I spent an hour with Sang Kim, CEO of Ripple6 (who sponsored our Inbound Marketing Summit events). It was time well spent, as Sang hails from the good old days of the Internet, even as far back as Net Perceptions. I asked a few questions and got a sense of what was interesting to him. One of his biggest points was that audience is king.
“Publishers have to realize that their biggest value is in their audience,” said Kim. “Yesterday, you were a magazine. Today, you’re a club.”
His perspective on these points really got me thinking. The kinds of products that Ripple6 makes fit this kind of mindset. I got interested in the company a month before Gannett acquired them. Their Cloud Community idea, of having a way to serve up conversations between brands and communities across multiple platforms was really interesting.
Publishers make magazine content (for instance) so that their audience will enjoy it. The audience is then aggregated such that advertisers can come and try to gain awareness from that audience. But this formula exists because that’s all we could come up with in the paper world. Now that there are several different ways to connect online, with more multi-dimensional media, as well as the opportunity to connect directly, maybe this is the way to go.
“Content isn’t king. It’s a means,” said Kim, and I don’t disagree with him.
It’s exciting to see how brands are participating in the Ripple6 cloud communities. P&G does a lot in the space through MomLikeMe.com. They have other communities up and running, but this isn’t an ad for Ripple6. It’s praise for Sang Kim.
I’m thinking over his premise: audience is king.
What do you think?