Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind." Louis Pasteur

"Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience." Comte de Buffon

"One morning one of us, having no black, used blue instead, and Impressionism was born." Pierre Auguste Renoir

Today's image: Late Night Travel By Thomas Hawk Beautiful shot. Thank you for sharing.

Markets are conversations

One key benefit of today's hyperconnectivity is the wealth of conversation. Not a day goes by without someone starting or adding to a discussion. On topics related to media there's a robust diversity of ongoing discussion. Those working in media will gain valuable insight and advantage by devoting attention to a couple of particular discussions.

First, serious inside broadcasting baseball conversations and, second, the abundance of comments on broadcast media emanating from what Jay Rosen has called "the people formerly known as the audience."

Many of us arrived here from a different world. Access or exposure to some kind of thought leadership or best practice wisdom and any continuing professional education whatsoever were limited; trade pubs were delivered weekly, popular industry conventions staged annually. The important exercise of "holding a mirror up to the audience" was typically a once a year ritual - the perceptual research study - more event than process.

This should not be understood as a suggestion we should discount the potential value of publications, conferences or survey research. Au contraire, my thought is each would be enriched, complimented, not replaced, by careful study of available conversations. What has forever changed is context. The conversations are already in progress. Get engaged and involved.

To review the (now) obvious fundamentals as stated in The Cluetrain: "The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media." and "We have real power and we know it. If you don't quite see the light, some other outfit will come along that's more attentive, more interesting, more fun to play with."

Localized radar: To get a quick read on your market create a local Twitter list. Populate with all the usual suspects. For best results make it an ongoing curation. Invite listeners/viewers/followers to suggest additions. Here's an example created for Madison, WI. Such lists can well serve your market "listening" strategy. FYI - some clients have created a second list using a Twitter account not associated with the company so they can also track tweets of all media in their market.

The Broadcast Ecosystem

My sense is broadcasters would benefit from some discussion about ecosystems. Let's frame it this way: Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook are each building and fine-tuning (iterating) an ecosystem. A bespoke community set designed to create and sustain competitive advantage. What is the state of your company's ecosystem? Seems a fair, timely and important question.

You can Google "Amazon ecosystem" (or any, all of the big four above) and get an idea of the concept, including graphic representations. In my experience, a candid and valuable discussion about any ecosystem should begin with mapping. Have your associates independently create maps which reveal what they believe is your present ecosystem. Gather your team to share and discuss their maps. Create a map of your ecosystem. Iterate. How can your ecosystem be improved?

One example: broadcaster ecosystem maps include Audience & Advertiser clusters. Within the Audience cluster are lifestyle groups and their purchase needs/behaviors. These relate to buyer, potential buyer groups within the Advertiser cluster.

An area often overlooked in this mapping is your local developer community. The upside potential of establishing a formalized approach, a respectful place within your ecosystem, to effectively involve talented hometown geeks is not at all insignificant. Thank me later.

Good reads

The Future of UI: Contextual Intelligence. By Bob O'Donnell, here

EXCELLENCE. NO EXCUSES. By Tom Peters. This 737-page download is a gem, here

The Power of One. By Fred Jacobs. Fred offers up a solid post about the Nielsen LA Radio ratings scandal which turns into an interesting discussion via comments on how ratings are used, here

Witty Worried and Wolf. Nancy Wolf, the smart and celebrated communications lawyer, is not retiring, she's restarting. Enjoy her new blog here

SCOTUS: The Aereo decision, here

In closing let me share a wonderful image. This week Professor Gary Hamel delivered another of his thought-provoking talks. A keynote at the London Business School's Global Leadership Summit, his talk was about hacking management. The following image was taken from his deck. My thanks to Dr Hamel for allowing it to be shared here. Dare to distribute, discuss and post in your workspace.

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