I think a light bulb went on in the head of a marketing VP I was talking with today. He's started implementing measurement of his marketing programs (now THERE's a great idea) and started talking about how they are going to track how well their programs are doing by seeing how many more articles (as opposed to news release postings) they are getting. "If we do our jobs well, then we should be able to see coverage increase."
Hold on, I told him. "The number of publications covering your industry are shrinking as are the number of journalists they employ to cover your industry. That means you will see less coverage of the industry and, as a result less coverage of your company"
"Wait a minute." he said. "What?"
So I again explained the history of the death of media since 1999. "That means we can't expect better coverage in the near future?" No, I explained, that means you can expect to see less coverage generally, even if you start investing more in the current process. There was silence for a while and then.
"Oh! That's what you've been talking about."
Just in case you've been in a coma for a decade, let's go over this one more time.
1. Technology companies have been cutting marketing and advertising budgets for 10 years, some eliminating virtually all expenditures except for trade shows and minimal publicity.
2. As advertising revenues started dropping, magazines started cutting news staff and magazines got smaller or discontinued.
3. 90 percent of the publications and journalists covering the electronics industry have gon away in the past 10 years.
4. About 35 percent of those remaining in 2007 are now gone in 2008.
5. Most of the small to mid-size companies in the electronics industry now rely solely on reprinted press releases that say exactly the same thing as their previous news release said, and what is more, exactly the same thing as their competitors say.
6. The customers and investors have no way to know how you differentiate yourself anymore other than their own research... which primarily consists of reading really bad news releases.
7. Because of all that your industry market is either flat (no more than 3 percent growth) or shrinking
Is any of this sinking in?