Friday, 29 February 2008

Who is reading newspapers?

Oxfam Overhall Database

Precision Marketing: 29 Feb 2008. Gemma Hummerston

Oxfam GB is overhauling its database to provide the charity with a completely integrated single supporter view, and enable its marketing and campaign teams to get hands-on with core data.

The charity will use DataSalon’s MasterVision tool to segment and analyse its data, whilst working alongside databases for supporters, campaigners, e-commerce and donations to create a single view across all of these systems.

The single supporter view will further drive supporter insight, enable more highly targeted communications and lead to increased revenues, as well as major internal efficiencies which will see marketing staff able to work directly with supporter data themselves.

Oxfam GB head of business support Sioned Jones says: “This will put a much wider group of people directly in touch with our data and encourage lots of creative marketing with plenty of opportunities to increase revenue.”

DataSalon marketing director Jillian Monahan adds: “We are extremely pleased to be working with Oxfam to provide a truly user-friendly view onto their huge resource of existing supporter data.”

UK Media Landscape

The media landscape in the United Kingdom is large, complex and mature, arguably ranking second globally to that of the USA. This status is derived to some extent from the use of English as the primary natural language of production and content. Although none of the major global media conglomerates is based in the UK, a number of media organisations, notably Reuters and the BBC, have international standing in their own right. UK activities also contribute significantly to the operations of global conglomerates, such as NewsCorp, Bertelsmann and Time Warner. A desire to be present in emerging global media markets led to increasing deregulation under both Conservative governments (1979-1997) and the Labour administrations of Tony Blair (1997 to date).

The UK media sector is relatively open, with participants from many countries active in almost all aspects – newspapers, television, magazines, radio, film, books, advertising, music and public relations. At the same time, UK media organisations have interests in many parts of the world. Since the late 1990s, successive Labour governments have attempted to elide the distinction between culture and commerce, leading to the adoption of the idea of the ‘creative industries’. This has been accompanied by widespread and vociferous concerns about media quality.

It should be remembered that, while, in many respects, the UK media landscape is a single entity, there are distinctive English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh dimensions, reflecting the composition of the State itself, and heightened by devolution in the late 1990s. The UK’s adult population numbers 47.5 million.


Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of the written press is the existence of a large national newspaper sector, comprised of ten daily and ten Sunday titles. In February 2006, the total sales of national newspapers were 11.25 million daily and 12 million on Sundays.
This press is commonly divided into three sectors – ‘quality’, ‘middle market’ and ‘red-top tabloid’. For more than 20 years, all the papers in the latter two categories have been tabloid in size. More recently, three of the ‘quality’ titles abandoned the broadsheet format and adopted either a ‘compact’ (The Independent and The Times) or Berliner (The Guardian) size. This change stimulated much debate over whether the national press was abandoning ‘serious’ journalism in pursuit of popularity.

The distinctive characteristic is a dominant national press based in London. Regional and local newspapers comprise 98% of titles in circulation. The entire national newspaper press is owned by eight companies, of which the largest two (News International and Daily Mail and General Trust) had 55% of market share in 2005. With Trinity Mirror (16%) and Northern and Shell (14.5%), the top four owners control 85% of the market. A similar concentration of ownership is evident in the regional and local press. Newspaper sales are generally declining and have been for more than 40 years. Attempts to attract readers with alternative formats began in 1999 when Associated Newspapers launched the free commuter paper Metro in London. By 2003 total distributions of a series of Metro titles in British cities totaled 840,000, making it the world’s largest free newspaper.

The magazine sector is large and expanding. There is an estimated number of 8,800-10,000 titles, the two-third of which are ‘business and professional’ titles, the rest are ‘consumer’ magazines.


The UK’s audiovisual media’s major defining characteristic is the existence of a strong public service broadcaster, the BBC. Supported by a universal compulsory television licence free, BBC is a major force in both radio and television. In all, it operates 14 television channels, an interactive TV set-up, a datacast operation, Ceefax. In all, BBC television attracts about a third of the total TV audience.

