Do We Have Too Many Media Choices?

Have you ever been sent to the grocery store where you purchased exactly what you were asked to buy? But upon returning home, you are told you got the wrong thing. “I wanted the caffeine-free Diet Coke.”

Line extension is a wonderful thing for beloved products. With tweaks and variations, new versions are introduced. The reworked stuff requires more shelf space for the beloved product and may even push a competitor off the shelf. But the greater number of choices complicates our shopping experiences.

In so many aspects of our lives, we have an abundance of choices. Sometimes the options are overwhelming.

When you have a tidbit to share with friends and associates you can choose among Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, Vine, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Tumblr and many others. Not to mention text messaging.

Chuck Klosterman, writing about Johnny Carson, called him “the last universally shared icon of modern popular culture.” For most of Carson’s run, Americans had three network choices on their TV’s, not the hundreds of channels we may now choose from. Not to mention all the internet options.

How do we deal with all the choices in the world of communication?

  1. If you can determine how and where your audience wants to get your content, go there. If not, go where there is the best chance of your message being received.
  2. Remember, it’s better to reach a smaller number of eager recipients (or likely customers) than a larger number of indifferent people.
  3. Try newer media outlets to see if they can be effective for your messaging needs. But don’t become enamored just because you personally like a particular channel. This includes new social media platforms and new outlets in traditional media.
  4. Know that you can’t reach everybody. Even when stars of a big movie guest on every TV talk show, many of us will miss them and their message.
  5. Listen to your peers, including competitors. If their product/service is getting response from, say, Pinterest, maybe you should be on Pinterest for your similar product/service.
  6. Monitor and measure.

Of the billions of choices you had today, thank you for giving this post a couple of minutes of your time!















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