How the Internet Affects Traditional Media

Traditional Publishing, REST IN PEACE

This is the headline that greets you when you land on a web page identified as a memorial to commemorate the decline of Traditional Media. A photograph of a man who seems to be in distress and who's possibly just lost his job companies this headline. If this does not paint a bleak picture, go on to read the 548 headlines that all sing to the same tune as the following:

  • Bad Times: NYT Says Revenue Fell 13.9% Last Month – Forbes.com
  • Men's monthly magazine Arena to cease printing after 22 years – Guardian.co.uk
  • Cosmopolitan UK publisher to cut 100 jobs – Guardian.co.uk

There's even a website entitled Newspaper Death Watch that chronicles all the publishing and newspaper houses that close down. All rather morbid would not you say?

The Deadly Spell

Let's take a quick look at Traditional Media and how the Internet cast it's deadly spell.

Back in the old days, we're talking 500 years ago; Gutenberg revolutionized the printing industry by inventing the printing press. This meant bibles could be produced at a fraction the time it used to. This also mean more copies in a shorter time and the Word of God got further reach in a shorter time. Newspaper houses and Magazine publishers still use a printing press today (well thank you captain obvious) .

Much later, shortly after the advent of electricity, the world was blessed with another few media breakthroughs, rarely radio then a few years later, television. Marketers and Advertising agencies had it all figured out as they devised Integrated Marketing Campaigns with astronomical budgets. Ah, the good old days. Well, much to the dismay of many of these agencies, this media landscape started to change.

Behold! Enter The WWW

At first a website was seen as a cute way to put your company brochure online and on top of that the disastrous dot bomb era created skepticism that labeled the Internet as a bad media and business channel.

Fortunately, since then the Internet has matured. Now, in countries where broadband has achieved high levels of household penetration, the web has become the consumer medium of choice.

Why? Because people can do research, shop online, watch videos and connect with friends all in the comfort of their own homes. People can choose what media they want to consume, where and when they choose too, especially with mobile connectivity. Marketers can no longer dictate what advertising messages people get subjected too.

Social Media, The New Black

Then there is the phenomenon of Social Media. It changed the media landscape forever. Social Media websites have allowed consumers to connect with friends, family, colleges and peers in ways that were never imaginable a few decades ago.

Technology has empowered the consumer to become the prosumer. Prosumers are consumers who produce content like videos, photos and blogs that can be instantly distributed and shared among millions of people via social media platforms. This is also known as user-generated content or UCG.

Here is an interesting bit of trivia about the reach of Traditional Media vs. The Internet and Social Media.

Years it took to reach a market audience of 50 Million:

  • Radio – 38 Years
  • TV – 13 Years
  • The Internet – 4 Years
  • The iPod – 3 Years
  • Facebook – 2 Years

So How Does The Internet Affect Traditional Media?

The Internet has reduced the need for traditional media because it enabled consumers to join social communities within their neighbors, across their countries and internationally. It has empowered them to converse at their leisure, 24/7, with friends.

Considering all that's been said, the demise of Traditional Media can seriously be attributed to the following factors:

  1. Decline in readership: The distribution of free news and information on the web has led to the decline in readership for traditional publications.
  2. Decline in revenues: The decline in readership advertisers advertisers will spend their money elsewhere and this leads to a decline in ad revenue.
  3. Real-time updates: Traditional Media can not compete with immediately updated user-generated content that's immediately available for the world to see.
  4. The rise of UGC websites: People have the freedom of unlimited real time commentary on content while Traditional Media is static and is a one-way communication tool.
  5. Online Audio / Video channels: People can choose what they want to watch and listen, when they want to and where without advertising interrupting their experience.

Simply put. The Internet has revolutionized the way things get done today. It has revolutionized the way we do business, the way we communicate and has broken down the walls of Traditional Media.

A recent example is the decision by Unilever UK to fire Lowe , their Ad agency of 15 years, in favor of crowdsourcing – which means it has thrown the brand creative pitch open to agencies and basically any person who can think of an idea, worldwide. This is done on the Internet of course.

Traditional Media will still be around for a while, but the Internet is getting more and more integrated into our daily lives.

Think about this. You could do without the Mail & Guardian or the MensHealth Mag for quite some time, sometimes live quite happily without it? But you just dare cut that ADSL connection …

The History of Online Shopping

The internet is a fantastic and useful tool. With a click of our mouse we can read today’s news, play an online game and if we wish shop to our hearts content. But when did it all start? What is the history of Online Shopping and what does it mean to shop online?

Online shopping is the process a customer takes to purchase a service or product over the internet. In other words a consumer may at his or her leisure buy from the comfort of their own home products from an online store. This concept was first demonstrated before the World Wide Web was in use with real time transaction processed from a domestic television! The technology used was called Videotext and was first demonstrated in 1979 by M. Aldrick who designed and installed systems in the UK. By 1990 T. Berners-Lee created the first WWW server and browser, and by 1995 Amazon expanded its online shopping experiences.

