Watching the advertising industry is fascinating and scary all in one.

November 19, 2009 at 2:49 PM Leave a comment

Watching the advertising industry is fascinating and scary all in one. Some days it’s like watching the TV reality series “Intervention” where all of the newspaper, radio, and TV media companies would be the proverbial drug addicts strung out on cocaine. It would be amusing, if it wasn’t so disturbing, to listen to all of the ongoing excuses, watching managers avoid the hard decisions, observing all of the politics. What a show!

Perhaps a better analogy … “traditional media” thinks we are in the middle of some bad weather and they should “baton down the hatches”, hunker down, and wait out the storm.  All the while they do not realize that we are in the middle of a global climate change … an “ice age” for traditional media… that is not going away. 

Politics get in the way.  The management who couldn’t make traditional media work are now being put in charge of “new media” divisions. They try to pull the same tricks. They try to control everyone, the public and their advertisers. They try to protect their jobs and hide from the looming disaster. They need to listen to the entrepreneurs and creative thinkers of this world but they won’t. They know what is best and don’t ask for nor want the information and facts that they desperately need.

Last weekend I went to watch 2010 with my son and wife and I could see parallels. Of course we are not coming to the end of the world as we know it but for many media companies this is closer to the truth than they realize.

Any time the “establishment” tries to unduly control public thought and perception there will inevitably be a paradigm shift. Change becomes inevitable. You can not force people to think and behave in the way you want. Not from a personal perspective and absolutely not from a business perspective.

The AOLs and Yahoos of this world will always lose ground to the likes of Google. Why? Because AOL and Yahoo tried to organize what people should look at and who we should see in their own micro version of the Internet. Google on the other hand tries to give access to everything with tools that help everyone to organize the information. Organized how each person wants to see it and not how everyone should collectively see it.

It’s about what the individual wants. Not a group of people. Not society. Not the business owner. Not the media companies. For the most part consumers have a pretty good idea about what they want. Inevitably they will find a way to get it … in the most efficient way possible.

For businesses to survive they must now learn to cater to the individual and not the mass.  For media companies to survive they must figure out how to help businesses learn the new paradigm or they too will be finished.

In some ways we’ve come full circle. In decades long since past consumers used to have a personal relationship with the shop keeper, the tailor, the cobbler, the butcher and the car dealership. In some ways, 50 years ago, shopping was a social experience with a merchant.  Today, we are returning to those roots. Consumers want to deal with merchants they can trust. People want a relationship with the people and businesses they deal with.

Contrary to the belief of Big Media, the Internet is facilitating this change. Businesses who take advantage of new technology trends in Social Media, e-Commerce and Customer Service will reap the benefits while others will just cease to exist. Some quietly and others will go out like screaming drug addicts but they will definitely go sooner or later. It’s just a matter of when.

Time will tell but I predict small mom & pop businesses are no longer on their death bed.  In fact I believe small business will be reborn through the Internet, not because Big Business can’t do it, but rather because they are too slow to do it.

That goes for Big Business AND Big Media alike. But still some big businesses do “get it”. Here is an interesting link to a video about business use of “online social media”.


Entry filed under: Tech Wows-n-Whoas. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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