December 2012 Birding Business

Outside the Box...Way Outside

Entrepreneurial Adventure

Suet is Super

Eco Bird Feeding

Online Video Advertising

10-Minute Marketing Plan

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Publisher's Note
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Industry News
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Publisher’s Note

Even the Internet has Limitations
BY RAY DAVID | Editor/Publisher

I’m STARTING TO FEEL pretty good about being in the magazine business these days.  The past five years have seen a lot of titles go away, and few new ones taking their place.  Just recently both Newsweek and Smart Money announced they are exiting the print world and concentrating strictly on their web versions.  That’s neither good news nor bad to me… they serve a very different audience and do not impact what we do.  But it tells a story.

Broad-based print media, that is newspapers and general circulation magazines, have been in a downward spiral since the financial markets’ implosion; but highly targeted, niche trade magazines are showing a decided upswing. The bright sparks in media are saying there has never been a bigger opportunity for brands in print channels than right now.

So why is that, and what does it mean?

Well, for starters, in less time than it takes to write about it, the internet and everything that relies on it have become ‘traditional’ media. It’s the first place product marketers think of when planning a new introduction. Blogging, social media and web articles are now traditional, and print advertising has suddenly become ‘outside-the-box’ forward thinking.  Prognosticators ten years ago predicted the death of television, but the argument could be made that today is the new golden age of TV. Witness the success of Boardwalk Empire, Madmen, and Homeland. Television wasn’t killed off, consumers simply use it differently.
The ethos among consumer goods marketers in the 1960s was “Sell the consumer, then make it easy for her to buy”. That made TV and radio the vehicle of choice to get the message to the masses, just as the internet does today. But they still relied on trade advertising to get the attention of the retailer to achieve the distribution their product needed, and that is where a resurrection is occurring today.

Consumers with a particular personal interest tend to focus on sourcing new information to support and further that interest, and that’s where the internet has become irreplaceable. But that just covers the consumer market. The internet can only help a re-seller of products find a market to serve; but if the re-sellers don’t know what new products are available, and from what sources, the internet can’t help. If you Google “bird feeders” you’ll find 2,360,000 entries. But how do you search for - the variety of products you’d typically find in a birding store, and their wholesale sources - on Google?