Here's a theory I'm working on, and I'd appreciate any feedback you could give me. I call it the "Second Front" theory. It says the public has traditionally received all its information from a single front (the bottom line on the diagram), where advertisers have bombarded them with scads of overlapping messages designed to hit the broadest audience possible. Because there was no other source of information than TV, radio, newspaper or magazine, the public was forced to stay near that First Front.
But the advent of new media has given consumers an option. They're migrating away from the old front, and toward the new front, where they can get the information they want. Tivos, Ipods, the Internet and other developments are luring consumers to the top of the diagram for two reasons:
1. They won't get bombarded by ads there.
2. They can choose precisely what information they want to seek out.
The trick for producers, who still need to reach their audience, is to position themselves along the Second Front. That means the message should change in two ways:
1. It should talk about the consumer, not the producer.
2. It should provide the information the consumer wants, on a topic the consumer cares about, in a form the consumer can receive easily.
Because the Second Front (good blogs, podcasts, and other "new media") is consumer-driven, the information along that front is more trusted. Good marketing on the Second Front will build that trust by being about consumers and their needs--not about producers and their products.