A media industry up its own proverbial is great news for smart SMEs

Paul McIntyre’s perfectly understandable rant in AdNews about the media industry disappearing up their own channels is further mounting evidence of the extent to which the media industry has been ignoring all that has been going on around them.

Digital is not new. The digital economy is not a new economy. New media is not new anymore. Yes, there are lots of developments, but seriously, digital is hardly a bloody surprise to the media industry. So why are there constant articles complaining about the media industry not getting what’s going on? McIntyre’s rant included.

The simple fact is the media industry in its arrogance, like the record industry before it, just hasn’t done enough or been smart enough in time. It is an industry that has ranted, bullied and snarled like a disgruntled, unreasonable teenager that doesn’t like new people, maybe even smarter people, coming out to play.

The truth of the matter is – for the entire cat calling, bullying and raging – the media industry just isn’t the “main man” anymore.

Thus the door is wide open to the new kids on the block who have been quiet in the knowledge the world has changed, and have been adapting and changing with it. They have been creating, innovating, understanding, connecting, sharing and getting the attention of the investors, the CEO and the boardroom in a whole new refreshing way.

Understanding that adapting takes more than going online or creating an app. Understanding a new way of thinking that can adapt businesses, improve customer sales, create brand lovers, change interactions, and bring a whole new refreshing face to communications, that doesn’t involve the words: PR, TARP, TVC, OTS, Media Spend, Paid Media, Earnt Media, and so on… blah blah blah!

The time is nigh for the SME digital business owner; it is their moment to shine. From niche publishers of influence who are happy to consider all forms of commercial arrangements, beyond a media rate card. (Notwithstanding the very UN-creative, crass Rudd cash-for-comment proposal from Naked Communications to The Vine and others) to new forms of consultancy which challenge and question the “norm”.

The market is demanding the digital specialists, the many SMEs who live and breathe their art, who are passionate and don’t want to play in the old playground.

In fact, they positively object to it.

The market is thirsty for their specialisms, their passions and it is them that the CEO is turning his attention to: the industry CEO who simply doesn’t bother to show up to the ad agency anymore; the CEO of the media empire whose falling revenues know he can’t listen to the hacks and the jocks, he has to listen to a new breed of voices and experience. A mixed breed of geeks and digirati whose blood is pumped by an intuitive knowledge of how it is going to be.

It may not sit well with the old grandees of the media or ad industry who claim they are innovating. But it should sit well with the audience of this title.

It is time for the Australian digital SME industry, which make a huge contribution in revenue and employment terms to the prosperity of this nation, to stop having the smallest, least-heard voice.

It is time to stop gathering crumbs off the table, to come to the fore and take market opportunity. It is the modern tale of David and Goliath playing out, even if Goliath doesn’t realise he has already been outplayed.

Fi Bendall is the managing director of Bendalls Group, a team of highly trained digital specialists, i-media subject matter experts and developers.

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