The role of audience development has been getting press, with the impact it has on customer relations and the bottom line for organizations. As an audience development/marketing consultant, I currently work mainly with media companies, though I have done consulting with a variety of businesses including a moving company, recruiters, and other consultants.

The transition from ” magazine publisher” to “media company” to (for some) “information providers” came as technology improved, brand components increased, advertisers demanded additional information about leads, and readers/customers splintered in how they want to receive information.

What does your brand consist of today? Next year? Five years from now?

Here is a list of many of the products that each media brand can consist of:

  • Magazines– print and/or digital version
  • Enewsletters
  • Online events including webinars and online trade shows
  • Website member registration
  • Social media groups
  • Lead generation
  • Association membership
  • Proprietary research
  • White papers
  • App downloads
  • YouTube and online channels
  • List rental
  • Reprints

That is a lot of components to coordinate! and often “owned” by different departments! The revenue generated by each item also fluctuates, impacting the focus it gets within an organization.

Audience development is often the department that reaches to other groups to coordinate technology, efforts, data, and messaging. Its role is critical for all media companies as brand components continue to expand. And as we try to tie together items on the above list on the data and marketing front, audience development is often the role that looks at both the big picture of the benefits/costs/ways to put all this together as well as diving into the nitty gritty data details.  It’s what keeps the job interesting…and critical…today.

The journey continue.


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