The Future of Special-Interest Media & Internet Marketing Strategy for Publishers

With the Mequoda Summit less than a week away, I’ve been thinking about how to kick things off on Thursday morning. With dozens of publishers, marketers, editors and designers flying thousands of miles to meet and discuss how we will make the transition from old media to new media, from single platform publishing to multi-platform publishing—I thought I’d offer up a new way to look at what we all face.

Fortunately for me, people smarter than me are hard at work on the needed strategy.

A recent article in USA Today, “If you wanted to watch ‘Superman,’ which media would you choose now?” gave me the kick in the head I was waiting for.

The article compares the fidelity and convenience of watching the latest Superman movie on an iPod, a good home theater, or in a state-of-the-art cinema. Writer Kevin Maney, cleverly points out that the three media platforms offer the viewer an inverted user experience on the dimensions of fidelity and convenience.

In simple English: The users will experience high convenience and low fidelity on the iPod, moderate convenience and fidelity with the home theater and low convenience and high fidelity at the cinema (see the USA Today chart for more information).

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Understanding this new media paradigm is crucial to managing media in the 21st Century.

From the USA Today article:

The trend is all about fidelity. It’s a key to the strategy of Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings, tech investor Roger McNamee, Cisco (CSCO) CEO John Chambers and other industry leaders. “It’s incredibly important to what we’re doing,” says McNamee of Elevation Partners.

Editors Note: Elevation Partners USA Today just bought a large minority stake in Forbes Media—a Mequoda Best Practice Media Company.

Moving the Metaphor to Special-Interest Media

Let’s move the example to special-interest publishers who produce books, magazines, newsletters, email tips, websites, audio programs, video seminars, conferences, workshops and professional services:

Internet Marketing Strategy

For example, if you wanted me (the lead author for a small B2B publisher) to teach you about Internet Marketing Strategy, which user experience would you choose?

1. Buy my Internet Strategy for Publishers & Authors book and read it.

2. Join the Mequoda Pro, search for and read information on the topic when you need it.

3. Attend the Mequoda Summit, interact with faculty and delegates and ask questions relevant to you.

The book offers a high level of convenience (read it when and where you wish at your own pace for a cost of just $197) and low fidelity (words on paper in a linear presentation).

The Mequoda Pro offers moderate convenience (access the site via computer 24/7, search the 450 reports by keyword or browse the 17 Tables of Content, read online or print the PDFs for off-line reading) and moderate fidelity (words on screen that are fully searchable and a live member forum to discuss issues).

The Mequoda Summit offers low convenience (travel to the conference on two specific days with an $1197 cost per person plus travel expenses) and high fidelity (live interaction with me, other Mequoda Research Team Members and dozens of Mequoda Marketing System operators).

While the Superman movie question will most likely elicit one answer (a choice between platforms)—the special-interest media consumer will very often choose and use multiple formats. Most delegates to the Mequoda Summit are Mequoda Daily readers and the majority have read (or at least own) my book. Many are also Pro Members and Consulting Clients for whom we’ve designed or helped design one or more websites.

Special-interest media consumers will choose multiple platforms to experience special-interest knowledge from a single source. This has many implications for how we gather, store, package, distribute, market and support special-interest knowledge.

The journey we face reminds me of a favorite poem by Robert Frost:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.

I look forward to interacting with you on the many platforms that make up the Mequoda Media-Sphere as we all journey to the new world of multi-platform, special-interest publishing.

All the best,

Don

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