Relationship Advice for Strong Media Technology Partnerships
Great content delivered through an extraordinary viewing experience is the key to lasting audience love, and the primary mission of every content provider. To maintain viewer loyalty amidst constantly evolving definitions of “great content” and "extraordinary experience,” brands engage with technology partners who can help them keep the focus on what matters most. How do you tell if a prospective alliance is worthy of your commitment?
There are plenty of advice columns out there when it comes to choosing technology partners. For the purpose of this article I’m going to assume that there are some obvious basics that you establish when being courted by a new technology suitor, such as:
- Trust: You can see a demonstrated track record of responsible business practices and ethics.
- Transparency: There are no operational walls that could obscure the work this partner will do for you. Processes, best practices, operations, and methods of communication foster a seamless exchange of knowledge.
- Track record: Simply put, there are reviews you can read before buying. A great partner has a history of success and strong client retention rates, and stand behind the work they perform.
Beyond these partnership “no-brainers,” what are some qualities to look for in a long-term media technology partner?
A great technology therapist
Ever wonder why a professional therapist is so valuable? Beyond the basics of trust and communication, the personal truths uncovered by an experienced, objective guide lay a foundation for lasting transformation. A great media technology partner enables “self-awareness at scale” in very much the same way.
Consider partners who can help you to better understand yourself. There are huge advantages in an objective end-to-end assessment of your processes and infrastructure, performed by a seasoned technology partner. Your business benefits immeasurably from having an unbiased view of where your software and hardware infrastructure truly stands from a competitive standpoint. Opportunities to optimize or automate processes can be more effectively uncovered.
It’s common for technology decisions to be made purely on financial grounds, or based on preferences or comfort zones of existing knowledge. A compelling outside opinion offers an alternative approach, provided from a much broader context.
A strength trainer for systems and workflows
Hardened core systems are the foundation of a technology infrastructure that requires athletic performance and always-on availability. Sports professionals build their workout regimens around core strength for a good reason: your strength as a functional whole stems from a powerful and protected center. Your systems, and your partner’s systems, are no different. Risk mitigation is not the place to cut corners. The positive downstream impacts that a strong partner brings to your operational stability are worth it, and they allow your business to focus on what it does best.
Reliability is the name of the game, and the right partner can demonstrate redundancies, contingencies and recovery plans for every touchpoint in the workflow. The increasing speed of innovation underscores the need for a technology plan that leaves no stone unturned. It’s a matter of simple performance physics: as you accelerate, response times get compressed. A “real keeper” of a technology partner protects you, both by reacting swiftly and by helping you see further down the road than you could otherwise. The more your partner can future-proof your operation, the better.
A yoga guru for elastic business models
“Flexibility” is one of those important-sounding-yet-vague business buzzwords that only really defines itself when your business is stretched to the limit. One of the most fascinating aspects of modern content delivery is the explosive way that one new innovation or approach can fundamentally alter your customer relationships. Just how flexible does your business model need to be? If your partner can help you to scale up your resources or adopt a new tactic to respond to changes in your delivery landscape, can it do the same thing in the opposite direction? A successful delivery strategy has to look past the time-to-market desires of this quarter’s roadmap, or even this year’s.
Elasticity in your business approach goes hand-in-hand with the strength of your total technology infrastructure. A great partner won’t lock you into a model, methodology, or proprietary lynchpin that keeps you beholden to their service. Instead they will support your ability to maintain agility without degrading quality of service. You’ll also have the freedom to experiment and test new customer experiences and monetization strategies. The best media technology partners result in the healthiest of relationships – a mutual investment in each other that enables everyone to have skin in the game and play to their strengths.