Internet causing newspaper blindness!
The newspaper industry is in denial. It is myopic.
When I read the comments of newspaper man Rupert Murdoch and read the reports on the recent keynote speech by Mark Cuban in which he called Google a vampire that must be vanquished I cant help be reminded by the management thinker Theodore Levitt and his great HBR article Marketing Myopia which although written in the sixties has perfect applicability here. The death of newspapers is not the death of news, its just the death of news on paper.
Levitt was one of the founders of marketing as a concept and the key thesis of this article is that businesses and industries fail not because of a failure of the market but because of the failure of management. Management typically puts its own needs ahead of the needs of its customers, who because their needs are not being met move on and before long the industry is in decline, being replaced by another.
The classic is the story the demise of buggy whip manufacturers, who knows what would have happened if they had seen themselves in the transportation business.
Newspapers are dying not because people don’t want to read, because they don’t want news. Newspapers and book publishing are dying because there are better and lower cost ways of reading than ink on dead trees. In fact people are reading more and more, the massive growth of the Internet has actually translated into the fact that people are writing and reading more than they ever have – and its now much easier and cheaper to get the stuff to read.
If newspapers rethought their business and realised that they are not in the news on paper business but are in the news analysis business, or the news spreading business, or the entertainment business or the information business, they would see opportunity not problems.
The appropriate action is not to try to defend, because the forces are too big and inevitably the garrison will be overrun – the choice is to understand exactly what value you are bringing to customers and focus on that.
To borrow a thought from Seth Godin the art is not in the artifact, music is not vinyl or plastic so too is journalism and news not paper. The demise of newspapers will not bring an end to journalist – with more people reading I suspect the opposite.
NO we are not looking at the end of news, we are looking at less control in the news, cheaper news, more and wider analysis of the news, more people getting the news – we are looking at the golden era of news, of journalism, of writing and of publishing.
. . . and of forests.
Photo Credit Greything
In: Advertising, internet, Marketing · Tagged with: marketing Myopia, newspaper, publishing