Random Events Hide a Consistent Pattern of Opportunity for Print
The other day, a news item about Adobe’s acquisition of software developer Serious Magic reminded us that mobile, personal video is on its way to the marketplace. Combined with their purchase of Macromedia and its Flash product, Adobe is moving aggressively in this area. Get used to the phrase “mobile media” because it will be a hot buzzword as the wherever, whenever consumer-in-charge media really starts to sink into the minds of content creators of all types. We’re a couple of years away from its being useful and common. YouTube is just a tiny beginning. We’re not far away from having e-books regularly containing video, especially e-textbooks, which today are mainly computer reproductions of hard copy books with minor enhancements.
A Canadian newspaper is now doing a streaming video broadcast of news. Is there any wonder why newspaper conglomerates are selling their broadcast properties? The barriers to entry to video markets are falling fast, much like what desktop publishing did, a 20-year old trend that we still feel today.
The change in media habits has been felt by network TV programmers. Verizon Wireless, it is reported, has its peak use of streaming video is during evening rush hour, between 4pm and 7pm, as people commute in cars, trains, and busses. For AOL, 3pm to 5 pm is the peak. Many of these are downloads of network shows that were missed during the day, the evening before, or even days before.
The reminder of this comes from the author of a book mentioned recently, What Sticks. He was speaking at a magazine conference this week, and he said “As a marketer you maximize ROI when [you] use all media.” Why? Because you never know where or when someone will access the information, and even market segments that used to have strong media preferences are in flux.
Computer and services company Unisys had an interesting, hypertargeted campaign, described in the Wall Street Journal. The first line of the article is “Around 20 high-ranking executives at corporations such as Subaru of America, DHL, Citigroup and Northwest Airlines will get a surprise when Fortune magazine arrives on their desks this week. Each will find his or her own face gracing the cover.”
Unisys is after very large contracts, and because of that has a very well-defined list of sales targets. It’s worth it for them to do something out of the ordinary to get the attention of high-level decision-makers and bypass various gatekeepers. They even did research in the likely commuting trip of the CEOs they are attempting to influence, buying ads and billboards along those routes. This is data base marketing. The list is only 20 records long. We’re used to thinking of data base marketing in grander terms than that, when the opportunities might be in much smaller situations.
Every item mentioned above hides an opportunity for print. Mobile media deploys content from print customers in unique ways. They need to deploy that content efficiently and manage it effectively. The change in peak times of viewership is a sign that all traditional rules of thumb for all media are subject to change and rethinking. Are we part of those discussions? How do content providers influence media choice and participate in those new media-use venues? How fluent are we in aiding our clients to use other media?
Since you don’t know where or when information will be needed or accessed, you have to work to be everywhere in a context that supports the goals and objectives of the communication campaign. That brochure that we print, with all of its core elements of data files, design layout, and raw content, is a springboard to other media. It’s time to look at things differently if we haven’t already. We’re not in the communications business. We’re in the deployment business. Are we up for the challenge?