Overall around 70% of UK households have access to multi-channel television, and around 400 channels are available thus audience fragmentation is commonplace. BSkyB, controlled by NewsCorp, is the major satellite provider with around 8 million homes connected. NTL-Telewest provides cable services to about 3 million homes. Freeview, a set-top box system jointly owned by the BBC, BSkyB and Crown Castle, reaches 5million homes. Sky operates 26 channels of its own, including nine movie channels and five sports channels. Others available include those from the BBC and ITV and Channels 4 and Five, plus global offerings such as Cartoon Network, CNN, Discovery, DW-TV, Fox News, MTV, Nickelodeon, TCM and VH1.

The BBC operates five national radio stations; another five digital-only stations; the World Service; regional stations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (including stations broadcasting in Welsh and Scots), and 30 local stations.

Radio is also characterised by a multi-faceted commercial presence alongside that of the BBC. Radio services are now provided as well via Freeview, DAB, cable, satellite, mobile telephony and the internet. About 300 commercial radio stations broadcast across these platforms, the vast majority being local. The major national commercial radio station is Classic FM, reaching more than 6m people (compared to 13m and 10m for BBC Radio 2 and Radio 1). On the other hand, the reach of local commercial radio is about two-and-a-half times that of local BBC services. To help community radios, in 2005 the government initiated an attempt to persuade the hundreds of ‘pirate’ stations which broadcast illegally to convert into legitimate not-for-profit stations by offering five-year licences and start-up money.


Television is leading the ‘dash to digital’ with 17m homes connected since its introduction in 1998. Analogue TV signals are due to be switched off from 2008, a process which will see the end of analogue television in 2012. A projected switch-off for analogue radio signals has been mooted for 2014.


London is a major global communications hub, and many news and picture agencies, working for all media, are located there. It is the world headquarters of Reuters, and a base for a number of other international agencies, including AFX, APTN and Getty Images. Pacemaker, which has an international reputation chiefly for photography, is based in Northern Ireland. Among the international agencies operating London bureaux are Agence France-Presse; Agencia EFE; AP; Bloomberg; Dow Jones; DPA; IRNA; ITAR-Tass, and Xinhua. The national agency is the Press Association (PA), based in London and with offices in Birmingham, Liverpool and Glasgow. There are more than 100 local agencies, supplying mainly the UK media. The National Association of Press Agencies is the industry body. In addition, many journalists work as freelancers.


All significant media have online presences, a trend started in 1994 with the Electronic Telegraph followed by Guardian Unlimited, whose site has made the paper the most widely read in the world. BBC Online is one of the world’s most visited sites. BBC Online has almost 10 million unique users and Guardian Unlimited more than a million.

In 2005 the UK was the fastest-growing market for broadband connections. At the beginning of 2006 13.9 million UK households (57%) had internet access, of which 69% were broadband. It is government policy that every home in the UK will have access to online services by 2010.


The most prominent organizations represent media owners and operators, including online, radio, magazines, books, newspapers and independent producers. Trades unions and professional bodies represent media workers. Many organizations provide specialist services to the media.


The UK identifies the media as part of a wider creative industries sector. Two government departments – Culture, Media and Sport and Trade and Industry – cover the media.

The future of public service within an increasingly commercialised media is a matter of debate. The paradoxical situation is highlighted by the continuing commitment to a large public service broadcaster, the BBC, which has also vigorously pursued a strategy of commercialisation and digitalisation. While the BBC is the UK’s most enthusiastic large-scale media innovator, a significant exporter and a provider of highly popular content and services, it is said by many to distort the market.

Liberalisation of media environments has been accompanied by partial deregulation. In 2003 a complex system of media regulation and oversight was partially rationalised through the creation of Ofcom to police broadcasting and telecommunications (replacing five separate bodies).


Voluntary and statutory accountability systems co-exist. It is estimated that more than 140 pieces of legislation have direct relevance to the media, and litigation is a favoured method of bringing the media to account. Privacy was not recognised as such in UK law; however, cases could be brought for breaches of confidentiality. Freedom of expression is protected under the 1998 Human Rights Act which enacted into UK law the European Convention on Human Rights, and a Freedom of Information Act came into force in 2005. The 1998 Act also introduced privacy as a statutory right.

