The media industry solution to the demise of interruption marketing


As I have been writing about lately: The future of interruption marketing is faced with a set of challenges, mainly in the form of stiff competition from immersive, services based marketing vehicles creating a stronger connection with it’s audience and generating value, instead of just interrupting and fighting for attention.

As [Paul Isakson] puts it:
“…advertising needs to go from where it is and has been (interruption and now, annoyance) to adding value. They say we need to “create marketing solutions, not ads” and “stop pitching people with messages,” and “start providing useful content.” I wholeheartedly agree.”

I tried highlighting this challenge to a crowd of media business attendees at a conference a couple of months ago (presentation on Slideshare), saying that the interactive trends (activity / mobility / ineffectivity) are demanding a new set of tools and products from the media industry, or they will stand to loose a substantial amount of money as advertisers flock to more effective options with other abilities and stronger features

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But what is this tool, this concept, which the media industry should be looking for? What is their solution?

In reading “A Technique for Producing Ideas” by James Webb Young, written in the 1960s it hits me, that the solution was written 48 odd years ago. On page 1 Young starts out:

“One day in my last year as an advertising agency executive in Chicago I had a telephone call from the western advertising manager of a well known magazine.

He asked if he could see me immediately on a matter of importance. Shortly thereafter he arrived in my office, somewhat out of breath.

‘we are having a meeting today,’ he said ‘of our entire western sales staff. Its purpose is to discuss how we can improve selling.

‘ In our discussions we have tried to analyze the selling methods of other successful publications and salesmen. And among these we have been particularly impressed by the success of Mr. Kobler in his selling of the American Weekly.

‘ After studying just why he is so successful we have just come to the conclusion that it all rests on just one thing: he doesn’t sell space; he sells ideas”.

Now, I’m sorry of the long prelude to this main point, but it might just be that the solution is right under our noses:

We (the online newspapers and other media businesses) need to stop selling (or purchasing for that matter) banner spaces and start selling ideas, concepts, and strategic products. The media industry needs to look at their inventory and reinvent it, focusing on their idea, and not the available space.

That’s a good start…

Image by Steve Kay on flickr.com.

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