A few marketing-related bullet points that have been rattling around in my brain lately…..
- Snapchat. I know. It’s hot. And I swear that I’m historically an early adopter. I also know that as an almost 45 year old male, I’m not in the Snapchat demographic. But I have it and I watch it. I see what’s going on. I even like it. I like the brand stories. Geofilters are cool. But I’m feeling like it’s going to plateau before it gets to the Facebook/Twitter level of almost total adoption across all demos and ages. Why? Because most people my age don’t know how to use it, don’t want to know and like it or not, those people are a lot of headcount. Part of me feels like Snapchat will get there if they can sustain for, oh, another 20 years. Can they? Or will they be part of the upcoming valuation slashing party, which is only just beginning.
- Journalism. I’ve been listening to Kirk Minehane’s podcast lately. Minehane is a local sports radio guy here in Boston, but he’s exactly my age and is the only reason why it’s worth listening to WEEI at all in the morning. His competition at 98.5 is beating him, but he’s the best thing going in the morning. The problem is that you have to also listen to the other two guys on that show, who sound like every other sports radio dolts in the world. Anyway, Minehane keeps asking the journalists he interviews if they think that the printed Boston Globe is going to be around in five years. To a man, they all say no and it’s probably true. I’m with the trends, it seems – I subscribe to the Globe and read my news on my IPad Mini every morning except Sunday. I still need that printed paper on Sundays. But I read this New York Times article yesterday about the state of Journalism and it made me sad. You should read it. Times are changing. Mobile phones are modern day candy machines. The people who are interested in hard news, real investigative journalism and learning will always find the content they need. They drew that inspiration from somewhere, though. How will the younger generation (really young kids, say, under 10) get inspired to seek out real news going forward? Only time will tell. Journalism as we know it is probably dead. Check out the Minehane podcast though, it’s good snacking.
Instagram. I love it. In an increasingly visual world, this company provides everyone who uses it with access to one-touch photo filters to make their photos look professionally shot. Professional photographers groan at this sentence. They probably should. But much like music, the average naked ear can’t tell good quality sound in the same way the naked eye can’t tell good quality photos. This is a blanket generalization, but it’s true. The problem with Instagram is that Facebook owns it. That means things are changing. If brands wants to reach users, they will soon have no option other than to pay – just like Facebook. As a brand with 114,000 followers at my old job, I can tell you that I was pretty angry when I had to start paying to reach ANY of the 114,000 who I worked so hard to amass. For advertisers, the same thing is happening with Instagram now. For everyday users of Instagram, it means that youwon’t see all the photos of the people you follow, because Instagram now more or less controls your feed. It’s more complicated than that, but in essence that is what is happening. At some point people will rebel against this Facebook/Instagram approach. Not any time soon, though. For now, as always, money talks.
The key takeaway here? Easy always wins. Always. The IPhone is easy. Amazon. Spotify. Netflix. Uber. See the trend here? Easy. All of it. SO easy. Everyone else is chasing them. Quality still means something, but it means less than it used to. That’s just the cold truth. You give someone an easy path to do something, and you’ll win. Figure out the profitability thing later. I need to think of something easy!