Guest Columns
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“No niche is too niche as long as you own the community”: Reflections on Mx3 Barcelona

Last month, Mx3 Barcelona took place in the Catalan capital bringing together some of media’s most innovative creators and strategists. In this round up, Will Bailey, Head of Partnerships at 67 Bricks, outlines his five key takeaways from the summit. P.S. The full event report is now available for download here.

We’ve been reflecting on all the great nuggets of insight we gathered during last month’s Mx3 conference in Barcelona. For us, there were five key themes which we found compelling enough to take back to our wider team and clients. 

1. Create new products that meet your audiences where they are. Don’t wait for them to find you.

For many consumer media companies, this might mean ensuring you can be found in the communities your users already inhabit. But for B2B information companies, there is a much more subtle and revenue-driven interpretation. You need to ensure your products are embedded into user workflows, so that you become indispensable to the way they do business.

Taking this a step further, creating value propositions for multiple user profiles in a company means you can price correctly for each segment and not leave money on the table by neglecting potential users, or underpricing for more intensive or sophisticated customers. Look at your content as an ingredient that helps your customers do their jobs, and then find the ways you can create additional value from it.

2. Deepen the value of your events by harnessing data to create new services and year-round value.

Events create a huge amount of data, both in terms of the actual content presented there, but also in the amount of exhaust data created that could be used to create insights that further inform the community and drive retention and repeat revenues. Registration trends (geographies, new or rising companies), evolving delegate job titles, pre and post surveys that capture a state of the industry at a specific time… there are endless possibilities.

All of this data is often only used internally to plan the next event, or even simply lost. But blended with the content you also create and curate for these events, it becomes a powerful tool to strengthen your connection with your community in the months between the actual meetings or even monetised in the form of new products and services. 

3. No niche is too niche as long as you own the community. Specialise and connect deeply with your segment.

We’re seeing so many experts talking about the ‘post traffic era’. As Brian Morrisey from The Rebooting recently put it, ‘to compete in the attention economy, publishers need to shift their focus from acquiring passive and fleeting audiences to creating active and loyal communities of creatives, collaborators and connectors.’

An obvious strategy here, then, is to tightly define who that community is (and isn’t) and really focus in on delivering to their specific needs. Get to know them as well as possible, develop your product with them firmly in your mind, and move forward with them, creating as much value as you can to foster that loyalty and secure your future. 

4. Taking an iterative approach to testing and launching new products will reward you in the long term.

As an agile company, we’ve long seen the value of iterative testing and product development. Not only does it reduce the time to market for new functionality or new products, it allows you to involve your community – which we’ve already discussed above as being essential to long-term stability.

It also safeguards somewhat against the rapid changes happening in the marketplace, because you can be more responsive and outcome-focused, as opposed to creating a multi-year plan to deliver one big thing, only for the market to have moved on in the meantime. That’s why, ironically, iterative shorter-term development processes are more strategic and successful long-term. 

Mx3 Barcelona 12-13th March 2024 was an off-the-record international summit focusing on innovation in and across media verticals (Consumer & B2B). Download the event report here.

5. Want to survive in the new AI- and data-driven world? Diversify your revenue streams.

Traditional business models, especially those based around mass traffic and advertising revenue, are under threat. The smart thing publishers can do is to look for ways to monetise their existing assets and create new revenue streams to lessen the risks they face. We’re seeing a lot of clients coming to us now to use technologies like large language models to capture value from things they haven’t been able to in the past, and asking us to give them an audit to identify missed opportunities that can be quickly capitalised on. It can feel overwhelming and so having an outside view on your business is often a great way to get started, protecting against analysis paralysis, and giving you an actionable roadmap to follow. 

Will Bailey
Head of Partnerships, 67 Bricks

67 Bricks work with information companies to build unbeatable digital products to strengthen and diversify their revenue streams. They are experts in working with complex content and data, seamlessly blending them into insights that customers are happy to pay for. They’ve done this for companies in various industries, including The Economist Intelligence Unit, Chemical Watch, The BMJ and IWSR.