Sunday, January 11, 2009

Content Truly is King

Chantal Todé wrote an interesting article on DM News about the importance of mixing media to attract the younger audience. However, media is secondary to the actual product according to the writer. In Todé's article, intellectual property was more important than the actual execution of the marketing strategy, when it comes to the younger consumer.

Using Hannah Montana and Strawberry Shortcake as an example, the author found that younger consumers didn't care much about the media source in comparison to the actual product. It appears that even with many in the Y generation, the response to marketing and advertising is a direct reflection of the product's relevance to their lifestyle needs. If you look at the needs of the customer and work backwards, you will always have more success than working in the opposite.

I have been in many conversations with associates about the dismal state of the newspaper industry. Instead of ramping up resources in the area of content, many papers are looking to new myopic advertising strategies to realize new revenue. As with many organizations and industries, the confusion comes from valuing the change in customer practices more than the consistency of customer needs.

As with most products and industries, there is an inevitable point of reaching the final stages of maturity and decline. News sources are infinite, but relevant and valuable information are rare. Not many of us would activate the cruise control while driving on a curvy road. But when it comes to business strategy, most organizations still believe there is a magic bullet that will allow them to sit back and rake in the money. There within lies the problem my friend for the media industry. The ability to dynamically understand customer needs at the press of a button is not meant for conversations at a swank dinner party, or a boring conference session discussion. It's meant for businesses to leverage in order to improve the performance of their product.

If media companies have any concern for sustaining the value of their product, it would be in their best interest to (1) look at the content related to the media draw, (2) relate it to the context of the customer's needs, and (3) dynamically develop a pricing and product structure to maximize demand. Otherwise, the act of commoditization will negatively impact their bottom line more expected.

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