Radio is asking the wrong question

From Seth Godin:

[The Net] is the first mass marketing medium ever that isn’t supported by ads. If a newspaper, a radio station or a TV station doesn’t please advertisers, it disappears. It exists to make you (the marketer) happy. That’s the reason the medium (and its rules) exist. To please the advertisers. But the Net is different. It wasn’t invented by business people, and it doesn’t exist to help your company make money. It’s entirely possible it could be used that way, but it doesn’t owe you anything. The question to ask isn’t, “but how does this help me?” as if you have some sort of say in the matter. You don’t get a vote on whether Google succeeds or whether your customers erect spam filters. The question to ask is, “how are people (the people I need to reach, interact with and tell stories to) going to use this new power and how can I help them achieve their goals?”

Seth is echoing something I’ve tried to communicate to broadcasters many times.

As we puzzle over how to extend our brands to digital media, we should ask a different question altogether. Namely: What problems can I, my brands, my relationships, and my content solve – and solve uniquely or better than anybody else – in a digital environment?

When you ask the question that way, you no longer ask “what should be on my website?” Instead, you begin to consider “what do or can I do OFF the air that consumers will give a damn about online? And what competitive advantage do I have in doing it?”

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