As the owner of a new-media startup, the language I speak is common and easily understood by my colleagues and contacts in related fields. What's happening around us online and to media in general seems obvious. I have lived and breathed it for years, and I am immersed in it daily.
But what's happening in the digital space is still very new to many brands and consumers. It's evident in the blank stares I often get in casual conversations when I share content I read recently, or I bring up the future direction of my business. While I ponder the logistics and inner-workings of the digital space, many workers are only aware of what's put in front of them, and they don't concern themselves with change until they absolutely have to.
As this divide continues to widen and the evolution of media picks up speed, the differences are increasing between business owners who are ready to leap into new digital advertising lands, and those who are not. Either they are too scared to try something new or they don't see the potential, or a combination of both. One of the most common sentiments from truthful business owners who haven't fully evolved online is this: "When you've been doing the same thing for decades, it's easier to stay the same than to try something new."
Some forward-thinking clients started allocating good chunks of their marketing and advertising budgets online, and over the past few years digital has become an integral part of their strategy. Others advertise in more traditional mediums, but they are slowly starting to warm up to a small step into the new frontier.
"If people don't understand this, don't waste your time," a client said a few years ago, "people eventually will be forced to get it." We have arrived at that "eventual" point.
Way back in 2007 – perhaps even earlier – it was predicted that "the Internet is rapidly moving from a 'text web' to a 'video web.'" The stats I would pull to show to potential clients, it turns out, accurately predicted where video would be in 2009, and again to where we are in 2013. It's actually bigger, better and more diverse than initially thought.
If you want to dip a baby toe into the digital space before taking the plunge, that's fine, but do it sooner than later. It's better to start small now than to get left behind forever.