How digital can extend your conversation with customers

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5 minute read 26 Apr 2018
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EY Global

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

5 minute read 26 Apr 2018

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As technology evolves, companies enhancing their engagement with their audience will have increasing opportunities to thrive.

The media and entertainment industry has and continues to see technology and consumer demands evolve as audiences across different demographics are consuming content through increasing options. Audiences are also engaging with companies in increasing ways such as social media and live events.

The power of millennials

Millennials are a significant driver in this change in viewing habits. As digital technology advances, millennials are shifting from consuming media in the traditional sense to consuming media on-demand via smaller screens, primarily, smartphones. To stay relevant and engage their customer base, media companies need to cater to this new type of customer while continuing to also engage other demographic groups.

The challenge is how to stay relevant to all constituents and drive strong customer relationships through increased engagement. Chris Wymbs, Executive VP at AMC Networks and an EY alumnus, believes "It's a tremendous opportunity for us as an organization to get much closer to the consumer. There is an opportunity to interact directly with the audiences, not only through content distribution but also from an engagement and relationship perspective – using social media tools; and other evolving technologies. From that, we can learn more about the consumer of our content, what they're interested in and what gets them excited."

Chris Wymbs, Executive VP, AMC Networks
There is an opportunity to interact directly with the audiences, not only through content distribution but also from an engagement and relationship perspective. From that, we can learn more about the consumer of our content.
Chris Wymbs
Executive VP at AMC Networks and an EY alumnus

One way that AMC Networks engages with the consumer is to use different social media platforms in advance of, during, and after content is launched to get the viewer’s perspective and feedback on a real-time basis. Chris believes this type of interaction is critical to drive engagement and to better understand evolving audience preferences.

Creating new revenue streams

The data that is gathered from these interactions will not only drive consumer relationships, but create new revenue streams for media companies as they evolve their content strategy and distribution channels to meet increasing customer demands.

Chris says AMC Networks has refined its business strategy by looking outside the business’s traditional relationships to an increasing number of partners: "When I think of our revenue streams, we have our historical revenue streams and relationships with legacy distributors. We also have our advertising revenues. However, there are new revenue streams that are being generated through companies that are leveraging internet technology to go direct to the consumer. That creates new relationships and the opportunity to expand our revenue base."

What next?

Looking to the future, Chris is quick to point out that companies need to place their bets strategically and not just "chase any shiny object."

However, with technology evolving at an unprecedented pace, there are many unknowns, and staying on top of the latest developments will always be a challenge. Chris comments, "I think one of the clear knowns is that the viewer will have much more control over how they consume content. That's a given, and will continue to evolve. How that content is distributed, and across what medium, is the real question. And, through what devices – the big screen, phone, virtual reality or next-generation technology? I think that's another key question – where does it go from here?"

Summary

To continue learning about and adapting to evolving customer needs, businesses must extend their presence into new digital channels.

About this article

By

EY Global

Multidisciplinary professional services organization