What and interesting couple of days - Twitter knocked back a takeover from Facebook, our first big corporate (AstraZenica) embraced CLIVE on mydr.com.au, the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) tender closed yesterday with Telstra outlining what it will and won't do; whatever happens next is too hard to say.
Can the network that will lay down a communications and future economic infrastructure for the country been built without Telstra?
Whatever, we'll soon know BUT the future is digital irrespective if Gerry Harvey thinks online is a waste of time.
First, I have the utmost respect for Gerry Harvey, he's done a great job in building his retail operations over the last 50 years - BUT the times they are a changing and the future ain't rocket science!
Simply, people follow paths of least resistance. The facts are that advertising dollars follow where customers search - online advertising is growing - newspaper, television and radio effectiveness is decreasing. Today the media landscape has changed; online is where Rupert is focused and some say why James dumped his dad's beloved PBL and Nine.
The future is online.
Today most people begin any purchase search on the web. Do we have to look any further than real estate, holidays, books and music?
From buying a computer to a car, we are beginning to see rich internet media reduce the need for retail showrooms.
Today we can get a look at and explore a product without having to waste time in traffic, car parks, weekend warriors and apathetic or untrained sales staff, 24/7 from the comfort of home.
Once customers know what they want they compare, is it then only a question of whether it is cheaper/easier/faster to buy online or go down to the local shop.
Online social word of mouth recommendation and influence is also increasing. See Seth Godin's Tribes and Forrester Research's Groundswell.
GH's current strategic advantage - current brand awareness, purchasing aggregation and distribution is key - all the rest are just commodities.
For sellers, producing an internet video is far cheaper than most 30 second television commercials (excusing the HN ads) and without having to pay all the advertising rebates.
Nearly every manufacturer or supplier would secretly like to get closer to their customers (if they could) and disintermediate costly or inefficient (not adding significant value) supply chains.
SMH today - THE $1.6 billion online advertising industry is set to get a revenue injection from reluctant converts to the medium after a study of its effectiveness as a brand-building tool.