Thursday, January 17, 2008

Media Trends

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) is preparing a scenario planning workshop for this month called "Shaping the Future of the Newspaper."

This week WAN released 66 trends noted by newspaper executives.

If you think about them, there are no surprises on the list. I've written about many of them here. However, seen in aggregate, the list offers a lot to think about.

Remember: these were written with newspapers in mind. I've aggregated and paraphrased:
  • Consumers are becoming accustomed to demanding 24/7 availability of products and services
  • As choices increase, sales must become more targeted to niches, more directed. Mass marketing becomes less important than niche marketing
  • The increased complexity of life has people seeking to simplify their lives
  • Families look different today: there are more single households, older people, unusual mixes of parents and kids
  • Consumer power: Customers are taking control over media on the Internet (blogs, etc.)
  • Paper is starting to talk
  • Viral marketing (word-of-mouth) offers consumers a level of trust
  • The Long Tail Effect: tailoring content to niches. audiences are fragmenting
  • User-generated content offers self-expression and an opportunity for social networking
  • Newspapers may become free
  • We're becoming accustomed to news when and where we want it. RSS feeds allow people to manage their own news feeds
  • GPS technology is permitting localized content
  • Prosumption: the consumer as producer
  • Citizen journalism: consumers want to be more involved
  • Newspapers can offer more in-depth, analytical journalism
  • The trend is toward more visual content than text
  • There's a competition shift. Any company can become another's competitor
  • Customer loyalty is becoming a thing of the past. Customers shift more easily
  • Online-only companies (Google, Yahoo and Microsoft) are becoming competitors to newspapers
  • One-to-one marketing. Google can now identify and pinpoint customers' needs

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