External ‘watchdog’ bodies are an important element. Organizations seeking to explore media issues include the MediaWise Trust (ethics); Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom; Campaign for Freedom of Information; the Runnymede Trust (diversity), and the London International Research Exchange.


Recent UK governments have attempted to bolster national media against competition from overseas predators. At the same time, it has been accepted that the biggest media are not national but global, and governed primarily by the market. Younger audiences are turning away from ‘big’ media and prefer niche digital services. The future of the BBC as a publicly funded, public service is in doubt. It is an unanswered question whether the BBC would continue as a publicly-funded national body or would become a commercial media entity from 2016. There is a lively debate about the quality and role of journalism and the media ‘dumbing down’ to try reduce costs and offer new ‘lite’ content.


The hard copy starting-point for research is the annual Media Directory published by The Guardian. There are several publications directed at trade and technical audiences. Historical and contemporary directories are held in the British Library Newspaper Library at Colindale, north London. Accessible journals include: the British Journal of Photography, British Journalism Review, Free Press (published by the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom); Press Gazette; Broadcasting, and Campaign. The Guardian has a weekly media supplement and an associated web site All the main media and media organisations maintain web sites.


Michael Bromley is Professor of Journalism and Deputy Head of the School of Journalism and Communication at The University of Queensland (Australia). A former journalist, he has published widely on journalism and the media, and has worked as a consultant with the European Journalism Centre.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

A recipe for talent?

Case Study: McDonald's

A Recipe for Talent

How do you keep fresh ideas and innovation coming if your key people have never worked for another company? McDonald's looked to suppliers for inspiration.

McDonald's is well known for its rigorous approach to the training and development of its staff, or crew as it calls them. Depending on state legislation, teenagers as young as 14 or 15 can apply for a job.

If accepted, they start their training and embark on a well-defined path that gradually broadens their experience across restaurant roles.

This allows McDonald's to deliver consistent quality of service and, remarkably, to do so with people with no prior work experience. Many stay and it is not uncommon to meet someone aged 30 who has beenwith the organisation for 15 years.

"Training is the key to our success," McDonald's Australia vice-president of people resources Frank McManus says.

He is a case in point. Originally from Ireland, McManus has been with the organisation for 33 years, starting out as crew while travelling through Germany.

In Australia, 80 per cent of employees in restaurant management at McDonald's started their careers as crew. Of its seven global chief executive officers, four started as restaurant crew, including current chief executive Jim Skinner, who carries his career start in the kitchen as a badge of honour.

Another global chief executive who started as crew was the Australian Charlie Bell, who became chief executive in 2003 but tragically died of cancer two years later.

The ability of an organisation to grow and keep talent may well be the most important predictor for success. If its current success is something to go by, McDonald's must be doing something right in the way it manages its talent.

During the late 1990s, it lost its way for a while and the average net income for McDonald's Corporation per restaurant went down from 1999 to 2003, bottoming at $U528,900 ($32,564) in 2002. More recently, its 31,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries have been delivering outstanding results, with net income per restaurant at $US1l2,000 in 2006.

Australia, with some 65,000 staff, 760 restaurants and more than 1.2 million customers a day, is one of the restaurant group's seven big economic enginemarkets. Much of the success in Australia is driven by innovations such as McCafe (a Charlie Bell brainchild), salads, Deli Choice, low•fat muffins, Pasta Zoo and refreshing its brand image.

To maintain its success, McDonald's must maintain a relentless pace of innovation. However, having so many people who have been with the company for so long can be a two-edged sword when it comes to innovation.

"One of our biggest challenges is to come in to the business every day and look at it with fresh eyes," McDonald's Australia managing director and chief executive Peter Bush says.
This is particularly challenging for up•and-coming managers who started their career as crew, have never worked for any other company and have had to focus on short-term operational issues for most of their career. No matter how talented a person is, it is much harder to imagine a completely different future for McDonald's if their entire career has evolved inside the company.

