Cash for Trash

A few years back, when I was running the NHL’s digital businesses, I took a walk down the hall to the office of the fellow that ran the events department. These are the folks who put on things like the All Star Game, the Draft, and even make sure that the Stanley Cup shows up when someone wins it (as Detroit should have done very early this morning – nice win, Pens, but BOY am I tired this morning…).

Outside of his office was a dumpster and in the dumpster were dozens of items such as street banners from old All Star games. “Whats all this?” my inquiring mind asked. “Garbage” was the quick response. “To you, maybe. To our fans, this is gold.” And the dumpster, once he had finished cleaning, made its way to my department where were promptly auctioned off the garbage for thousands of dollars.

How many content creators throw cash away because they have a narrow view of their product? While I’m not an advocate for things like Beckham’s used chewing gum becoming the basis for your business, if you’re creating content for one platform and not exploring or exploiting many others, you’re missing out. I do believe in The Long Tail as long as the incremental costs are justified by the returns (which implies you probably don’t want to – or have to – break the bank). This is the sort of thing I work on with clients.

Step back and take a look at the entirety of your output and then survey where your potential audiences live. I’m willing to bet you’re throwing away some pretty good potential revenue.

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