National Geographic Society

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National Geographic Society
The Problem Essay
Position Statement
The key managerial problem which John Fahey is facing is to decide as to whom the e-commerce head should report, in the current organizational structure of NGS, so that the new position gives him enough freedom to leverage the growth opportunities of the e-commerce platform efficiently. How much span of control for the new head is required to cope with declining print media sales and build the right balance between allocating investments and revenue allocations across different product units of the organisation? He should also have enough exposure to build strong customer relationships and brand loyalty by improving the membership program using e-commerce.
Fahey is facing the declining sales of print media as in North America, NG magazine revenues fell from $23 billion in 2004 to $20 billion in 2009. Advertising sales have declined by 30-40% in 2009 as compared to 2007. Membership feeling among customers, which was a prime focus of the company once, is deteriorating and customer are seeing it as a mere subscription. Employee satisfaction is also going down and employees see poor conflict resolution and marketing decisions that did not make sense to employees. The dispersed digital initiatives which have been taken up to fulfil the growing need to go digital is not generating enough revenues and there is tough competition with global giants in digital content publishing world who have enormous amount of resources. Fahey wants to monetize their operations even more to propel the future growth. Another striking challenge Fahey is facing is that different product units are focusing on their own channel rather than NSG as a whole to generate content which will...

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...est among the choices.
• Identify new target customers and market segments with new opportunities to drive growth.
• Consolidate the different e-marketing activities into one strategic communication plan.

The decision of having the new e-commerce head report to Fahey stiches together the pieces of the puzzle. It not only helps in bringing control over content topics allocation of cost of research and content development but also provide judicious distribution of revenue to different media channels. The whole idea to grow National Geographic Society with its updated mission –“to inspire people to care about the planet” needs the e-commerce platform to be impervious to channel influences and harness every opportunity digital Convergence can provide without risking customer relationships.

Works Cited

Ahmar's case analysis on National Geographic Society
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