We see many opportunities in digital and have in the meantime built a substantial and growing digital business. We intend to boost digital by creating this new business unit which will focus on pure-play digital assets in consumer media in Finland and The Netherlands, and will include brands such as oikotie.fi, NU.nl and kieskeurig.nl. Digital brand extensions such as hs.fi and libelle.nl will be run directly by Sanoma Media Finland and The Netherlands. Sanoma Learning will drive all Learning activities.
A core element of the overall transformation program is to bring more focus to the business and to ensure that each part has a clear mandate and objectives. This also holds true for Sanoma Digital. Growing and innovating pure-play digital businesses in consumer media is a different assignment than transforming a portfolio of magazines, winning viewers for television, taking newspapers to their next level or building digital workflow solutions for learning. Each of these assignments needs dedicated management attention to focus on making it happen.
Digital enjoys a unique role within the portfolio and will for that reason also work very closely with the other platforms to enable cross-media solutions for consumers and advertisers – shared sales, insights & analytics and ICT teams will help us to achieve that.
Sanoma Digital will have three main goals:
- The first goal is to grow. We intend to significantly grow the digital consumer media business in the next 5 years. Part of that growth will come from working closely with the local business in Finland and the Netherlands, including adding new verticals, new media (mobile and video) and new services to our performance-based (lead-generation, e-commerce, online classifieds) and pure-play digital content businesses. Another part of the growth will come from scaling successful concepts created in The Netherlands and Finland to new markets. We have been investing in the early part the product pipeline recently with quite some new launches in the final quarter this year. We expect this to bear fruits during the course of the coming years.
- The second goal is to boost innovation and to strengthen skills across the organisation on lean development methods. To achieve this we will establish a new innovation lab which will nurture the winning concepts borne out of our ongoing series of innovation accelerators. Furthermore, we will continue to invest in external digital enterprises via Sanoma Ventures. We want to fill the pipeline with new business lines – to plant the seeds of the next generation Sanoma.
- The third goal is to strengthen our capabilities on data insights & analytics. We will bundle our resources on insights and analytics, boost them, and deploy them across Sanoma, to help the whole company to succeed in the digital transformation.
From the perspective of digital, we hope this will position us to better serve our customers. If we are successful, we will grow digital and this should help us to provide attractive new opportunities for employees and improved returns for shareholders.
From a personal perspective, my next assignment is to establish Sanoma Digital. I’m excited about this and believe setting up Sanoma digital is a good step to boost the digital transformation. We’re now in the process of setting up a new team to drive this agenda. I’m really proud of the talented people who are joining this team and who will work at Sanoma Digital! During Q1 next year I will succeed Jacques Eijkens as CEO of Sanoma Learning. My two passions are digital and learning. Sanoma has a strong and successful international Learning business that is also going through a digital transformation. I hope and believe that I will be able to contribute to the further success of Sanoma Learning by boosting the leadership of digital and innovation there.