Look out ad agencies, someone is eating your lunch

Look out ad agencies, someone is eating your lunch

Further news today on the inevitable rise and rise of content marketing.

PWC’s annual Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook report says that one in four marketing departments are now spending between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of their money “building and maintaining their own channels”. Two out of three marketers are saying that money is being switched from “bought” to “owned” channels.

Report Editor Megan Brownlow says that companies are becoming advertising and media companies in their own right by focussing their efforts on producing “high quality content”.

Sound familiar?

I will spare you the detail describing the massive predicted declines in revenue for the traditional media, entertainment and advertising industries, but if you own a newspaper, magazine or television station, let’s just say life isn’t going to get any easier.

None of it’s a surprise to you who read our blogs.

This market shift is the dividend of digital technology destroying the content distribution monopoly once held by these businesses.

Everyone is now a publisher.

It’s true that some do it better than others and the media companies do it better than most. But they are not sufficiently differentiated from companies who can now create their own “high quality” content using the people who these media companies have been forced to lay off.

Why would you pay a tax (advertising) to access someone else’s audience when you can now spend that money and build your own?

Everyone can now go direct and use content to create relationships with the people they are seeking to influence. It’s as simple as that.

The days of “broad” casting are coming to an end as consumers exercise the power to choose. People are curating content around their own specific niche interests. Trying to reach these audiences at scale is impossible and the traditional companies are leaving the field.

I’m not sure native advertising is the answer for publishers. Disguising advertising as editorial in the pages of a distinguished masthead will only accelerate a slide into irrelevance.

I’m not sure what the answer is for the traditional publishers and I’m pretty sure they don’t either.

But what it does mean is that content marketing will increasingly become the dominant approach for anyone with a story to tell; be it in the private or public sector.

The good news for journalists is that it will mean even greater demand for people with strategic, content creation, measurement and evaluation skills. Sure those jobs reporting politics in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery will be increasingly thin on the ground, but there will be the opportunity to be a story teller. Just in another guise.

The world is spinning fast and the changes are dramatic and far reaching. Today’s report is just the latest confirmation of what we are seeing every day.

So look out ad agencies, someone else is eating your lunch.

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