An article on Boston.com, the Boston Globe's web presence, today discusses the abandonment of lunch service hours at Locke-Ober, a venerable institution in downtown Boston.
As you scan the article, look for what's missing as associated content.
Figure it out? No? Then, you need some remedial work in marketing 101.
What is missing is ads for lunch options around the neighborhood of Locke-Ober! Now, Boston.com is one of the original newspaper-owned websites and they do a tremendous job with their content. But - if the Globe is going to survive, they need some creative advertising sales efforts.
You can be assured that if you were reading this article on a Google-run site, you would see three our four ads with links to local restaurants.
So - how does this connect to radio? Well, imagine if you had the ability to be airing a local news story on your station about this subject and an ad (with a link that the user could type into their iPhone) appeared on the dial of the radio for a substitute restaurant. This ad simultaneously runs in the audio player for your internet stream, where it's clickable. Plus, a link goes out to Twitter.
Impossible, you say? Not so - it's very do-able today, with technology from companies like Broadcast Electronics and their "The Radio Experience" product line. They call it "Messagecasting" and it can be up and running in a radio station in just a few days.
This is the kind of thinking that all media outlets will need to embrace. Think synergy between your content (whether news stories, music, whatever), your listeners and advertisers. Think of ways to make the advertising accountable. Think of ways to not insult your audience with poor execution.
It is clear that the platform we will see emerge is a hybrid of "broadcast," web-based (I really want to say IP-delivered) and tangible media (as an example, scaled down newspapers). Local media entities will become a synergy of these parts. Each entity will have its own personality ("stationality") focused on it's rather narrowly targeted market. Because of the interaction between the components of the platform, advertising results will become more accountable. The successful local media entities will not be focused on just one or two media types (i.e., written word and video or video and audio) but will cover all media types equally well. Why? Because each one has its advantage for certain users in certain situations.