A quick review of world history reminds us the idea of a spherical earth began to be accepted in the sixth century BC from Greek philosophy and Aristotle provided evidence around 330 BC. I don’t want to dive in too deep on how the paradigm shifted, or try to correct the popular myth that Columbus’ voyage was not to dispute the shape of earth. But, in fact it proved just how far west a ship, tackle, and crew could go on the open sea before either reaching the New World or running out of essential food and water.
At least in the new media sense, we are experiencing another paradigm shift on how we create, curate, bundle and distribute media. Most marketers still refer to media channels in terms of vertical silos: TV, radio, print, outdoor, even digital-social media and mobile. In reality, what we are seeing as we enter into the post digital age is a convergence of new media into a horizontal landscape.
Consider how we consume media: no longer do we refer and only watch cable or broadcast on TV, listen to our favorite station on the radio, or read print in our hometown newspaper as independent channels. Now, we stream Netflix and Sling TV through our smartphone or smart TV to watch our favorite movies, we listen to our favorite songs and podcast by downloading on our mobile devices.
So, no longer is specific media consumed on a single channel, since it is no longer confined to the physical device we used to consume media. Now, all of the media we consume is done so on mobile devices. Likewise, no longer do we develop an independent mobile or social media strategy, since all media can now be viewed anytime, anywhere, and shared with everyone.
The new horizontal paradigm has changed how we use media and how we also reach our target audience. In the past, marketers had to purchase or use certain vertical media channels to reach consumers, but this strategy is no longer as effective. Now we must focus marketing on two key points: Whom are we reaching and when do we reach them.
Remember, it’s not so much about the media channel as it is the audience we are trying to reach using a creative message at just the right time.