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jerryking : digital_first   10

Torstar cuts jobs, internship programs; board chair says the company is fighting for survival - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY ROBERTSON
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 13, 2018 | |

Torstar Corp. is fighting for survival......The struggles precipitated by declining print advertising, and by a booming digital economy that has been dominated largely by Facebook and Google – at the expense of others who would survive on digital advertising – have led to widespread job cuts. On Monday, the company tightened its belt one more notch, cutting 13 jobs in its digital and sales operations, slashing the Toronto Star's travel and freelance budgets and suspending its summer and year-long internship programs. The Star's internships were among the most prestigious in the country for training young journalists.

While cutting costs, Torstar is also attempting to establish its digital future....... What is your view of the impact consolidation has had in Canadian media? How much more consolidation is to come?

As you know, we just announced a consolidation deal. [In November, Torstar and Postmedia Network Canada Corp. swapped 41 newspapers and subsequently shut down most of them.] Publishing newspapers – dailies and weeklies – is becoming more and more challenging. In an effort to lengthen the runway, give us more time, these amalgamation deals have been done.
Susan_Krashinsky  Torstar  digital_media  digital_strategies  newspapers  digital_first  cost-cutting  subscriptions  paywalls  layoffs  consolidation 
february 2018 by jerryking
Digital endurance runner picks up pace with Penguin deal
July 15/16, 2017 | Financial Times | Guy Chazan

Bertelsmann's latest big investment, in Penguin Randon House (PRH), a traditional ink-on-paper publisher. .The German group, which already owns 53% of PRH, will pay $780m to buy an additional 22% from its partner, Pearson......The deal seems at odds with Bertelsmann's digital-first strategy. Rabe sees no contradiction....Bertelsmann must maintain a balance between high-growth investments and stable, cash-generative businesses like PRH....It margins are high,[and it] contributes to the cash flows Bertelsmann needs to invest in new businesses with higher growth potential than book publishing.....Mr. Rabe has responded by diversifying Bertelsmann out of Europe, investing in digital start-ups in China, India and Brazil and branching into online education in the US. The bright digital-first future is still far off. But Rabe , an endurance runner, relishes a long and winding road.
CEOs  digital_media  Bertelsmann  online_education  high-growth  Pearson  publishing  digital_first  cash-generative  cash_flows  privately_held_companies  Germany  German  cash_cows 
july 2017 by jerryking
Three Hard Lessons the Internet Is Teaching Traditional Stores
April 23, 2017 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.
Legacy retailers have to put their mountains of purchasing data to work to create the kind of personalization and automation shoppers are getting online
(1) Data Is King
When I asked Target, Walgreens and grocery chain Giant Food about loyalty programs and the fate of customers’ purchasing data—which is the in-store equivalent of your web browsing history—they all declined to comment. ...Data has been a vital part of Amazon’s retail revolution, just as it was with Netflix ’s media revolution and Google and Facebook ’s advertising revolution. For brick-and-mortar retailers, purchasing data doesn’t just help them compete with online adversaries; it has also become an alternate revenue source when profit margins are razor-thin. ....Physical retailers must catch up to online retailers in collecting rich data without making it feel so intrusive. Why, exactly, does my grocery store need my phone number?

(2) Personalization + Automation = Profits
Personalization and Automation = Profits
There’s a debate in the auto industry: Can Tesla get good at making cars faster than Ford, General Motors and Toyota can get good at making self-driving electric vehicles? The same applies to retail: Can physical retailers build intimate digital relationships with their customers—and use that data to update their stores—faster than online-first retailers can learn how to lease property, handle inventory and manage retail workers? [the great game ]

Online retailers know what’s popular, and how customers who like one item tend to like certain others. So Amazon’s physical bookstores can put out fewer books with more prominently displayed covers. Bonobos doesn’t even sell clothes in its stores, which it calls “guideshops.” Instead, customers go there to try clothes on, and their selections are delivered through the company’s existing e-commerce system.

Amazon’s upcoming Go convenience stores, selling groceries and meal kits, don’t require cashiers. That’s the sort of automation that could position Amazon to reap margins—or slash prices—to a degree unprecedented for retailers in traditionally low-margin categories like food and packaged goods.

While online retailers are accustomed to updating inventory and prices by the hour, physical retailers simply don’t have the data or the systems to keep up, and tend to buy and stock on cycles as long as a year, says George Faigen, a retail consultant at Oliver Wyman. Some legacy retailers are getting around this by teaming up with online players.

