Monday, July 9, 2007

Know Your Audience

Dan Rayburn has written two seemingly unrelated entries in his "The Business of Online Video" blog over the last few days. But taken together, I believe they illuminate an important point.

In the first, he discusses how it is still unprofitable to webcast large entertainment events. In the second, he discusses his disdain for the use of bad user generated content in television commercials.

Between these two discussions, the quality of the content runs the gamut from television quality rock concert productions to amateur web cam. But content quality is only small albeit important part of a successful webcast.

The success of webcasting has been its ability to deliver specific, impactful messages to specific target audiences in an economical fashion. It's great advantage is it allows the content provider to communicate directly with the desired listeners and track the ROI of the webcast precisely.

At least at this stage, webcasting is ill-suited to broadcasting a mass marketing message. A commercial during a television event or an advertisement in a magazine is designed to be seen by as many eyeballs as possible. A webcast is designed to be seen by only the target market, which means that when crafting the message and inviting attendees to the event, one must adhere to the old saw: "know your audience."

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