Media Fragmentation – What’s a Company to Do?

When I was growing up in Blacksburg, Virginia in the 1970s, all a company had to do to reach the entire market of the town’s 10,000 residents was put an ad in the Blacksburg High School football program and a radio spot on WJJJ.  If we weren’t at the game, we were listening to it.

I first heard the term "media fragmentation" from Ken Ray of AT&T.  During his Entrepreneurial Summit address - Optimizing Customer Acquisition in a World of Media Fragmentation (.pdf) - Ray presented this slide.

 Ken Ray on Optimizing Customer Acquisition in a World of Media Fragmentation

According to Ray, the market of potential customers and clients had 6 information channels from which to gain information about a company's product or service in 1966.  By 2006, that number had increased by 500% to 30 channels.

In a comScore product release, Dr. Magid Abraham, President and CEO of comScore, neatly defines the "increasingly complex digital media landscape" and its context:  "The past few years have seen the rise of global Internet markets, the emergence of new distribution platforms, and a substantial increase in media fragmentation and niche audiences."

In an "increasingly complex digital media landscape," what's a company to do to reach potential customers when, instead of being in a few places – at the game or listening to it – they're everywhere?

Be everywhere.

Be everywhere?

Shaking Hands with Media Fragmentation
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  1. Hi Anne,
    Good post- comments and thoughts seem right on.
    Does this also apply to traditional media outlets, such as the local newspaper (RT)? For example, NRV reporters don’t cover the RV area…even to the point of printing separate sections for NRV and RV…doesn’t this fragment their own market?
    The power of what you and Handshake do is to link together those of common interests despite geography and logistics…anti-fragmentation?

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