1 Good Reason – Social Marketing

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2000′s= the death of Paper, 20Teens the death of Video.

January 12th, 2010 · No Comments

I was reading this post by Katie Wall where she comments that Railroads are not dead in the US.  Katie observes that the train runs past her apartment every night, so it’s obviously not dead.  And she notes that many people still have fax machines, and use them occasionally.  There are always Luddites, look at the Amish.  There are always those who eschew the modern for the simpler times which were better in their mind than today.Katie, no offense intended, but your comparison of trains to faxes and publishing are simply not well thought out.  When a major technology is replaced, the old technology has a large infrastructure that dies with it.  This creates tremendous economic upheaval when those supporting industries need to retool, retrain, and reengineer for the new reality.

In the heyday of railroads, there were entire industries which supported them.  Companies which built train tracks, cars, and all of the specialized equipment needed to support the industry.  With the demise of the industry these companies needed to invest large sums to retool their workshops to serve another industry.  Many didn’t have management who were up to that task.  Those companies are now gone.

In the heyday of faxes, office supply companies loved Fax machines because they could make more in profits in 1 year on the thermal paper than they could selling the actual machines.  Fax machines and PCs in large part created Staples and Office Max.  There were laws passed to prevent people from spamming fax machines because the thermal paper was so expensive.  Today, I can scan a document and email it, which completely replaces the fax machine at zero cost.

Relating this to the publishing industry we need to look to at the global trends to see what is happening to the publishing industry.  Too often PR people think of publishing as writers, editors and content, they fail to consider, ink, paper and transportation.  The primary costs of creating a newspaper magazine or book, are printing, binding, and transportation.  The digital world eliminates all three of these costs entirely.  Thereby making the creation and distribution of the work much cheaper.  Because it is cheaper, the advertising revenue developed by online sites is much smaller than that generated by comparable paper outlets.  When you know it’s cheaper to make something, you’re not going to pay more for it.

World paper consumption peaked in 2000 at 53.35 Kg per person per year, and dropped to 52.45 in 2004. (Latest figures) You can bet that the recession has caused a marked drop in paper production and consumption in the US and much of the developed world.  So these figures will likely go down.   Over the next several years we can expect to see the decline and fall of the paper industry.  At the end of this new decade we will look upon magazines as a luxury item.  It will be a status symbol to carry a magazine because they will cost so much.  That will be driven by the lack of sufficient advertising revenue and the rising cost of paper due to lower production caused by lower demand.

The same is true of the video industry.  The costs of production and distribution were very high for a long time.  Now they are almost zero.  Every laptop and cell phone comes with a built in webcam.  I can upload to YouTube for free.  Therefore, the 20Teens will be the decade when the video industry collapses, just like the publishing industry did in the 2000′s.  This will cause further disruption through out the economy because of the industries like Advertising and PR that are built upon these mass market mediums.  Many agencies will fail because they are not able to cope with the changes in the market.  Others will come in to take their places, but they will be smaller and less profitable.

In my view, we are in the early stages of this upheaval in the marketing and PR industry and it will continue for the next decade.
Give me 1 good reason why PR and advertising won’t go the way of Fax machines?

Posted via email from ckieff’s posterous

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Tags: Reasons For Net Marketing · Truthful Tuesday

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