What Online Publishers Can Learn From Apple No Longer Attending MacWorld

Today, Apple fanatics from around the world all cried a little bit in unison when they heard the news that this will be Apple’s last year at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco and that this year Father Steve Jobs won’t be giving the keynote.

Despite being an Apple fanboy, I think there is actually a pretty cool thing going on.  Check out this section of the press release:

Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.

Apple is making the decision to move away from the mass market approaches to getting messages into the hands of customers.  They’re opting for the mediums that allow them to go directly to their users, the Web and their retail stores.

Just like Apple, you too can move away from the fire hose broadcast style messaging via mass media and start utilizing the Web and social media as a medium for having a relationship and building community directly with your users.

Obviously, we can not all start retail stores like Apple so that we can have face to face relationships with our customers  but a lot of us can spend more money on travel.  We can attend the conferences, meetups, and users groups that our users spend their time at.

I read the paper edition of the Washington Post.  Today someone purchased two full pages of the paper for an advertisement.  I don’t want to know how much that cost.  Regardless, those days are over.   Much like the massive keynotes at trade shows,  that style of getting your message to your users isn’t cost effective of efficient.

So… what are you doing to have a relationship directly with your user community?

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