By Jeff Beals
“The Times They Are a-Changin'” wrote singer-songwriter Bob Dylan in 1964.
If Dylan and his listeners were impressed with the pace of change 50 years ago, they surely would not believe how fast things are changing now. Rapidly evolving communication technology and rapidly expanding marketing channels are changing the way businesses and individual professionals communicate.
According to global media services agency ZenithOptimedia, 2014 is expected to be the year in which money spent on internet advertising will exceed the combined amount spent on printed newspapers and magazines.
The rise of internet-based commerce has been meteoric. After all, it really wasn’t all that long ago when we didn’t even have the internet let alone the powerhouse marketing platform that the internet is today.
The increasing power and influence of internet-based marketing does not necessary mean that print media have done a bad job or are about to go extinct. On the contrary, print media are still very important and relevant.
Rather than a damning referendum on old media, the rise of internet marketing shows just how fragmented media today have become. We now live in the loudest and most cluttered marketplace in human history. So many messages compete for your attention. We have unprecedented access to information, both journalistic and commercial.
These changes can be both good and bad depending on your point of view. If you make your living selling advertising for traditional media it can be quite concerning. That said, many established media companies have adapted quite well by adding high-quality digital platforms to complement their traditional ones.
If you are a company or person looking to get your message across, you now have a lot of choices. On the other hand, all the clutter in the communication environment means it is harder now for your message to be noticed than it was in the past.
What are the secrets to success in a more fragmented, cluttered and loud marketplace?
1. Be disciplined and assertive in your communication efforts
2. Go back to the fundamentals of good communication
In today’s marketplace, you must constantly put forth messages in a variety of media – a mix of social media, internet news media and traditional media. Furthermore, the effort must be constantly sustained. You can’t take a day off. Worthwhile and attention-getting messages must spring forth constantly.
More importantly, the quality of the message matters more than how you release that message. In other words, the medium used to communicate with your target audience is just that – a medium. Whether you are using the phone, direct mail, newspapers, television, radio, email-based marketing, blogs, podcasts, social media engagement, door-to-door salesmen or carrier pigeons, the product or service must stand on its own merit. The message must be compelling on its own merit. Fundamentals matter. If your product has a viable market, it will sell.
I don’t fear changes in communication technology; I embrace them. As a person who has messages to convey and services to sell, the more communication channels I have, the better.
I derive great value out of social media and other internet-based forms of communication, but I love traditional media too. After all, many of my articles are published in paper-based periodicals, and I have been hosting a terrestrial radio show for 10 years.
Regardless of the medium and where we might be at any given point in technological history, human beings are essentially the same. They make decisions based on what they value and do business with individuals and organizations they trust.
Sure it takes more work, and in many cases more staffing hours, to prepare messages for new media that pop up. But new communications vehicles open the possibility of reaching new people.
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (402) 637-9300.
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