The trend of the connected world is finally catching up with the old world of TV. For years, we have been talking about the trend of cord-cutters, on-demand, and a shift in ad budgets. For years, we have been predicting that this would lead to a shift in TV usage, and the 'death' of old TV. But, old TV still held strong and was even growing. As such we had two trends.
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First, we have Peter Kafka's excellent article "The Long Story Behind Gigaom's Sudden Demise", which tells the story of Gigaom trying to cater to their VCs by taking on more and more depth to accelerate growth. They also had a huge level of cost, nowhere near matching the performance of the company. And it was a strategy that failed quite spectacularly, which, in hindsight, doesn't sound that surprising.
Now that the Apple Watch is here, the media is having one of its seizures. "OMG OMG stop everything. We have to be wearable. Just look at how mobile changed everything. Quick, make an app, no two apps. And notifications. We need notifications!"
Some people say that wearables will make computers obsolete. And I agree. One day this might indeed happen. But it's not the kind wearables we see today. All the wearable devices we see today are based on the optimized form of change. They tweak how people behave, but they do not really change the behavior. They are not really transformative.
These rules changed that. These not only defined what they could and could not do, they also defined the purpose of the show. It wasn't about coming up with all kinds of adventures. Wile E. Coyote was incredibly predictable. We all knew that everything he would possibly try to do would fail. And quite spectacularly. What we didn't know was what he would try next.
But always remember to think of it as a whole. If you only think about SEO, you end up with a page like that of "Radisson Blu: Snowboarding and Alpine skiing". It has all the right keywords I searched for, but nothing on this page encourages me to learn more. It doesn't build momentum, which also means that my retention rates will be very low, causing the rest of their marketing strategy to fail. A remarketing campaign, for instance, probably wouldn't work either because of it.
I have had the absolute pleasure of working with a number of very big magazine publishers over the past six months, across several countries. None of them had exactly the same problems. The difference in markets and focus means you have to take wildly different paths to make a difference.
Social media is not what it used to be. This, of course, shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but it does require us to rethink it. A couple of weeks ago, a number of social media teachers and consultants told me that it made no sense to them to distinguish between earned/organic social media and paid social media.
Not only doesn't it solve the problem, it also encourages a culture of shallowness where people don't care about you in the first place. You are making it harder for yourself to influence people. You are reducing your rates of loyalty. And you are diminishing your retention and return rates.
If you want to see what the future of media will be like, there is one place where that is more apparent than anywhere else, and that is on YouTube.
One of the really big topics in the media industry is the whole concept around 'audience development'. This is what you do to grow your audience, and it is what enables you to transform your media business.
It is to deliver persistent and recognizable value with everything you do. I cannot stress this enough. One major problem I see with brands, is that your value fluctuate all over the place. You have some products that are really good, but others that are just total crap. This is especially true with how many brands do marketing. It's often just a total mess because you have no purpose behind it. One day you do something amazing, the next day you cheapen the relationship with shallow tactics that
Can you imagine any digital native publisher announcing something new, and even pointing to their social channels, without also linking to pretty much anything they can link to? Linking and connecting is in the very blood of a digital native. Without the link, the article looks incomplete. In fact, the whole point of posting such an announcement is to create a connection.
Facebook's focus on trying to build engagement is heading in the opposite direction of where we need it to go. As brands, we need Facebook to a place where people want to spend 15 minutes engaging with your brand (like people do on YouTube), not to be a place where people are exposed to 10 second autoplaying videos that they are not really paying attention to.
In my article "Four Big Trends to Reach 'New Normal' in 2015", I highlighted four major trends that will become the new standard for how we do things this year. One of them is mobile, one is about how we connect and interact with our customers, and the other two are about advertising.