The Playing Field Is Leveled!

Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1439. This invention revolutionized the way in which information could be distributed. However, the main drawback was that the printing press Johannes invented was very expensive. By the time news was being mass printed, print media was able to charge whatever they wanted to businesses who wished to advertise in their newspapers. Then radio and television came along, and media companies at their apex could charge literally millions of dollars for 30-second adverts during the most popular TV programming. The media industry via newspapers, radio and TV controlled the entire deal – businesses had to pay them lots of money to reach audiences and Media barons were created – billionaires made rich by advertising revenue and holding a complete monopoly on access to audiences.

Now, if Johannes Gutenberg had the internet in front of him vs. his printing press – which one do you think he would think was the most effective way of reaching the masses? He would, of course, choose the internet. The internet has the media industry scared, and for good reason. For the first time in human history anyone can gain access to literally millions of consumers with nothing more than a computer, a good idea, effort, and some knowledge of how to do things right. Think about this; if you make hand carved wooden knives, have a website, and know what you are doing, you can market your product directly to everyone who is interested in hand carved wooden knives on the internet (perhaps millions of people?). what is extremely special about this is that you don’t have to pay an advertising agency, a TV station or a newspaper a single penny to make this connection.

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp, used to love the internet. Now he is not so fond and is trying to limit access to content his company produces by trying to implement a pay to view model. This doesn’t work because the new internet is based on a free model. Attempting to charge for access to content goes against the entire flow of the internet! Ironically, Rupert Murdoch made a name for himself as a ruthless operator during the 1980s when he locked out many unionized employees from his newspapers. Now, Murdoch himself is like those locked-out employees, standing outside the internet looking in – locked out by users not interested in paying for his content.

This story demonstrates that you have as much power to make a connection with a consumer as the mighty News Corp. You now have a level playing field With the help of search engine optimization, social media marketing, and content creation. If someone is interested in what you make, they will find you and they will spend money with you (given you have current web technologies). You no longer have to spend a lot of money on advertising – you can actively hunt for your customers 24 hours a day by producing interesting content that will convert readers and users into spending customers.

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