The history of Online Shopping is amazing. Gone are the days of waiting in traffic and working our way through overcrowded stores. All we need is a computer, bank account, debit or credit card and voila freedom! From books, to cosmetics, clothing and accessories to name a few, shopping online is the answer to the 21st century. Simply find the website that offers the objects of your desire, price and delivery terms and in a matter of a few days your purchase is at your door. The advantages and convenience are obviously predictable as we are offered a broader selection, competitive pricing and a greater access to information in regards to our purchase. Online stores are usually available on a 24 hour basis, and permit consumers to shop at their leisure without any traveling and outside regular business hours!

Another point to take into consideration is that when the internet was first conceived it was not with the ideal that it would change the way we shop. On the contrary the web was created as a tool for communicating, which in time let to the convenience of shopping virtually. The history of online shopping by itself symbolizes the change in our society and has by now become a service used by business and regular shopper all over the world.

Shopping online is easy, fun and secure and has for many taken the place of the Saturday afternoon window shopping at the mail. Still considered as a fairly recent phenomenon, online shopping has without a doubt made the life of countless consumers easier and more convenient. May it be for a home loan, buying car or ordering your weekly groceries, the web has forever changed our outlook on shopping.

The history of online shopping shows to all that a good idea, great presentation, and a desire to offer the best to your customers can make a dream come true. Now considered tried and true, it will be interesting in the next 20 years or so to see where the History on online shopping will take us!

The Top 5 Gadgets of 2012

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. Believe it or not they make the world go round. Whether we love them, hate them, need them, use them, or just plain want them; gadgets are cool. Yes, if nothing else they’re cool! Life can be tough at times and gadgets are there to make things a little easier (and have fun while doing so). It was a real shame to hear “Q” in the new Bond movie, Skyfall, say that gadgets are a thing of the past, part of an “old” generation and have gone out the window for Double “O” agents. Why do that? We want to see a gun doubling up as a homing beacon, or a trip wire dispenser. The bottom line is we all love gadgets and here are few to look out for this Christmas season.

HOME: – liGo BlueWave

Given the popularity of mobile phones, landlines are slowly becoming a thing of the past. But for those unwilling to carry their “hand extensions” everywhere they go so as to not miss a call, need look no further than the new liGo. Connect liGo to your mobile via Bluetooth technology and simply plug-in your landline. Now you can answer up to 3 different mobiles via your home phone (corded or cordless) and make use of dialling out with those 1000′s of unspent inclusive mobile minutes from anywhere in the home. Impressive, right? Especially useful for those of us whose mobile carrier signal suffers severe paralysis anywhere except for the most cumbersome of places. It’s fully iPhone Voice Dial and Siri compatible as well. What more could you ask for?

HEALTH/FITNESS: – Garmin 910XT

Looking to get fit and stay healthy? This little device may quickly become your best friend. Sporting all the goodness of Garmin that runners have come to love, this GPS watch will do more than just track your run. Non-runners, or those keener on other disciplines have swimming or cycling mode fully supported, along with multi-sport and triathlon mode – you’ll be sure to find fitness indoor or out a pleasure whatever the weather. With ANT+ wireless technology you can connect your foot pod or heart rate monitor (HRM) or both if you fancy and get instant feedback on up to 4 different workout statistics at once and full workout review upon completion at your PC. With accurate GPS tracking you’ll soon be pushing yourself harder, faster, and further than you ever have trying out the Xbox Kinect, and be “cool” while doing so. Although it comes with a steep price tag compared to simpler and cheaper models for fitness newbies unsure of whether fitness is for them, it’s a good a multi-sport fitness aid and one you’ll be sure to hold onto for many a year, the 910XT gives great bang for your buck in the long run.

FUN: Archos Gamepad

This 7-inch 1024×600 resolution device is truly built with gamers in mind. Packing Android 4.1 JellyBean straight out of the box, the Gamepad is a fully functioning tablet with a lot of twist. Under the hood, it boasts an impressive 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with a Rockchip RK3066, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage with Micro SD support for more. The major appeal of the device is the built-in dedicated gaming buttons that most console and handheld gamers are used to with controls, buttons and triggers to keep everyone happy. Due on the market at any day, at a possible price tag of just over £100 this is one to look out for. Okay, it’s no PS Vita, but with an Android platform, HDMI port and all things tablet worthy, it’s not trying to be a one trick pony handheld console. An awesome gamer tablet it surely is.

