Posted on | September 11, 2010 | 4 Comments
That was the question that Sam Whitmore essentially posited in an interview we did recently. He has clients who ask him the question. In short:
In an era in which direct-to-customer communications and social media dominates, who needs the media, especially the trade press?
My answer, for one, is the vendors themselves. I’ve written a lot about vendor-as-publisher concepts, strategies, Â and tactics. As the practice has evolved in the past few years, it’s become clear that vendor as publisher is more about customer nurturing rather than customer acquisition.
The vendor needs not only to find new customers through relationships with independent publishers (who put food on the table by trying to be comprehensive, fair and unbiased–as much as is humanly possible) but also to get validation for its products and services.
Let’s be honest: There’s a not a marketer in the world who hasn’t put out at least one product he or she thought wouldn’t pass the smell test but actually did in the eyes of the media. Any human being who makes a decision will directly or indirectly seek a sounding board. So it is with vendors.
To take Sam’s question a different way, companies will always need to deal with some form of “press.” If the trade press vanished tomorrow, something would replace its role as reporter-validater, and vendors would have to establish completely new relationships there.