Is Content the New Media?

Not so long ago, marketing managers worked with their advertising departments or agencies to place media on the most popular channels for their target demographic.  Whether it was adult contemporary radio or the latest fashion magazine, consumers were fairly predictable in their media habits.  You just needed to know who had the largest audience of 25-54 year old women.  Then follow it up with some arm wrestling on price and you were done.

Technology changed that paradigm, even flipped it upside down.  No longer can assumptions be made about where and when a consumer will receive your message.  In fact, they may choose to not receive it at all.  In what seems like a nanosecond, consumers were opting in or out, downloading and sharing video, and influencing their social circle about their latest favorite product or store experience.  The conversation they were always having without you is now happening right in front of you.

How can you participate in this conversation?  You need to be relevant, you need to be timely, and you need to provide value.  And above all, be respectful: of their time (which you are consuming) and their point of view (which you may or may not agree with).  Listen, and then respond.  They need to know you are engaged; that you understand.  You might make a mistake, but that’s OK.  They’ll forgive you if you acknowledge it and move on (ask the American Red Cross: http://bit.ly/gDaodZ).  Just be there when they need you – with content that they want to use and share.

This means your media is now created by you.  You will become a publisher – of meaningful content that reaches a smaller, yet more qualified group of customers.  This is the new, consumer-driven media economy.  Do you have the right content marketing plan in place to participate?

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