Did you waste time today reading another article about "The Death of (Another Media)"? Worse yet, do you write articles titled, "The Death of (Another Media)"? Please deep-six that ridiculous, deader-than-dead angle.
Sorry to rain on your funeral. That stuff people enjoy saying is dead is actually alive. And the headlines that juke people into reading that kind of crap are crap.
Even Steve Jobs isn't dead.
He left the building. I'll give you that. But the man who wanted to make a dent in the world continues to do so like a runaway shopping cart in the parking lot of Creativity World. He'll be dinging your door as long as you live.
From his grave, Steve somehow works his way into countless conversations. Why?
Big ideas don't die.
I studied broadcasting. As such, the father of radio, Guglielmo Marconi, is a hero in my book. I share this with you because I have a list of the undead and after having learned a good bit about podcasting from Pat Flynn, one the medium's best, I want to start with radio.
- Radio isn't dead. It's online.
I'm going to assume you'll speed-read the following list because you'll pick up the pattern fast.
- Television isn't dead. It's online.
- Mail isn't dead. It's online.
- Advertising isn't dead. It's online.
- News publishing isn't dead. It's online.
- Magazines aren't dead. They're online.
- Consumer reports aren't dead. They're online.
- Retail shopping isn't dead. It's online.
- Books aren't dead. They're online.
- Slideshows aren't dead. They're online.
I can go on. I'm sure you'd prefer I don't, so I won't. I just want you to understand...
The media is not the message.
As, I write this, I'm on my way home from a terrific social media conference. Perhaps you hear what you want to hear, but at the events I attend, the notion that invariably passes past my ears and pierces my brain has a recurring theme:
The media isn't the issue. Content is.
And though on any given day, my online marketing conference agenda might go something like... YouTube here, podcasting there, and Twitter everywhere, invariably I fail to gather how the amazing secret to the marketing universe is the newest or niftiest digital anything. Because it isn't.
So whip out your favorite organ.
See, online marketing's Holy Grail has nothing to do with exchanging digits. If you insist on getting scientific about online marketing, you need to cast aside your thin digital device and pound into your thick head that likes, RTs, endorsements, plus-ones, and pins are merely signposts-not destinations.
Digital media doesn't really connect us. Our hearts and minds do.
Every person you want to appeal to doesn't pin pretty pictures. But everyone has a heart. Everyone has a mind. If you want to turn them on, I propose you study what increases their heart rate and stimulates their brains.
After 80 years in print publishing, the anatomy of a customer who got Newsweek in their mailbox and that of those who now get it in their inbox is exactly the same.
I'm not telling you to not keep up with times.
I'm telling you to think human.
You could love (or hate) Facebook. You can track every change of how that game is played. You could be pixel perfect with your profiles. And you can torture yourself with timelines and tabs and the fine art of tweetology.
But hashtags have no heartbeat and newsfeeds have no neurons. So I'll say it again, meaningful media doesn't die. Meaningful media simply delivers.
The media's going to evolve, sure. You need to keep pace with what's going on online or off. But more importantly, you need to keep your finger planted on the pulse of your customer.
Or the gravestone will have your name on it.