Dissecting the New Media Life Cycle
In June of 2009 Dell Computers revealed that their marketing team had harnessed the power of Twitter to drive $3 million in revenue. As word spread across the more traditional media channels (like newspapers and magazines) senior-level executives around the world poked their heads into marketing and sales meetings and said something like this:
"Did you hear that Dell is driving millions of dollars in revenue on that Twitter thing? Are we using Twitter? And, if we are, why aren't we doing what Dell does? I want you to start driving revenue on Twitter. You know, like Dell does it."
Suddenly, marketers, publishers, sales teams, and consultants flocked to Twitter in hopes of uncovering the secrets to Dell's Twitter success.
Here's the problem: By the time your average senior executive catches wind of any specific technology solution, new media channel, or buzz-worthy tech trend, it is far too late to start the research. If you're going to be successful in the fast-paced digital world in which we compete, you must take a proactive and strategic approach to discovering, understanding, evaluating, and eventually investing in the right solutions.
Become a Tech Scout
You and your team must investigate new technology long before everyone else starts talking about it. By the time you start reallocating your team's resources to focus on "big data," "social commerce," or "real-time bidding" you must be able to demonstrate credible domain expertise, showcase a few completed experiments, and articulate the next steps needed to continue the exploration.
We need a diversified tech portfolio based on the evolution of the technology, not a schizophrenic agenda tracking the hot trend of the month.
Understanding the New Media Life Cycle
Every new media technology evolves through six phases during its life cycle. The key to successfully comprehending and investing in the right technology at the right time begins with understanding these phases:
Related story: Media Schizophrenia in the Time of Great Realignment