At the recent Niche Digital event in Minneapolis, keynoter and Network Communications Inc. CEO Dan McCarthy offered a wealth of takeaway quotes. Among them:
■ There are two indisputable realities in the media world these days, and we need to adjust accordingly. First, readers and users of our products are increasingly distracted and have abundant alternative sources of information. And second, advertisers want to spend less money.
■ The world is post-digital. If the IT person or the CIO is driving your Web strategies, you’re going for a ride. The truth is that technology just works. We don’t care how an iPhone or BlackBerry does what it does, we are not engaged with the technology behind devices, we just assume they will work. Instead, consumer behavior is the real driver and that’s what company leaders should focus on.
■ A true premise, from which business strategy should evolve: "If you increase the channels of engagement with a market, you enhance yourselves and offer more marketing solutions."
■ One new approach to serving a market, is the Sharing Model. It starts, McCarthy said, with the notion that "Anything I’m interested in, people who are interested in me will also be interested in." Based on that, then share what you have, as you get it. "Go into the market," McCarthy said. "We have people who are knowledgeable. Let them go find things out and share them with greater frequency. It’s a level of confidence. Instead of having everything you learn go into a funnel to be produced in a magazine or as a Web site, share as it happens frequently, in an unproduced manner."
■ There is a meaningful increase in brand vibrancy just by building a digital network. It doesn’t take costly Web design, or expensive SEO. Use Facebook, Twitter, and use the entire workforce, whether sales, editorial, production, circulation or more. Instead, use high-frequency content updates by all staff.