Written by John Andrews
In the business world, change brings enormous opportunities for value creation as old business models give new and more efficient ways of doing things, and unless companies are really good at managing change (or have a butt-kicking change agent, ahem IBM), they tend to get displaced. Behold the media industry and a full on, Godzilla Tokyo style beat down change era. Professional bloggers are driving this change.
Media companies are actively seeking change and using piles of cash to do it. However, it seems to me that the investments are still being deployed against the prevailing business model; you know, get a bunch of eyeballs and show them ads. That worked well when you could control the channel but now, consumers really don’t consume media that way. They choose the media they want, when they want it, how they want it and switch channels incessantly.
Instagram and Tumblr have huge amounts of eyeballs but neither have anything like an identifiable revenue model and it’s likely that anything resembling an ad will be roundly rejected. Ads in the new media world aren’t really ads at all, they are content that the user WANTS to consume because it’s interesting, funny, helpful, etc. The content itself is the ad and like all content, crap tends to be ignored or worse, ridiculed. Even with accepted social platforms like Facebook, there is doubt among marketers about the advertising effectiveness.
I suppose you are looking for a point. Here it is, ready? There are a bunch of new media companies (one that I work for included) that have robust, growing, viable revenue models producing content-based social advertising with measurable results! Many have business models that are focused on dislocating specific types of inefficient traditional media (big pot of money) vs. taking share from other forms of digital (smaller pot of money). This is where marketers need help as most of their investments are STILL deployed in print and broadcast and they welcome investments that help them engage with consumers, not advertise to them.