The medium is the message

Quite a long time ago, a chap called Marshall McLuhan said a couple of very clever things. He was born in the early twentieth century and, I guess, by the sixties, he’d grasped the big changes that we’re feeling the culmination of today.

Quite a long time ago, a chap called Marshall McLuhan said a couple of very clever things. He was born in the early twentieth century and, I guess, by the sixties, he'd grasped the big changes that we're feeling the culmination of today.

The first clever thing he said was; 'the medium is the message'. This neat little phrase summed up his thinking that media rather than the content it carries is what affects society. An interesting thought, and one that marketers have been banging on about ever since.

The second clever thing he invented was the idea of the 'Global Village'. I think that's amazing that this chap put his finger on two big pulses that have shaped the world so hugely. Not to mention summing them both up so beautifully.

Ok, enough history. I mentioned this guy because his two phrases make neat bookends for what I wanted to write about. You see, the idea of the global village (it was about transport and communications when Marshall mentioned it) has really been made real by our good friend, the internet. With the massive growth of the internet has come a huge media challenge by pretty much doubling the number of channels a campaign must communicate though. If the medium is the message then surely these days, as marketers we're peddling more messages than ever before.

Just look at this list (I'm sure you could think of a few I've missed too!):

  • search engine optimization (SEO),
  • pay-per-click,
  • affiliate,
  • email,
  • banner
  • latest web related channels for
  • webinar,
  • blog,
  • micro-blogging,
  • RSS,
  • podcast,
  • Internet TV.
  • Offline marketing channels
  • newspaper,
  • magazine
  • mail order,
  • public relations,
  • industry relations,
  • billboard,
  • radio,
  • television.
  • the next big thing! Twitter, etc