Webquote: Seth Godin and the TV-Industrial Complex

Whenever I’ve tried to prepare a list of brilliant contemporary thinkers who have changed my idea about the world, Seth Godin finds a place in the top ten.

Years ago, he started to talk about the end of TV-Industrial Complex. An era in which TV governed every minute of our life and even aspect of our attention.

Being broadcasted on TV meant a powerful commercializing and leaving the TV channels, meant losing public attention.

As he mentions in his article published in FastCompany, TV-Industrial Complex is not limited to the flat-big-box mounted on the walls of our homes and offices. It’s about an idea he calls television thinking.

Television thinking has several characteristics. But here’s the core idea (in my words):

Trying to reach everyone by any means at any time with your message. Even if they don’t buy your product, the least result would be product or brand awareness. By the way, you show them how powerful you are as it’s not cheap to reach everyone.

Television thinking was based on a clear idea: Interruption. It has just one commandment: Try to interrupt audience and grab their attention whenever there’s a chance.

When they are watching TV, interrupt them with a TV ad. When they are listening to the radio, interrupt them with a commercial. When they are checking the emails, interrupt them with a spam message. Interrupt them. Some will care and some will curse and the business runs!

TV Industrial Complex or television thinking as Seth Godin calls is already dead. Although the death will not be announced for years. Just like an old emperor who is dead by the courtiers try to hide the fact just to govern the people for some more time and collect the last collectable taxes!

The old style advertising agencies and media resellers are courtiers of this dead emperor and there are still so many advertisers who are happily in the queue for buying the old interruption tools.

The end of the television mindset is where the permission marketing starts. Nothing clarifies the idea of permission marketing better than the definition he has stated in his personal blog:

Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.

Seth Godin’s idea of permission marketing can be a basis for devising content strategy. As one of the goals are content strategy is building and nurturing an audience group who are ready to grant you the privilege of delivering more contents and even promotional materials.

P.S: You may be interested to take a look at my review of his book titled Tribes: Part 1, Part2