USNews.com is featuring a good article on the changing of the guard in the media world. The traditional media may not be ready for it, but new technology is transforming everything in marketing whether they like it or not. Authors Betsy Streisand and Richard J. Newman summarize the radical shift that has occurred:
The Internet is also helping to rewrite the very rules of advertising, where companies aimed ads at selected demographic groups they believed were most interested in buying their products. “Traditionally, the focus has been on the outbound message,” says Tim Armstrong, vice president of ad sales for Google. “But we think the information coming back in is as important or more important than the messages going out. For years, demographics has been a religion among advertisers because it was the only information they had. Now they’re realizing there’s more out there.” Google rationalizes that reaching 60 people who have actually shown interest in a particular product by visiting its marketing site or a related blog is much more effective than targeting 600 people who are in the right age, education, and income bracket to buy the product but have not indicated any special interest in it. And because most of Google’s ad-buying clients pay for ads only when users click on them, the company can precisely measure their effectiveness and charge more for ads that really work.
They also describe the democratization of expertise and authority:
even limited user reviews of movies, cars, consumer products, and travel experiences are surprisingly popular–and can draw ads. “A small number of users give reviews, but large numbers use those reviews,” says James Slavet, who runs Yahoo!’s auto and travel sites. “Expert views are really important. But other users’ opinions are another angle on making a decision.” Ebert and Roeper, in other words, had better make way for Joe from Dayton.
But Streisand and Newman warn that the refreshingly open and flexible new media will inevitably stagnate at some point:
it won’t be long before all the new media are old enough that they start losing their rebelliousness and looking a lot more like their old-media predecessors, with thousands of employees, big bureaucracies, and heavy market pressures.
Let’s hope that day is far away and that the “new media elites??? continue to adapt to changes in the marketplace.
(Read the full article here)