FutureVision opens with former Time Warner CEO Parsons
The opening presentation at the recent FutureVision conference (organized by our parent company NAPCO Media) was delivered by Richard D. Parsons, the former CEO of Time Warner. The theme was Strategies for Bridging Old & New Media/Leadership in a Rapidly Changing World.
Parsons introduced his topic with a discussion of content vs. distribution, contending that distribution is where the innovation has really taken place. He said distribution enabled by tech has transformed what was once the broadcast platform to a variety of evolutionary and revolutionary platforms that truly create connectivity, and that new platforms enhance distribution knowledge with data analytics, improving on what was once guesswork.
Parsons also observed that the digital and brick and mortar retail environments are no longer separate. The rise of the omnichannel can be found in examples of pop-up stores and smaller stores such as one that only carries one pair in each size of a shoe. In both cases the customer is handed off to the online team to fulfill the order and manage the customer relationships. He cautioned that the transition to digital is real but it is not a tidal wave. Retailers should anticipate and plan the transitions to satisfy customer demand for instant gratification and that also manage their real estate and inventory, he said. He referenced the trend in unbundling and cutting the cord in the case of cable. And he gave voice to the leadership disciplines necessary to manage a digital transformation with a Digital By Objective strategy that recognizes the problem and owns the vision for going forward.