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Defining the digital strategy

Client Reach PLC
Region UK
Sector Media, Entertainment and Technology, Sports
Offering Strategy
Customer insight Data analysis Digital Programme management Revenue modelling

The Challenge

Reach’s digital strategy had previously been primarily focused on driving the highest volume of page views. This had placed them in the enviable position of having an extraordinary digital reach (c. 40 million unique viewers per month) across its UK sites, and of having significantly grown their digital revenues, both organically and inorganically, over the previous few years. 

However, the market was seeing digital advertising revenues slowing or reversing, and there was therefore a need to build out and future-proof the digital strategy for the next few years. This strategy was to focus in particular on capturing data across the multitude of Reach’s national and local news sits and using that data to better inform decision making to ensure that Reach continued to meet changing consumer demands. 

Q5 was asked to support a truly cross-functional (and pan-organisational) project team to develop the Reach strategy over a 10-week period, to be presented to and signed off by the Board.

Our Approach

We worked absolutely hand-in-hand with the project team in order to develop, test and ultimately make decisions on a range of options and what would be required to deliver those options. Across the course of the 10 weeks, we undertook the following:

  • Gave clarity to the project team structure and governance, defining key workstreams and workstream leads, and accountabilities of individuals on the project.
  • Ensured that the project team, who were used to operating in a more department-focused way, could work collaboratively and cross-functionally for the duration of the project.
  • Provided external challenge and expertise throughout, as well as bandwidth for a team who had to balance project and BAU accountabilities.
  • Worked with the team to iteratively surface options and opportunities, and test them against a series of criteria – audience impact, commercial impact etc.
  • We worked with Reach to create an options model, looking at the impact of individual initiatives on both revenue figures and the potential number of ‘known’ customers over a three year period.
  • Based on the modelling, we created a clear set of strategic recommendations for the board and the resources required to deliver those recommendations.
  • Finally we developed an implementation plan to take forward new Reach strategy, with initial proposal and costings agreed.

Key Outcomes

  • A final proposed strategy with the full support and alignment of the cross-functional project team
  • Board buy-in and alignment on the importance of the strategy and the strategic pillars for the long-term success of Reach
  • Full revenue and customer data model agreed and handed over to the Digital Finance Director for ongoing use
  • Agreement on high-level plan and costings, with sign off on resource and financial requirements
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