TV: LG EA93 21:9 monitor

For the serious cinematic experience seekers look no further than the LG EA93 21:9 aspect ratio monitor. Sporting 1080p HD resolution but on a massive 2560 horizontal pixel display making it a visual utopia bettering the 16:9 by a mile and then some. Imagine coupling up 2 of these babies via its Dual-Link connectivity and we are talking one major screen viewing area. There’s the standard HDMI, USB 3.0 ports and others, giving you everything you need from a screen. Bear in mind though, it’s not the same height as an IMAX screen, but nothing is, so you’ll still get a little cropping here and there, so be warned. Otherwise, welcome to cinema at home.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Sony NEX-6

Although a love for film and all the darkroom developing fluid goodness that comes with it still has a place in many a heart, there’s nothing like having a good quality digital camera to hand when you want a good photography experience without lugging around your DSLR, and no, an iPhone simply won’t do. As a step between the NEX-5N and NEX-7 the NEX-6 is perfect for those wanting beautiful 16 megapixel photos in a small package. The APS-C sized sensor produces wondrous low light pictures, preferable over the NEX-7′s 24MP offerings, and you can pixel peep til your heart’s content on the flip out screen. Using the same amazing OLED viewfinder found on the NEX-7 and Alpha A99 models, manual focusing is a doddle, whilst if autofocus is your preferred modus operandi then it’s as fast and accurate as you can get in mirror-less technology, even if not quite beating the competition in the higher price bracket. With Wi-fi included in the body, uploading your pics couldn’t be faster or easier, using the PlayMemories app. Using Sony adapters you get compatibility for all your Alpha, Leica and third-party Tamron/Sigma lens offerings, meaning you can use your favourite lenses as usual just on a smaller scale.

So there you have it! A little something for everyone to dip their hands into. One thing’s for sure with these gadgets, you don’t know what you’re missing out on until you’ve tried them so jump on board, the ride is wild!

No Junk Mail – Inbound Marketing

Everyone would agree that marketing to your target audience is an integral part of building your business. Sounds simple enough, but when it comes to online marketing, the avenues are endless. New web applications and concepts are constantly being developed, and with the Internet ever evolving, some can get a little muddled in their advertising efforts and go about their marketing the wrong way.

Firstly, there are two major types of marketing – inbound and outbound. These are most easily defined by inbound being 'permission' and outbound being 'interruption'. If you think about these two words, one has an obviously more generally positive connotation than the other, and in this lies the secret to successful online marketing – inbound marketing, that is, marketing that is done with some level of permission and is usually specific , Is what works when you're trying to reach out to that massive online audience at your fingertips.

Outbound is on the way out

Outbound marketing is that traditional form of advertising that we all grow up with and that still surrounds us today. In fact, this type of marketing to the masses is everywhere. We all know that we can not walk down the street, open a magazine or switch on the television without seeing it, but advertisements accost us on escalator hand rails, inside golf holes, in public toilet cubicles, even on grocery registers. Every space deemed seeable to the public is strewn with advertising – and so it is no wonder that we have learnt to turn a blind eye to much of it; Which here lies the problem with outbound marketing. Not only do people grow annoyed by interruptive advertising, you are also less likely to find that one fish that wants what you've got if you throw a line out into the ocean.

Get found by the people that are looking

So what exactly does inbound marketing entail? In a nutshell, it is getting yourself or your business 'found' by people that are already out there searching for what you're offering. Through the Internet, you have access to millions of people worldwide, so of course (with the right strategy) you'll be able to find the group that is hunting for you. Inbound marketing also involves giving those potential customers what they want, in order to attract them to your business and brand.

Using digital media online is the surest way of successful inbound marketing. Social networking sites are great, as you not only establish your brand and place within the community, but attract those that are interested in what you have to sell or offer. And once those people are a part of your network, they are most likely there to stay, as long as you keep on giving them what they wanted in the first place. Take Facebook, for example. As people like what they see and join your Facebook group, or become your 'friend', you have a ready-made relationship with consumers that want exactly what you have. Pizza Hut, for example, has more than one million fans on Facebook – not only a testament to others of their popularity, but that is one million consumers that have a very high chance of consuming (pardon the pun) whatever new things Pizza Hut offers . That's effective inbound marketing.

Two-way = double the results

It is generally accepted that people do not like one-way communication on the Internet. With collaborative communication one of its greatest attractions, the World Wide Web has boundless opportunities for businesses to connect directly and personally with their customers, or would-be customers. Inbound marketing makes use of this in its two-way communication. Involving the consumer means the consumer feels good, and that's what you want. That way, your customers stick with you. Nobody likes feeling as if they're just a number. Say you're walking along and see huge billboard. You may like what you see, but then you walk away and may very well forget what you saw. Compare this to an online medium such as a forum, where you see others talking about a particular product, see good reviews, read the company's notes – you're definitely more more likely to get involved and become a customer, right?

Love the one you're with

So the idea of ​​inbound marketing is that you are reaching those that want to be reached. You have a better chance of building up a solid and long lasting relationship with the customer, so that when it comes to marketing, they do not mind you 'interrupting' them every now and again with special offers and new products. You've been quite willing to accept a call in the middle of a night from your mum or brother, because you'd assume it was important and necessary. Not so much if you did not recognize the number, though. The same works for marketing – being familiar with a consumer through two-way, online communication mediums means that your 'call' will be answered.

Perhaps you need to take a look at your current marketing strategy and see if there is enough inbound marketing. Remember, inbound marketing not only invites the customer 'in', building that relationship, but you become a larger part of that person's online life, and extremely lead to more a higher conversion rate.