Case 6

Case 6

Issue:

Donna_Alteen_Issue: Can you describe an important issue that you had to resolve? I am Donna Alteen, President of Time + Space Media. One of the issues that we are dealing right now is our compensation model is becoming outdated. We are commission based compensation model and we that with a future characterized by technology and more and more technological advances, this model is not going to work for us going forward.

Cause:

Donna_Alteen_Cause: What caused the issue and why was it important? The cause is that digital technology and digital media is actually based on smaller budgets. So commission based compensation models do not allow us to recoup our time.

Background:

Donna_Alteen_Q1: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career path to date? I am Donna Alteen President of Time + Space Media. I started a media boutique 25 years ago and my background is a commerce degree from Acadia University. Donna_Alteen_Q2: Can you describe a typical workday for yourself? A typical workday for me is really centered around providing coaching to my staff and clients and helping them to problem solve. Donna_Alteen_Q3: Can you describe your role in the organization? My formal role is a coaching role. Even though I am the President of the company I am not responsible for the day to day operations. Donna_Alteen_Q4: Can you describe your leadership style? It is a coaching style. It is a mentoring style of leadership. I spend most of my time trying to connect my people with the vision for the company. So they can arm themselves with making the right decisions on the ground with clients. Donna_Alteen_Q5: What does good performance mean for you in your position? I know when I am doing a good job when my people are able to move forward in their careers. So I know that from a coaching perspective I am doing a good job helping them to move along and grow in their careers. Donna_Alteen_Q6: What does your company do and how is it different? Our company helps organizations bring their product or service to market. We are research based so a good part of what we do is help organizations define who their consumers are. We use a number of data inputs to build a 3-D profile of consumers. Then we build the strategy and the plan and execute the plan for bringing products and services to market. Donna_Alteen_Q7: How is your company or organized or structured? We have a very flat structure for the most part we have three kind of pillars. One is finance, a supportive pillar for the organization. We have the revenue generating or the operations. And then there is a vision pillar if you will. So that is future product development, talent strategy and those big strategies that help fuel the revenue. Donna_Alteen_Q8: Can you describe any key events that occurred either in your life or that of the organization that were crucial to success over time? Our media services boutique had a bit of a challenge about 5 or so years ago when technology fueled a fragmentation of audiences, and media in general. So we have had to redefine ourselves to take advantage of the gaps in helping our clients from a technological perspective. So a lot of what we do is to help to educate our chief marketing officers today who are not in roles were they have a lot of organic knowledge about digital technology. So we saw that as a very big part of our role and have developed training methods for CMOs. Donna_Alteen_Q10: Who buys your company products or services and why do they do so? The scope is very varied so we work with organizations large and small corporate and entrepreneurial. We work in a large scope of industries from tourism to telecommunications to professional services and consumer package goods and we work both regionally nationally and international. Donna_Alteen_Q11: Can you describe the industry within which your company competes? So the ecosystem for us in which we compete is varied and it is changing rapidly with technology and the onset of big data and in organizations there is a lot of overlap and blurred lines. Typically we used to compete in the Ad industry and what has happened since technology has come along is that we offered a bunch of services that really speak to inform insights. So we have a research and insights department that take data and help to take those various data inputs and create insights for our clients to help them solve their problems. Donna_Alteen_Q12: How do firms in this industry compete? Specialized services is one way. Price, obviously, is another way. There is a bundling of services if you will. The Ad industry has gotten a lot more complex with technology so it is a wild west right now. Donna_Alteen_Q13: What is the role of government or regulators in this industry? Government plays a very small role in our industry to be perfectly honest only as to far as they kind of dictate the content if you will through CRTC but really not that much. Donna_Alteen_Q14: What are some of the big issues that companies in this industry will be dealing with over the next few years? The onslaught of data. Big data and data coming from a lot of sources is causing a lot of confusion for clients. There is a lot of uncertainty with that data. Big data is the challenge and opportunity moving forward.Donna_Alteen_Q15: Can you offer some fast facts about your company? We are 25 people. We are really focused on a consulting model. We work with organizations in a number of ways using varied skill sets and services. Donna_Alteen_Q16: How does your company deal with failure?A big part of what we do is key learning so when we are in a situation where for example something does not work as we anticipated we sit down debrief and understand the key leanings so that we can take that forward. If it is client work for whatever reason and it has not moved forward in the manor that it should have then we use a collective model of sitting down and discussing what the challenges are and what the opportunities are to change things moving forward. Donna_Alteen_Q17: How is the industry changing? So in the last few years so much fragmentation has happened. There is fragmentation of channels. The internet of course and now mobile are creating a lot of channels that were not in the mix five years ago and now is also providing some challenges in terms of fragmentation and how we define our consumers. So we really need to get down to a micro level in understanding who we are by trying to talk to, to understand how to reach them. As well more performance based digital technologies are helping us to really measure and look at return on investment for clients where previously we did not have that technology.

Company: Time + Space Media Size: Small Industry: Marketing Services Business Activity: Professional, scientific and technical activities Type of Entity: Private Company Number of Employees: Fewer than 25 Country: Canada Headquarters: Halifax, Canada Yearly Revenue: $1 million to $25 million Gender: Female Subject: Marketing Keywords:


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