Session Three: Setting your digital resolutions for 2009

Session Three: Setting your digital resolutions for 2009

So far in FanTrust’s Setting Your Digital Resolutions series, you’ve identified digital business goals and investigated your fans’ online behaviour …

Welcome to the FanTrust guide to digital success – Setting Your Digital Resolutions for 2009. December is traditionally a time for reflection and goal-setting, both personal and professional. Though you know what it takes to reach your goals for, say, losing weight (less eggnog, more yoga) or having fun (more eggnog, less yoga) –what if you’re venturing into uncharted business terrain?

This month, we’ll walk you through short, simple exercises – complete with case studies and success stories – intended to spark transformation in your company. Set your sights on overall digital business goals, digital capacity, market niche and fan engagement strategies.

With more than two decades of experience in digital media, FanTrust can help you grow your digital lines of business. Our hope is to leave you inspired and invigorated for a happy, healthy digital business in 2009.

All the best!

Week Three: Define Your Niche

So far in FanTrust’s Setting Your Digital Resolutions series, you’ve identified digital business goals and investigated your fans’ online behaviour.

The next step – defining your company’s niche – requires the right blend of aspirational thinking and capacity assessment. It’s also a highly custom exercise. Over the years, FanTrust has led many entertainment companies through its Digital Brand Snapshot. Companies that to the outside world may appear very similar – television producers with similar broadcast partners, format genres and slate sizes, for example – have defined their niche in remarkably different ways.

Many content producers define themselves as storytellers. Some see themselves as media-specific storytellers– television, games, movies, etc. In this case, digital growth will generally stem from strategic partnerships on new distribution platforms, or creative IP licensing deals.

Other producers see their team as media-agnostic storytellers. FanTrust client marblemedia is a great example. marblemedia recently won both Company of the Year and Producer of the Year at the Canadian New Media Awards, and has built its award-winning reputation as a content creation company devoted to telling stories that entertain and engage audiences across all platforms, including This is Daniel Cook and The Dating Guy. Another inspirational client is the National Film Board of Canada, an organization that is producing and distributing virtual online communities and platforms for social engagement and documentary media creation, including Homeless Nation and its Filmmaker-in-Residence program.

Entertainment and media executives overseeing blockbuster digital success share a common attribute – they are able to pinpoint and extend the fan experience.

Oprah’s media tagline is “Live Your Best Life”. The Oprah media empire inspires its female viewer to challenge her thinking, expand her physical and spiritual knowledge, change her behavior and improve her life in the process. The Oprah Bookclub is one of the most recognized brand endorsements in North America. Therefore, the Skype-powered New Earth Web events and podcasts were a natural digital extension of the Oprah media niche.

The online cult phenom boosts more than 4 million page views a day – that’s 4 million views of animal (mostly cat) photos set to funny captions of what they might say.  Ben Huh, CEO of Pet Holding Inc., which runs a network of humour sites including ICanHasCheezeburger, summed up his company’s niche succinctly when he said “We just want to make people happy for five minutes.” His is not the only entertainment and media company to find a market in “web escapism”.

How you define your company affects where and how it will grow in the multiplatform space. Often, how a company defines its digital position is the result of management’s digital comfort-level, rather than company-wide business capacity. This can lead to lost opportunities. FanTrust serves as a valuable executive coach, educating teams on market and revenue opportunities and realities – including budgets; technical and operational requirements for projects; case studies; and audience engagement.