The term media has many different definitions. Published media is any media made available to the public. Mass media refers to all means of mass communication. Broadcast media refers to communications delivered over mass electronic communication networks.
News media refers to mass media focused on communicating news. Media meshing refers to the act of combining multiple independent pieces of communication media to enrich an information consumer’s experience. New media refers to media that can only be created or used with the aid of modern computer processing power.
The history of “media” has been designed, developed and pushed from a few at the top to the masses at the bottom. This model has been used to influence public opinion about anything, everything and everywhere. The old model was an important factor in driving historical economies.
As a result of social computing the model has been turned upside down and now the masses are the media and history is being made before our eyes. This shift is creating new economics and models that further invert the old definitions of brand economics.
Deborah Schultz writes :What I love about this discussion is that it puts the topic in logical economic terms. At the core of why brands do not control the message is the fact that they no longer control the medium – as the world flattens and the cost of communication disintegrates it is indeed the customer who can increasingly compare notes and attitudes and create the value.
In fact, when interaction is cheap, the very economic rationale for orthodox brands actually begins to implode: information about expected costs and benefits doesn’t have to be compressed into logos, slogans, ad-spots or column-inches – instead, consumers can debate and discuss expected costs and benefits in incredibly rich detail.
“I love to quote Scott Cook on this one:”
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
I would even argue that was to a certain degree – always the case – it is just that today we are all connected – you can’t snow me anymore. This is SO much bigger than mere branding – it lies at the core of your business model.
How Will Business Models Be Impacted?
The past business models were designed around mass production of anything and everything whether a product, service or information. Businesses grew by selling more to the masses and used the media to increase their reach to buyers. Web 1.0 increased the reach and velocity of the message.
Today the consumer now has the reach and controls the message. Everyday we’re seeing examples of how conversations about companies, products, services and information is being threaded by the masses who freely voice their opinions and experiences, one to one to millions. The means of marketing has been inverted as has the media. Now marketing through media is a bottom up wave rather than a top down model for business.
The bottom up model cuts across every business process, every financial model and changes the face of traditional strategic thinking and organizational design. The buyers of your product or service are now the voice of your business and have been empowered to speak up via the tools of the social web. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore the impact of this shift but few are prepared to invert their own organizational pyramids, the mindsets of power, control and the subsequent relations with people, internally and externally.
The Relationship Economy is fueling these changes and the changes could come at the click of a mouse, one to one to millions. Are you prepared or in denial?
What say you?