“Every company is a media company,” says Tom Foremski, the former Financial Times journalist.
Foremski is the force behind The Silicon Valley Watcher, which follows the business of technology and media. He also has a new website called, suitably enough, Every Company is a Media Company. Foremski writes regularly about how the Internet, social networks and other types of digital media have radically changed the way we communicate – consumer to consumer, business to consumer, business to business.
Regardless of an organization’s size and structure – e.g., S-Corp., local service provider, or a multi-divisional international corporation – having a credible web presence has become essential to marketing and sales. As I recently told a group of small business owners at the Mount Vernon Business Expo, a company’s strategy need not be extravagant. In developing a strategy, however, businesses can benefit by assuming a mindset that is similar to that of a media company: How can I be of use to my visitors? What kind of information do they want and need? By acting as a media company would, brands can build credibility and good will with target audiences and increase the frequency with which it engages prospects and customers. Behaving like a media company means also abandoning the hard-sell and offering one’s expert advice without the expectation of a reciprocal sale. The paradox, of course, is that the goal of such selflessness will lead to more sales in the future.
The financial barriers to web marketing are typically pretty low. The time barriers – the amount of time that must be continually invested for a successful program – can be high. Posts in the weeks to come will be written for the online marketing novice – the business owner or organization director seeking to understand the basics of creating a web presence and what type of investments, monetary and otherwise, are required. I hope others who have already initiated Internet marketing programs will share their thoughts as well.