Target stocks men’s shaving supplies from not one but two online upstarts, Harry’s and Bevel. Target has said that, as a result, more customers are coming in to buy razors, increasing the sales of every brand on that aisle—even good old Gillette. Retailers have long relied on manufacturers to drive customers to stores by marketing their goods and even managing in-store displays. The difference is this: In the past, new brands had to persuade store buyers to dole out precious shelf space; now the brands can prove themselves online first.

(3) Legacy Tech Won’t Cut It

Perhaps the biggest challenge for existing retailers, says Euromonitor’s Ms. Grant, is finding the money to transition to this hybrid online-offline model. While Target has announced it will spend $7 billion over the next three years to revamp its stores, investors fled the stock in February after Target reported 2017 profits might be 25% less than expected.

When Warby Parker, the online eyeglasses retailer, set out to launch stores across the U.S., the company looked for in-store sales software that could integrate with its existing e-commerce systems. It couldn’t find a system up to the task, so it built one from scratch.

These kinds of systems allow salespeople to know what customers have bought both online and off, and what they might be nudged toward on that day. “We call it the ‘point of everything’ system,” says David Gilboa, co-founder and co-chief executive.

Having this much customer knowledge available instantly is critical, but it’s precisely what existing retailers struggle with, Mr. Faigen says.

Even Amazon is experiencing brick-and-mortar difficulties. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Go stores would be delayed because of kinks in the point-of-sale software system.

Andy Katz-Mayfield, co-founder and co-chief executive of Harry’s, is skeptical that traditional retailers like Wal-Mart can make the leap, even if they invest heavily in technology.

The problem, he says, is that selling online isn’t just about taking orders through a website. Companies that succeed are good at selling direct to consumers—building technology from the ground up, integrating teams skilled at navigating online marketing’s ever-shifting terrain and managing the experience through fulfillment and delivery, Mr. Katz-Mayfield says.

That e-commerce startups are so confident about their own future doesn’t mean they are right about the fate of traditional retailers, however.

A report from Merrill Lynch argues Wal-Mart is embarking on a period of 20% to 30% growth for its e-commerce business. A spokesman for the company said that in addition to acquisitions, the company is focused on growing its e-commerce business organically.

It isn’t hard to picture today’s e-commerce companies becoming brick-and-mortar retailers. It’s harder to bet on traditional retailers becoming as tech savvy as their e-competition.[the great game]
lessons_learned  bricks-and-mortar  retailers  curation  personalization  e-commerce  shopping_malls  automation  privacy  Warby_Parker  Amazon_Go  data  data_driven  think_threes  Bonobos  Amazon  legacy_tech  omnichannel  Harry’s  Bevel  loyalty_management  low-margin  legacy_players  digital_first  Tesla  Ford  GM  Toyota  automobile  electric_cars  point-of-sale  physical_world  contra-Amazon  brands  shelf_space  the_great_game  cyberphysical  cashierless  Christopher_Mims  in-store  digital_savvy 
april 2017 by jerryking
Death by digital: CEOs pay the price for tech trouble - The Globe and Mail
ANDREW WILLIS
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 14, 2016

Recent changes in the executive suite at Canadian Tire, Sobeys and Torstar show there’s little tolerance for a boss who lacks a smart strategy for an increasingly tech-driven marketplace and even less patience for a leader who fails to deliver on digital promises....It’s this ability to blend tech savvy with the rest of the management tool box – finance, marketing, leadership – that’s essential to CEO success in every field, and critical in sectors such as retail, media and financial services. Because when the tech strategy doesn’t work, corporate boards are clearly holding the CEO responsible. That accountability was not as direct in the past: The head of IT was more likely to be sacrificed, rather than the CEO. Now, the top boss is being held responsible for coming up with the tech-based strategy and executing.
Andrew_Willis  boards_&_directors_&_governance  C-suite  CEOs  CIOs  digital_first  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  execution  IT  strategies  systems_integration 
july 2016 by jerryking
How The New York Times lost the internet, and how it plans to win it back - Vox
What's Page One? What's digital first?

