Natasha Christie-Miller opened the Digital Innovators’ Summit on Monday in Berlin, by telling delegates a story of business transformation in the B2B media organisation.
“Life would be easier if we could tell what was coming,” said Christie-Miller, “but not everyone gets predictions right”. Quoting the CEO of UK-based Dixons Carphone, Christie-Miller said that average household currently has 12 ‘connected devices’. In two years, this number will rise to 72, which presents a huge opportunity for media businesses. “The world becoming more virtual, and whatever form customer services takes, it has to be excellent,” she continued.
Natasha said that it’s key to have a deep understanding of the core purpose of your business. “That will keep us straight when challenges come our way,” she said. “Rediscovering EMAP’s core purpose has been the most important step in our journey of transformation.”
“We create fantastically helpful information and insight that we sell to our professional audience to help them do their job better. 150 years ago, we packaged that in the form of a print magazine. Today, we do that across digital, face-to-face and print.”
In her four years as CEO of the company, Natasha has made it her mission to transform EMAP’s “advertising reliant print business” by having three obsessions:
“Our subscription volume was in decline for 25 years when I took over. It was absolutely crucial for me to galvanise our 500 people behind one goal – growing the number valuing and buying our content.” Christie-Miller said that today, subscriptions have grown six per cent since August 2012.
Christie-Miller said this adds 10-20 per cent to the top line of the company. The ingredients for this are the right reward and recognition programme, having layer of sales leadership that is strong and is driving performance and an ever evolving customer-led range of products.
Having happy, engaged customers who are genuinely deriving real value from the products you’re serving them is key, said Christie-Miller.
“Great businesses have repeat customers,” she said. “When you have this, you have loyalty, people want to buy more and can help you build your next range of products that you can then sell back to them.”
So what’s next for the company? As for product innovation, EMAP is at the forefront, and is planning to launch more in 2016 and 2017, according to Christie-Miller, so watch this space. In conclusion, Christie-Miller said: “B2B media is intrinsically fabulous. Heritage of brands coupled with strong relationships with powerful people in powerful industries is very hard to replicate. If we stay true to our core purpose, we will continue to thrive.”
To watch Natasha's speech in full click here.