My boy Gary Vaynerchuk talks about Amazon going into the direct publishing business. This fall they will market 122 books directly to consumers with no middle man involvement. According to Gary this is the first volley of a war to eliminate the middle man in this industry. A similar move was made in the music business and could likewise threaten the television (and movie?) industries.
He calls it the ‘new dawn’ in the age of publishing and warns unless you, the middle men, ‘add value’ to the equation, your days in business may be at an end. In my opinion small business marketing is entering this new dawn at a slow pace and has yet to recognize where the tsunami wave is headed.
I especially loved Gary’s quote: “Amazon’s direct play is a signal in a big way. The middle man, we saw it in the music industry, we’re now seeing it in publishing, TV might be kind of interesting. The middle man is in play.” When isn’t he goal of all big business to squeeze every nickle and dime of profit out of each sale? They have to, they must report to the owners the stockholders. Bean counter management front and center.
Small business managers must launch their counter strike in response. Add value at your end and fight the behemoths. Listen to your customers and provide the products and services they demand, not what you insist on serving up on a platter.
The game is changing, so be on the alert. Vaynerchuk’s message carries a similar warning as on a LinkedIn discussion I am involved in right now. The LI discussion thread takes up the threat to dentists by Walmart incorporating dental offices within their stores and promoting them under the Walmart banner. Are dentists too, as are publishers, soiling their pants as Vaynerchuk states? (Note: Gary has always been somewhat frank in his choice of words…)