The Future of The Digital Media Business

“It Is Not the Strongest of the Species that Survives But the Most Adaptable.”
― Charles Darwin
Digital Media 1.0 Is Dead:
Earlier today, Todd Harrison, of MinyanVille Fame, penned a great piece titled “Why I’m Exiting The Digital Media Business.” Once again he is way ahead of his time and has his finger right on the pulse of the ever-changing financial landscape. His basic premise is that Digital Media, as we once knew it, is dead.I couldn’t agree more and feel that the old financial services business model is dead as well (but that will be covered in a separate article). The digital media business has changed materially in recent years, become extremely saturated, and now needs to evolve in order to survive. All this was due to the explosion of social media, blogs, and a very low barrier to entry.
Why It Died. Brain Cells Not Required:
Put simply, anyone with a keyboard and internet access (brain cells not required) can begin writing about finance. This destroyed the old digital media landscape and caused a tremendous amount of confusion from the investor’s (people consuming the digital media)  point of view. Why? Because they do not know how to separate the good guys from the shysters. As is this case in any business, there are shysters lurking in every corner. This opened the door for shysters to package and sell garbage to countless people who are not able to differentiate between good and bad players in the digital media space. As a result, trust disappeared and the business model broke. As is the case with most things in life the business evolved and thought leaders and trust agents are emerging. The business is becoming personalized and people succeed by providing intelligent content in both bull and bear markets.
The Future: Digital Media 2.0
So if Digital Media is dead. Where are we headed? From where I sit, Digital Media 2.0 offers HUGE opportunities for the good guys (honest, intelligent, true value-add oriented people) to provide intelligent content to their audience. Why? Because in an information-overload world- the audience needs, now more than ever, good/intelligent ideas and will gladly pay for it…Finding it is their main problem. The decision to buy (subscribe), once trust and quality are established, in the consumers mind, is a no-brainer.
Age of Information: The Most Valuable Commodity In the World
We live in the age of information and in today’s world, information is the most valuable commodity in the world and time is the most valuable asset. Period. People who understand the value of intelligent information are willing to pay for it. Why? Because the benefit of accessing good information is priceless in today’s world. Remember, people don’t buy products, they buy what they get out of the product (hat tip, Jeffrey Fox). For example, the optometrist doesn’t sell glasses, she sells vision. Similarly, the investor who consumes financial media isn’t buying “research” or subscribing to a newsletter- they are buying money and saving time. The implicit value proposition is that when you subscribe to my XYZ service, you will make money from my ideas and save time because I will do the work for you). If you are not able to deliver and make that value proposition abundantly clear, you will not survive in the age of information. If it is, you will thrive.
How to Thrive In The New Age of Information:
That is why in order to survive and thrive in the new digital media 2.0 world – content providers have to deliver quality, personalized and intelligent content to the right audience- over and over again. If you can do that – you have just gained a customer for life. Intelligent content that shows readers how to save time and make money is priceless. Otherwise, the customer will “opt-out,” cancel, and go somewhere else. That simple.
Case Study:  Sarhan Capital
Sarhan Capital is a boutique investment/advisory firm. We thrive by providing intelligent information to our clients (investors of all size). That simple. If we don’t they leave. If we do, they stay- and become clients for life.
3 Step Formula For Success In the Digital Media Age
Permission Marketing is much more effective than interruption marketing. In today’s world people give you permission to market to them. They choose to opt-in to what you have to offer- Providing your content is personalized and valuable to them. This is our secret sauce and one reason why we are able to thrive in the new digital media world:
Step 1: Strangers become Friends (Join our free newsletter, watch our free webinars and get to know our work)
Step 2: Friends become clients (Want more- Join our paid services)
Step 3: Clients become loyal clients (Give people a reason to come back for more – provide excellent content). Rinse wash repeat.
In any business, the future is very bright for those that are able to best manage change.
Trade wisely,
Adam Sarhan
5/20/2014
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