Consumers, More places all at once (prt 2)

Posted on 24. Oct, 2005 by in Prior Posts

From Oct 2005- Published in a popular media industry publication

More places, all at once, on-demand. To achieve success in the new direct media (broadband and mobile) world, media companies must be willing to be where their viewers are, when they want you and in the proper format. Therefore, it is critical to have strong capabilities in all three core viewing forms: Traditional, Portable and PC (broadband). Because each of these core areas has its own unique challenges and characteristics of creative, distribution, technology and monetization, media companies must do more than re-purpose, but rather, create unique content with each channel and its characteristics in mind.

Obviously, media companies can be and are successful in any one of these content distribution areas, but those media companies who leverage all distribution channels will gain exponential success per viewer.

Think back to the birth of the Internet, many large traditional companies simply repurposed their brochures on-line. Those companies quickly lost ground to the players (upstarts and larger, wiser companies) who built new experiences by leveraging the unique aspects of the new medium. Additionally, those companies who had a multi-channel commerce strategy (Brick and Mortar, Catalogue, Web) did not simply end up spreading the same revenue dollars across multiple channels, but rather, they saw overall revenue per customer increase.

So, enough talk – what are you going to do about it? We can assume each of us has our own challenges and opportunities within our core business to expend our precious internal resources on. Here are your options:

Do nothing. The easiest answer of all, but not recommended. If you are not in these new areas you can be sure your competition will be. Your viewers will be building a dynamic and dependent relationship with your competitors. Again, doing nothing is the easiest answer, but not the right one.

Build internally. It is important that your current operation focuses on their core business or task. But, if your company has an individual or a group of individuals that are already entrenched in the area of creating content for alternative areas of distribution, you may have the right internal resources to start building a direct media division. This does not mean looking to your Internet site builder or designer to create broadband content, nor does it mean having the guy with the coolest cell phone create mobile content. If you are going to build internally you need to ask yourself, “Do I want to win, or just play at this?” The direct media space is changing quickly and you will be competing against new companies dedicated to success in these new areas that have everything at risk, and will compete to win. If building is your choice, pick or hire a team that is the “best in class” in these areas and give them full latitude to succeed.

Invest, buy or partner: Obviously, our choice. By working with companies and partnerships that truly understand the challenges, characteristics, business models, and players of the three forms of distribution, you can remain focused on your core business while maximizing your current content creation process and direct media distribution. This strategy will let you enter the market, learn, claim territory and mindshare. The key is finding strong partners who can help you navigate the waters and are working for your best interest.

Traditional media is still currently the best way to reach a mass audience at a single moment in time. Yet, now is the time to leverage your assets into the direct media space. Its purpose is not about pushing the consumer back to your traditional outlet, but rather, it’s about leveraging that outlet so that all of your content is accessible to the consumer when, where and how they want it.

The Direct Media market is vast and rapidly growing; your viewers are already there. It is not coming, it is here. What will you choose to do?

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