Posts Tagged ‘Paul Plant’

The Importance of Reaching ‘Digital First’ Consumers

Monday, June 16, 2014

During last week’s webinar, Radicle Consulting’s Founder and Principal Paul Plant discussed the “Digital First” generation who conducts almost every aspect of their lives through technology.  Paul outlined the importance of these consumers and shared some tips on how to meet the needs of these tech savvy consumers.

Given Paul’s 35 years of experience in media and telecommunications, he provided some invaluable strategic advice on digital transformation, customer-centricity, organizational change, leadership coaching and much more.  Here are some of the top takeaways from the webinar:

  • There are 6.5 billion mobile subscribers in the world, which is 93% of the entire population
  • 94% of smartphone users keep their device within one meter of their person at all times.
  • Two-thirds of connected consumers have now made a purchase online.
  • Winning companies in the digital economy are able to present a single view of their business across all channels.
  • Digital First Consumer Characteristics: 1. Lifestyle before career 2. Capture the moment 3. Share everything 4. Ethical sourcing 5. Environmentally aware 6. Apolitical 7. Passion for travel 8. Culturally aware, etc.
  • The path to purchase is highly fragmented and the online and offline worlds are seamlessly intertwined.
  • The basic entry ticket to compete in the digital space is telephony, broadband, email and a website.
  • Managing reputation online is an integral component of running a successful business.

Check out the entire presentation below:

For access to all of our past webinars and a look at what’s to come, visit

Reaching the Growing Number of ‘Digital First’ Consumers

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Please join LSA and Radicle Consulting for an exclusive webinar presentation next Thursday, June 12 from 2 pm – 3 pm EST.

Today, our schools, colleges and universities are producing a generation that has conducted its entire education in the Internet age. Welcome to the “Digital First” generation. This is a generation that conducts almost EVERY aspect of their lives through technology. Radicle Consulting founder Paul Plant will reveal a few insights that prove just how out of touch many of today’s companies are with this critically influential audience, and how digital transformation is the first step toward meeting the needs of these tech savvy consumers.

Radicle Consulting is a boutique consultancy that specializes in helping companies of all sizes confront the challenges and embrace the opportunities presented by the digital economy.

Spots are limited so reserve your seat today!

The Last Frontier – or is it?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Today’s guest blogger, Paul Plant of Radicle Consulting has over 30 years of experience in directive media and advertising.  He launched Radicle Consulting in March 2010, and has acquired a diverse client portfolio, which he advises on all aspects of organizational and transformational change. He previously spent almost 20 years in senior management at Yell Group, in key marketing, sales and strategic operational positions in both the U.K. and U.S.

I had some thoughts regarding Neg Norton’s recent blog post, The Last Frontier: The Sales Call.  It cannot be argued that the local media solutions marketplace is increasingly being commoditised by an influx of new competitive media properties, each offering a suite of solutions that, to all intents and purposes, are very similar.

It is therefore hardly surprising that many industry commentators and observers view the sales call as one of the key points in the relationship between the media provider and the SMB where some degree of differentiation can be achieved. Neg Norton describes it as “The Last Frontier”.

For large numbers of traditional media players, the relationship between the salesperson and the SMB is the last frontier. In fact, for many it is the only remaining frontier. But why? It is because the vast majority of traditional publishers have almost given up on the consumer – the end user.

Significantly reduced investment in core product development, accompanied by a lack of advertising and promotional spend on core brands has seen a widescale erosion of proprietary print and new media brands and product solutions. This has allowed the likes of Google and others to lay claim to the lion’s share of modern-day consumer usage.

One publisher has consistently bucked the trend, and has equally stayed relentlessly true to the principle that the virtuous circle remains at the heart of the core media publisher business model. The governing principle that “content drives usage drives revenue” is the central strategic pillar of the Solocal (formerly PagesJaunes) business mantra.

Solocal retains high levels of both consumer and SMB customer loyalty, achieved through no less than seventeen different proprietary media brands and channels. New digital channels comprise almost 60% of Solocal’s €1.1bn revenues, driving an overall EBITDA margin of c.45%.

You can learn more about how Solocal bucked the trend, and how they continue to compete successfully on multiple frontiers, when their President & CEO Jean-Pierre Remy addresses the forthcoming Local Search Association annual conference in Las Vegas.

