It was a match made in heaven.
The media created content to attract audiences and (primarily) marketing budgets. Marketers, needing a place and a way to disseminate their promotional messages were insatiably drawn to the media because of those audiences.
From print to radio and on to television the symbiotic relationship was simple and elegant and it worked for decades.
But then along came the internet, combined with digital technology and the unexpected happened. Readers, viewers and listeners had somewhere else to go.
At home and on the go there were almost limitless places to get a daily media fix. Add in the ability to run one’s personal life via social media and the previously cosy status quo was gone, never to return.
The impact of the digital age on traditional media empires has been exhaustively documented. Newspapers folding, old media buying new media (whatever you do, don’t mention Myspace to Rupert Murdoch) and, worst of all, audiences fragmenting across countless sites, blogs, online games and apps.
So where does that leave marketers still needing to get the word out?
Well, for a time it was all very confusing. Should we do banner ads or Google ads, Facebook ads, build a website, launch a social media program, create an app and write content or…or…? The options and the decisions to make were even more confusing.
It’s not to say that any or all of these options are not worth doing. The big question is where to start.
You start at the end.
Focus on where you want to end up. That’s when you feel that you’re as set as you once were with your nice, easy to understand media plan leveraging someone else’s audiences.
Today, being set as a marketer means being master of your own media destiny. Sure, other people’s audiences still help but now there’s an even better way to reach and influence people: create your own audience.
This is not just an option; your future success relies on it. I know this may sound like an absurd, overblown and completely unrealistic idea.
It’s anything but. By cultivating your customers and prospects and leveraging every touch point with them, before you know it you’ll have your own mini (or maxi depending on the size of your organisation and your commitment to stay the course) media empire.
Keep them informed, engaged and amused and your audience will at the very least listen to what you have to say when you want to promote your products or services. Yes, being a media proprietor may be out of your comfort zone but consider it this way: it’s your core business now.
Digital is where your customers are and digital communications, for most of us, is what our customers are doing every day, hour and minute. So using digital to serve and sell your customers should be central to what you do, no matter what that is.
And here’s the golden nugget: most organisations don’t get it. Sure, they may be tinkering around the edges with digital marketing, heck they may even have an eager beaver Digital Marketing Manager or a hip, happening digital agency. There are plenty of people to tell you what to do but not enough to tell you why you’re doing it.
In a sea of digital implementations, an integrated strategic backbone to everything you do gives you the best chance of a) standing out and b) succeeding. And the best way to achieve a) and b) is to build a database of people who hungrily want what you’re selling.
What’s the best way to build a database? Do what the old time media proprietors did: give audiences reasons to keep showing up.
Nirvana? Yes. Easy? No. Possible? Yes.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Images: www.inkace.com; bendalls.com.au; bizweb2000.com