“It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”
So it was no surprise that a survey of the newspaper and magazine industries by the ValueNotes Sourcing Practice (“dedicated to researching the outsourcing industry“) found that “growing dependence on digital presence means that providers have an opportunity to help publishers address varied forms, software, platforms and devices.”
The survey also found that “(newspaper and magazine) buyers remain yet to be convinced. Value addition is likely to remain an in-house task for many publishers, unless service providers can demonstrate significant capability.”
I was asked recently if it is possible to launch a publication by substantially outsourcing its components, and I answered, “Yes; that model is increasingly the norm these days.”
If I’d been asked, “What do you think about outsourcing the business processes that add value?”, my answer would have been simply, “That’s a bad idea.” Giving another firm the right and responsibility to add value hands my business to a third party. In time, perhaps in short order, I engender my own competition.
Yes, some firms are strategically placing bets on two futures. But giving a third party responsibility for your added value: where’s the sense in that?
As content providers cut staff deeply and persistently, it becomes even more important to remember that they need to own and extend their relationships with their reading communities. Those relationships are seldom a function of production or even marketing. They are rooted in the creation of and engagement with content, something publishers should be reluctant to outsource.