Industry Transformation – Opportunity for Success

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Today’s guest blogger, Paul Plant of Radicle Consulting has over 30 years of experience in directive media and advertising.  He launched Radicle Consulting in March 2010, and has acquired a diverse client portfolio, which he advises on all aspects of organizational and transformational change. He previously spent almost 20 years in senior management at Yell Group, in key marketing, sales and strategic operational positions in both the U.K. and U.S.

I read with interest Neg Norton’s recent blog, which makes reference to Sensis and Solocal (formerly PagesJaunes). His post reminded me of one of ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s great quotes – when asked to explain his extraordinary talent, Gretzky is quoted as replying, “Skate to where the puck is heading, not where it is now.” His quote is a metaphor that many major companies would do well to heed.

The Sensis case study is a sage, and indeed sad, lesson for others to be mindful of, for here is a publisher that failed to grasp the opportunity, despite having more advance warning and insight than any of its peers.

Australia, by being so far removed geographically from the rest of the world, has typically been three or more years “behind the trend” with regard to what else is happening within the industry. Sensis was still growing print revenues as recently as 2009, while most of its global peers were by then facing up to the inevitable consequences of new consumer behaviours brought about by disruptive digital change. Its print business, both white and yellow, held up revenues and high margins for longer than any other publisher. Yet, when the inevitable migration away from traditional media came along, the company was unprepared. Even today, more than 70% of Sensis’ revenues come from print, while digital sales are heavily reliant on the reselling of Google Adwords.

Another worrying factor is that circa 40% of Sensis’ income has traditionally been derived from large premier and national account customers. And as these started to slash their print spend, Sensis simply did not have the digital product inventory available to compensate for the decreases.

Sensis still operates as a division of its Telstra telco parent, which perhaps in part explains its situation, for the telco has not viewed the directory publisher as a strategic asset, and continues to milk the business for its profits. New Sensis MD John Allan certainly has his work cut out if he is to turn the company around.

Solocal (PagesJaunes) did not have the luxury of the crystal ball that Sensis had yet failed to use. That said, they still had the foresight, vision, and courage to embrace the undeniable shift towards new digital products and media solutions.

It will indeed be fascinating to listen to Solocal President & CEO Jean-Pierre Remy at the forthcoming LSA Conference in Las Vegas, when he explains the PagesJaunes success journey from traditional directory publisher to thriving modern digital media provider.

DMS ’10: Give Up Major Metros? No, Ignore Them At Your Peril.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

“That’s where the future revenue is and that’s where the customers are,” said Paul Plant, founder, Radicle Consulting, in reference to the question whether Yellow Pages companies should give up metro markets.  “The innovations going on in this space should give the publishers what they need to address the needs of metro market customers.”

Plant said that publishers must overcome their current reputation of producing print products that are too big and cover too wide an area, are dated, and out of touch.

“Consumers in metro areas travel shorter distances to buy products than anywhere else, so why do we deliver huge directories?”

Plant recommends publishers look at smaller, more compact directories and create online products that don’t just replicate Yellow Pages data, but are dynamic and offer up-to-date content.

Because metro markets consumers are on-the-go all the time, Plant suggests rethinking the sales approach to one that’s 365 days a year, not driven by a 12- or six-month publishing schedule.  According to Plant, if a sales person only checks in twice a year with an advertiser, they miss out on many opportunities to provide marketing services for holidays and other time sensitive needs.

Isabelle Lascombe, marketing director of PagesJaunes in France, says her company has launched a number of initiatives to combat changes in usage of metro markets compared to rural markets, which continue to embrace print.

The company’s research finds that, of consumers in Paris, 16% use print only, 54% use online only; and 26% use both.  Rural areas are quite a different story, where 46% use print only, 15% use online only; and 38 percent both.

As print has changed, the company has looked for ways to cut costs related to print.  PagesJaunes has reduced the number of headings in its urban directories, eliminating B2B headings.  The company is moving to a more compact format that will save paper costs.  It has also launched an opt-out website and changed delivery logistics to produce fewer print directories, and pickup unused directories to adjust counts for next year.

Lascombe said that all printed books are accessible today on the Internet in a fully digitized, interactive format.  The company is releasing three new updates to its iPhone app per year and has launched a branded website geared to the 18 to 35-year-old consumer with maps, streets views, and interactivity with social networks.

Additionally, the company is demonstrating its commitment to print by launching a new mailed directory featuring “emergency” headings related to healthcare and home repairs.

“Metro markets present massive upside opportunity if you get your proposition right,” said Plant.  “Ignore them at your peril.”