Monday, November 03, 2008

"It doesn't matter what people think about you or your company. What matters is how you make people feel about themselves and their decisions in your presence." Tom Asacker

"No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker, with no past at my back." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant." Horace

Today's image: Francia - Holanda by arrozpide. Great shooting. Thanks for sharing.

Execution, not excuses
Third in a series

Thoughts on next steps for media CEOs. Ten things you must do now to prevail in 2009. Here now, the seventh of those ten. Previously: first in this series here, second in this series here.

7. The play's the thing, so said Shakespeare. It seems the majority agrees, content is king. The primary mission of every media company remains the same, find out what the market wants and then give it to them. What has changed is the accelerating shift in production and consumption patterns from a once purely producer-centric, linear world to a new consumer-centric, multidimensional mediascape. Cory Doctorow speaks to this shift when he says "Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about."

We are moving from a world of print, radio and TV to an environment of text, audio and video. The technologies of delivery are becoming increasingly transparent. Further, technology obviates place and time as we once knew it. We have indications that viewers demonstrate they care about the content without regard to the method of delivery. Product over provenance. The viewing of a recent SNL sketch starring Tina Fey as candidate Sarah Palin provides a practical illustration. A significantly larger number of viewers watched the sketch online (and continue to do so) than watched the actual NBC broadcast. Similarly, the overwhelming majority of folks who heard about or saw the Katie Couric interview with Palin did not first hear of it or see it at its real-time origin, on the CBS Evening News. These examples suggests content remains king. Content that was in demand was simply consumed in more than one place and at more than one time. The now well known comment by a college student is relevant here..."If the news is important, it will find me" (thanks to Timesman Brian Stelter). Let me suggest a paraphrase...If the content is good enough, it will find me.

Media firms must develop, produce, purchase or otherwise offer content that consistently creates demand sufficient to fuel a revenue engine that serves to produce a profit. Content must be made available as discoverable digital assets. CEOs need to shift strategic focus from import only with the addition of export. It's becoming less a game of either, or and more the new game of and. We agree with the wise counsel of Dave Winer - "People come back to places that send them away." [via] My sense is the most successful in the business of media will be those known to consistently provide proprietary intangibles which create sustained demand. This requires more than knowledge and trade craft, it demands the wellsprings of imagination and creativity. As George Gilder recently said "The real source of all growth is human ingenuity and entrepreneurship, which often thrive in the worst of times - and are always surprising...Knowledge is about the past; entrepreneurship is about the future."

All that's important is what comes out of the speakers
and what's on the screen(s).
Everything else is a footnote.

Web video phenom Gary Vaynerchuk often says "Content is king but marketing is queen, and the queen rules the household." Next, we'll consider marketing and what media CEOs must do to prevail in 2009.


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