July 19, 2011

Media are in the Hands of the Beholder

Stay Tuned. News at 11. Coming Up Next.

I was at a dinner recently with some friends in media I’ve known for years. As it often happens at one of these types of events, we talked shop. The landscape is changing, what traditional media outlets are doing and could do better, the continued infiltration of the social web, mobile and more. If this had been twenty years ago, one may claim it was conversation filled with opinion. But now many of us have actually been working in marketing and media for that long and those opinions have become rather educated.

During the dinner, I recounted a meeting I had a few months ago with someone in the mobile space. He is a bright guy with a growing company but it struck me how much he felt his world was the world. He couldn’t fathom the fact that some people actually aren’t on the cutting edge of technology or living on every word coming from the mind of Steve Jobs. As astonishing as it may be to believe, there are people who actually don’t have a LinkedIn profile. And get this, some don’t blog or listen to podcasts either.

Forecast after this. Stick around for more details. 

As much as we instinctively know it’s not the case, we tend to still think others think like we think and others grasp what we have experienced. Proof of this happens every minute of the day. An event will happen and some will go to YouTube for more information while others will check the Twitter stream. Yet the news agencies will hope we wait for the 11 O’clock news. And millions still do wait for the news report. Those who don't hop on social media claim they may not "get it" while others who are constantly wired up can't grasp why anyone would do it any other way.

Information is fragmented and live. It is inaccurate and opinionated. The speed of content being shared will only increase. While the challenge for anyone creating content is to understand that the audience isn’t waiting by their device to receive it.

Desire and Technology Converge

Mitch Joel once pondered how the world would be without traditional media – television, radio, outdoor and print. I would add mobile devices and the Internet to that list because each is getting as big as the big four. So I think it's a more complex question. As millions flock to the social channels, traditional channels remain alive. There is no one way of navigating all this stuff.

We reside on both sides of the counter - we are both providers and clients - and the noise can often be deafening as we attempt to resonate with others while we try to decipher what we need from each other. I have clients who have found great success with a radio component or print imitative. Television, though expensive, still receives billions in annual ad revenue and they haven't stopped the printing presses just yet.

How do you reach your customer who has so many choices?

Kneale Mann

image credit: lifeonpurpose
 
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