Posted by: Kristen Hicks | July 12, 2011

The Netflix Model

Before good marketing is even an option, a business or individual has to have a good product or idea to bring to the table and, in my opinion, one of the best business ideas in recent years has been Netflix.  I don’t think it’s overstating things to say that Netflix has revolutionized the way people think about watching movies and television.

Speaking for myself and many of my friends, the idea of spending the money every month for far more mediocre content than we’d want via cable to be able to access the handful of shows and channels of value to us seems absurd now that there’s an alternative option.  I think the current availability of streaming content on Amazon, iTunes and Hulu can likely also be attributed to the existence of Netflix and it’s made it much easier to be selective about our viewing choices and pay more directly for the entertainment we enjoy.

I’m far from the only person impressed by the ingenuity of Netlix, as evidenced by similar business appearing in the book industry and for the movie theater experience.

I feel these businesses, in combination with the way people experience Google and Amazon, are heavily influencing how people interact with marketing and what we expect in the consumer experience.  The recommendations on Netflix and Amazon absolutely draw consumers to products they wouldn’t have thought to consider, but are likely to enjoy.  In the same way, Google’s brilliantly designed to ensure that businesses can get the information and products users are interested in more directly in front of them.

One the rare occasions I do spend some time watching cable and take in tv commercials, or when I think about the billboards I pass on the highway, they all strike me as so wasteful.  Why spend the money on a form of advertising that will reach a large audience, but only appeal to a small portion of it, when internet marketing has opened the way to a more targeted version of advertising? I recognize that there are still some types of products for which these forms of marketing may make sense, but I feel the vast majority of businesses would be better served in an exploration of the online options for bringing greater awareness to their products and services.

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