CBS gave Katie Couric more than $15 million per year to lure her away from The Today Show, in an effort to make a splash and get CBS Evening News out of the basement. Last week, CBS News announced they would be replacing her current executive produce, Rome Hartman, with Rick Kaplan. In summarizing the challenges evening newscasts have in attracting an audience, Kaplan said:
The three network newscasts, which have been losing audience share for a generation, face much tougher competition now from cable news, the Internet and other new media.
“It was easy then [in the days of Walter Kronkite] to make your program compelling because people had no information until Walter said, ‘Good evening,’ ” Kaplan said. “Today they come armed with an extraordinary amount of information. We all have a responsibility to push these stories ahead.”
This same observation can be made about your salespeople and your marketing. It used to be much easier to be compelling, because your customers and potential customers had no information until they came into contact with you. Today, they have more information than they know what to do with. If you want to go-to-market and avoid commoditization, you must make sure that you are creating value, rather than just providing information.