Within the global organisation, McManus has a reputation for challenging the system and regularly coming up with new initiatives. In a world-first for McDonald's, he invited some of the company's suppliers to join its development program for high potential employees. This allowed the company's future leaders to benefit from exposure to external perspectives.

The development program, called McDonald's Australia Managing the Organisation (MAMO), was developed in collaboration with Melbourne Business School. The program falls under the Charlie Bell School of Management, the McDonald's training facility named after the former chief executive who was a great believer in training and development.

During a six-month period, all participants came together on four occasions for either two or three days. Much of that time was spent applying new concepts and ideas to professional and company challenges. In between sessions, teams continued to work on a company challenge with the aim of developing innovative ideas. At the end of the six months, each team presented its recommendations to the McDonald's leadership team.

The initial version of the program ran last year and was highly successful. Most McDonald's managers on the program had been with the company for more than 10 years, and about two out of three had never worked for another company.

The addition of managers from other companies to the program included participants from Coca Cola, IBM, McKey (supplier of food products) and H&K (supplier of kitchen equipment).
While it is not uncommon for companies to train their suppliers, this is usually done to help suppliers understand the client organisation or do a better job at servicing the client. An example is Qantas, which has trained staff from security companies that operate airport security screening points in customer service. McDonald's invites the suppliers because it wants to learn from, not instruct, them.

McDonald's managers on the program quickly recognised the value of external participation. "Having non-McDonald's partners in the program adds value to the whole journey, especially the project,"

McDonald's Australia senior legal counsel Duncan Mackay says. "Sometimes we need a non•McDonald's set of eyes to see solutions to McDonald's issues."

Examples include Coke's perspective on retail trends, or different ways to structure performance management. For McDonald's development manager Catherine Maddox, most value came from "obtaining feedback on McDonald's culture and how we are viewed in the marketplace".

McDonald's participants also felt they had learned how to view an issue from the perspective of a supplier, in this way improving future collaboration. This benefit was not limited to the suppliers that were in the program but will also extend to other suppliers.

Another benefit was the development of personal relationships across organisational boundaries. The national purchasing manager for McDonald's in Australia and New Zealand, Lisa Isaacs, believes the program improved relationships with its external partners.

"The intensity of working on actual projects combined with the personal nature of some of the program content has lead to some deep relationships that go beyond typical supplier relationships," she says.

Feedback from external participants echoes this sentiment: they have been able to obtain a much better understanding of McDonald's and have developed stronger relationships as a result.
Innes Belcher joined the program the week before he started as IBM's delivery project manager. It provided an invaluable induction into his new client organisation, he says. "Spending time with the team has given me a much greater understanding of what makes McDonald's tick. I've also built some great relationships along the way and really feel like a member of the business."

The strength of these relationships was illustrated last October when McDonald's held a getaway on the New South Wales central coast. The scheduled event was initially intended for McDonald's staff only. However, all external MAMO participants were invited by chief executive Peter Bush as members of the extended McDonald's family.

Published in BRW, 7 February 2008
This article was written by Maurizio Floris who is a program director at Mt Eliza executive education, part of Melbourne Business School. He also leads the MAMO program for McDonald's.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Email, music and MMS to spearhead mobile boom

Taken from Precision marketing - 20.02.2008.

Mobile marketing is poised to expand globally, according to a report into mobile messaging trends at a roundtable event held at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The report, carried out by mobile messaging and Internet provider Airwide Solutions, forecasts future mobile messaging trends.

It found that in the UK accelerated growth is expected in mobile versions of applications that are already firmly established and mobile email is expected to double its share of the total market over the next five years. Across Europe as a whole, mobile email, music and MMS look set to provide steady and sustained growth in revenues.

02 vice president of research and development Mike Short comments: “There remains much more to be done in 21st century messaging from CRM to enterprise messaging, from screen interactivity to better memory stores of your favourite messages from mobile marketing to personalised alert services.”

Hitwise To Go - US

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