Jinfo BlogJinfo for content purchasing

Thursday, 4th April 2019

By Robin Neidorf

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Have you made the shift from a numbers-based approach to content purchasing to a more holistic approach based on results, value-add and impact on the business? This blog from our director of research, Robin Neidorf, will guide you on that journey to re-establishing your skills as a business essential.


"I need to cut 20% from our content purchasing budget - can you help?"

We don't get these calls as often as we did three or four years ago, but they do still come in. Like the query last week, from the information team of a global financial institution. And the one last month from a professional services firm. And the one in late 2018 from a personal goods manufacturing company...

Yes, we can help - the answer lies in developing a value-based approach to planning and managing your content portfolio. But it's not a fast and easy process; it takes time (often in very short supply) and the cooperation of key stakeholders in the business (ditto).

If you have budget holders and senior executives breathing down your neck for cuts, it's hard to stay in a strategic frame of mind, let alone communicate that way. That's why it's essential to revamp your approach to portfolio management long before you are in the hot seat.

What do you need to do?

Savvy content purchasers have shifted their thinking from users, usage and contract costs to value and impact for the business. We've got better at explaining to stakeholders the business purpose of these investments and the role of content purchasing skills in stewarding organisational resources.

That's a great start, but it's still very difficult to close the gap between, "We invest in this content because it helps our business development department win more clients" and "What's this enormous bill for a market intelligence database we touch four times a year?"

The next development translates that shift from thinking differently to managing the portfolio differently. It's not line items and expenditures, but investment goals and ROI.

Figure 1 shows a simplified model of what this looks like.

Click to view

Figure 1: a strategy-driven approach to managing your portfolio

Undertaking this shift can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the size and complexity of your portfolio.

One of Albert Einstein's famous quotes is, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them". The thinking that created current norms for content portfolio management is not in and of itself problematic. But it is not adequate in the context of the more complex demands now placed on content purchasing and management professionals.

If you're ready to reshape your thinking about how to manage your content portfolio, check out Jinfo's options:

Or contact Claire Laybats to discuss your particular needs.

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Item URL: https://web.jinfo.com/go/blog/74555
Printed: Wednesday, 27th May 2020

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