While it is certainly not the New York Times model of independent journalism, we believe it is in our own interest to produce the most independent and authoritative media product we can. It is a hybrid for the online media age, when consumers are already more actively engaged with brands than ever before.The elements of this hybrid include a combination of raising awareness through social media, creating our own editorial content channels, participating in philanthropy and other socially-conscious programs, and performance-driven commerce.
Gilt brands, for instance, focus on content, community, commerce, and curation in our approach to marketing. We look to engage our consumers across multiple channels which in turn opens the door to media partners who can benefit from their performance.
This model has also been used by traditional media as they look to capitalize on their readers' consumer sense, translating interest in their editorial or advertising into a new revenue stream.
In this next era of media engagement, a foundation is being created where companies can build brands and businesses without reliance on traditional advertising. As MediaPost pointed out in a recent research study, businesses are concluding that "activity-based advertising was 11 times more effective than standard display ads and doubled the performance of rich media ads."
E-commerce is the logical next step. Ideally media and e-commerce sites will evolve together to become places where brands allocate resources in their search for new customers.
As online users reject the model of paying for content, and trends show that advertising will never fully replace that revenue, we believe this hybrid model makes the most sense both for media and for companies such as ours.
Nathan Richardson, President, Gilt City