Monday, January 22, 2007

New Media is Not Just About Tools

Marketing professionals sometimes break corporate communication down by the tools used. For instance, you may need a press release or a fact sheet or a white paper to get your point across, depending upon the audience and the message. New Media provides some new tools: podcasts, blogs, wiki pages and more.

But don't fall into the trap of thinking about New Media as a new toolset. It goes way beyond that. It's about how the audience gets the message and what they do with it.

Here's a good example. Indie911 is like a MySpace for indie filmmakers and musicians (I'm sure it's much more than that, but that's what it's like for me). On MySpace, a fan can load music into a player on the page and let visitors sample the work. Good. It's like handing a brochure out for someone you like, an old media tool updated and embedded in a New Media platform.

Indie911 took it a step further. You like a band, you want to promote the band, maybe even make a few cents by reselling their content. So, on Indie911 you create a Hoooka. I don't know what that stands for. I'm in my 40s and I'm married so I'm not interested in learning every bit of X/Y-gen lingo so I can fit in or hook up. All I know is that it's a very good little widget that allows you to load a band's music (or your own, or your own videos or photos) into it and serve it up on your Indie911 website. Or MySpace or your blog or anywhere.

Indie911 calls it an "Artist/Label Branded, Consumer Driven, Mobile Music Store." I call it a standalone little multimedia content marketing device that you can load up and make money with by clicking a few buttons. That's New Media! That's the audience taking control. That's taking the producer/consumer paradigm and turning it on its head.

Now, how could you benefit from a little widget like that? Can you create something so compelling that your audience would want to become your distributors? Can you find a way to compensate them for doing so?

Now you're thinking like a New Media marketer.
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