Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Al Ries - Views the Internet and Mobile Net

Al Ries' involvement in the revolutionary 'Positioning' series of books has always put Al's thoughts and observations high on many of our must read lists.

I caught his recent Advertising Age article on the state of media and the emerging Mobile Net (the web on your cell phone) - the third screen. Al feels that this media is the 'next revolution' joining the big leagues of media - Books, Newspapers, Radio, TV, Internet.

It's a bit scary as Al makes a number of observations that are astute:

Fasten your seat belts. On the horizon, there's another profound shift in media, consumer behavior and technology coming. In the near future we are likely to welcome the arrival of a sixth mass-communications medium. And what is this earth-shaking new medium? It's the Mobilenet. The what? Surely you are joking, Al. The Mobilenet is just a subset of the internet. Just another way of going online. Just another way of surfing the net without using a computer. That's why mobile devices are commonly called the "third screen." Third-screen thinking is going to cause you and your company to miss the boat.

Which big brands were created by moving content from one medium to another? Very, very few.

Moving The Wall Street Journal online didn't save Dow Jones from the clutches of Rupert Murdoch for just $5 billion.

Moving ESPN onto cellphones didn't take it to the big leagues.

So far, moving TV shows to the internet hasn't created as much value as one internet site, Less than 20 months after its launch, YouTube was bought by Google for $1.65 billion.

Hopefully Radio will keep evolving with new ideas and strategies for the Third Screen-Mobile Net, but Al's point here is that the real 'killer ap' in the new 3rd Screen world will probably not be a line extension of our brand on a different distribution system. We need to think WAY OUT OF THE BOX.

One of the 'dreams' we all have on the web and new media is that we can extend our brand with all it's reach and content (if we don't cut the heart out of it) to the Web and Beyond.

Al's point here is - don't count on it. Read Al's whole article here.

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