Isentia has said its foray into content marketing via its disastrous acquisition of King Content was more a question of bad luck than poor due diligence.
Speaking at a media briefing yesterday discussing the company’s restructure, Isentia’s CEO and MD John Croll said the due diligence on the acquisition was good. Croll said he didn’t think there was an avenue for Isentia to take potential legal action against King Content’s former directors.
“I don’t think there’s an action against the former directors of King Content. We did our due diligence with good reputable companies. What we saw was a business going from about $2 million in revenue to $7 million in revenue to $15 million in revenue to $20 odd million in revenue for the first year that we had it. So there was a good strong growth profile there,” he said.
The real issue was a mismatch in the two types of businesses. Where Croll says the media intelligence business enjoys a 99 per cent retention rate, King Content’s revenue was based on short-term, campaign-based revenue.
“And, content marketing was going through a little bit of a transition period at that point in time where a number of large clients . . . like ANZ Bank . . . were starting to hire their own in-house journalists so they didn’t need us to build their content for them going forward.
“So there had been a lot of revenue in those clients that then moved away quite quickly. So that was the issue for us. It became very short-term revenue and quite campaign based instead of the strategy and building out the content platform.”
Former Bauer CEO Matt Stanton has been put in charge of building a business out of the wreckage of the acquisition. His focus, he says, is building longer terms contracts with clients and just focusing on the strategy of content marketing through than the content production. A market flooded by pretty much every agency in the land and suffered the consequential erosion of margins.
“There was a lot of short-term campaign content and there was a lot of content where the margins were thin. We don’t want to play in that space,” Stanton said.
“The revenue might not be so spectacular, but that revenue will be much more certain,” Croll added.
Isentia’s stock price remained flat yesterday on the news trading at 1.82 per share this morning down from a high of $4.93 in December 2015.
Here’s the release detailing the restructure:
Isentia re-structures organisation and launches new brand and new data insight led services
New products help clients derive real time actionable insights from data and deliver the most comprehensive media intelligence and insights services
Sydney, Australia – 14 August 2017 – Leading media intelligence company, Isentia (ASX: ISD), has restructured the company under a new single brand, and invests in machine learning technologies to give clients more relevant and actionable insights from media sources.
These investments include the launch of ‘Stories’, an additional capability within its MediaPortal platform, which was recently upgraded. Stories summarises news trends and provides timely analysis to clients.
Taking all the relevant content on a topic, presented in clusters, Stories give clients the insight into how themes are evolving through the day, and understand its reach and velocity.
Customers are given the option to probe into any story to uncover deeper insights, such as correlations between outlets, key influencers and any resulting amplification on social media. Rather than having to examine hundreds of media items, Stories provides customers with close to real-time intelligence that is invaluable in strategy planning and risk assessment.
John Croll, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Isentia, said: “The complexity and speed of today’s media cycle, and the growth in social media, means our customers are finding it more and more difficult to trawl through the influx of data and make timely decisions. There’s information everywhere, but what’s rare and what’s valuable, is real insight.
“Our priority is providing customers with those insights by enhancing our product offering. Our MediaPortal redesign earlier this year is a good example. And today, Stories will show our customers how a piece of news is evolving in real-time so they can make decisions faster. We’re also improving our data intelligence platform, which will increase the speed, scalability and content sources for our clients in multiple languages.”
Isentia is also introducing new back-end technologies so crawler cycle frequency is significantly improved, with a projection of approximately a million items per day across nine languages processed – providing even more valuable data that can help inform business decisions for clients throughout the Asia Pacific region.
More than 50 channels identified as key across the Asia-Pacific region will be crawled each day, including approximately 65,000 news websites covering content in English, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Tamil, Tagalog, Malay, Indonesian and Korean. Rich media items, such as online video and audio will also be captured, adding new content sources to the Isentia product offering.
New Brand and restructure Isentia has restructured the sales organisation in all markets and refreshed its brand as part of its growth strategy.
This includes the integration of the Brandtology and King Content brands into Isentia, so the core focus is on integrated media intelligence, research, insights and strategy content.
The new brand adopts the iconic mathematical three dots symbol for ‘therefore’. The dots are shorthand for the moment a problem moves to a solution, via an insight. This new graphic reflects the personality and nature of the Isentia business as a problem solver and highlights the positive outcomes the company creates for them.
Croll adds: “Our commitment to our customers continues to fuel our quest to deliver the best in functionality and user experience they’ve grown accustomed to. We’ve adopted the dots in our brand design because it embodies our brand proposition of real data intelligence, and how this manifests as real-world problem solving.
“The new brand, the new products and the re-organisation means we can focus our sales efforts on growth across the region and increase the penetration of both our Research & Insights as well as our Strategy & Content products.