize your product portfolio so that it delivers solutions for your customers and delivers the results that your company needs. Make sure to balance your priorities to include proper attention to your mature products, while investing in new products and services.

4. Price your products and services so that they are competitive and match your customers' value expectation for the medium in which they are provided. It may be more difficult to command premium prices in various digital media platforms. For example, print and digital editions of a publication may have similar price points for single issues and subscriptions, but consumer price expectations for mobile products are generally much lower—if not free.

5. Develop your products across all appropriate media platforms (print, Web, digital editions, mobile, video, social). Publishers now must truly become multimedia, and be sure to offer your products digitally.


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