The first page of the print edition of the newspaper is known as Page One with capital letters. The report details the extent to which Page One is the heart of the daily routine of the newsroom, with the most important editorial meeting also being called Page One, and reporters and editorial groups assessing themselves largely in terms of their ability to score Page One stories. This remains the case even though digital is not just the future of the New York Times but largely its present. The Times' digital audience dwarfs its print subscriber base, but the editorial workflow is built around Page One and the newspaper.

The report urges a "digital first" strategy and emphasizes that this means more than literally putting a story on the internet before it appears in a print newspaper. Digital first is a state of mind in which the job of the newsroom is to deliver an excellent digital product, which a relatively small team would then repackage as a daily print product. Today it's largely the reverse. Deadlines are structured around the pace of print, incentives are structured around Page One, and then teams of producers build a website out of what's really a print workflow.
newspapers  digital_media  digital_first  NYT  disruption  perspectives  mindsets  mobile_first  digital_strategies 
may 2016 by jerryking
Apple’s drive for world auto dominance spooks the industry - The Globe and Mail
GREG KEENAN, BRIAN MILNER AND OMAR EL AKKAD
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015,

Apple’s big advantage over traditional car makers is simple, yet hard to overcome, and it lies in the cloud.

The cloud consists of remote servers that store vast amounts of data and run applications, giving everyone on the planet with a connected device access to unlimited computing power essentially for free. It is also revolutionizing the way companies do business by instantly providing them with vast amounts of customer data. And it means Apple would not need to acquire car manufacturing capacity or build assembly and distribution networks in order to create chaos in the club.

It’s an advantage few traditional manufacturers, including auto makers, fully grasp, let alone have the ability to exploit.....“Apple thinks from the cloud out,” says Mr. McInerney, who would definitely line up for an Apple vehicle. At least then, he says, he would be assured of a better communications interface than the clunky one in his new upscale German model.

“If you’re an Apple or a Google, it allows you to use the same power to manage your supply chain that you use to manage your customers,” he says.

“That’s a revolution in thinking that allows you to identify all the cash-wait states [where money sits idle] and to collect a stunning amount of customer information in real time. Put the two together and you’re turning that information into cash at an accelerated rate. Car companies don’t think like that.”
automotive_industry  automobile  Apple  batteries  autonomous_vehicles  cloud_computing  connected_devices  layer_mastery  digital_first  data_coordination  incumbents  monetization  cash  customer_data  idle_funds  SMAC_stack  connected_cars 
march 2015 by jerryking
You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race — Tech News and Analysis
By John Foreman, MailChimp
Jan. 18, 2014

meat space is an internet-first way of viewing the world.

The research questions that might be answered with this type of tracking data are endless:

What menu items served at breakfast at the resort hotel restaurants will result in the longest stay at the park?
Do we detect an influx of park-goers into the bathrooms for long stays on the toilet? Perhaps they all ate at the same place, and we can cut off a foodborne illness problem before it gets worse.
Is there a roller coaster that’s correlated with early park departure or a high incidence of bathroom visits? That means less money in the park’s pockets. How might that coaster be altered?
Is there a particular ride and food fingerprint for the type of park visitor that’s likely to buy in-park high-dollar merchandise? If so, can we actively get vendors in front of this attendee’s eye by moving hawkers to them at just the right time?
data  privacy  Disney  RFID  sensors  massive_data_sets  data_driven  data_scientists  theme_parks  personalization  tracking  scheduling  queuing  meat_space  digital_first  questions 
january 2014 by jerryking
2 Top Technology Writers Are Leaving Dow Jones - NYTimes.com
By LESLIE KAUFMAN
Published: September 19, 2013

Fortune, which was the first to report the news, noted earlier that Ms. Swisher and Mr. Mossberg had hired the investment bank Code Advisors to find outside investors to support a move to become independent. A person with knowledge of the deal said the two had backing, but no partners had been named at this point..... Gerard Baker, editor in chief of Dow Jones and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, said in a statement that The Journal was increasing its bet on technology coverage even without Ms. Swisher and Mr. Mossberg, its most prominent stars.

“We plan to embark on a major global expansion of our technology coverage, which will include adding 20 reviewers, bloggers, visual journalists, editors and reporters covering digital. As part of this global push, we will also be expanding our conference franchise to include an international technology conference and building a new digital home for our first-class technology news and product reviews on The Wall Street Journal Digital Network," he said.
Walter_Mossberg  WSJ  Second_Acts  digital_storage  digital_first 
september 2013 by jerryking

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