Digital marketers must prioritize content over platforms, says Eisner: Adobe Omniture Summit 2011

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Digital marketers must connect consumers with high-quality content to generate new revenue channels, said Michael Eisner, former chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., at the Adobe Omniture Summit 2011 on March 9.

Eisner, delivering a keynote address at the conference, questioned the notion of digital representing “a whole new world.” Instead, he said digital represents the continuation of past mediums that thrived because of the quality of their content. Eisner described this evolution as a “timeline of major media innovations that span from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg.”

“While the digital revolution is transformative, it does not render everything else obsolete,” said Eisner. “The greatest success, as always, will be achieved by those who can connect with consumers across multiple platforms.”

He added that a social media strategy will falter if it lacks engaging content that consumers want to share, no matter its strength in theory.

Eisner urged marketers to strengthen the overall value of their content, which he said will verify any delivery system. To illustrate that, Eisner played an ESPN commercial featuring Lance Armstrong pedal-powering the cable network's office. The commercial “was made before viral marketing was in full-force, but it still has managed to set itself into an afterlife [on digital content sites like YouTube],” he said.

Eisner, also the founder of investment firm The Tornante Co., also discussed recent digital ventures such as new media studio Vuguru, which Tornante spun off in 2009. Vuguru develops scripted programming for online and traditional distribution channels. Eisner said the studio embraces his view that content created for the Internet will define the Web as a distribution platform.

“Whatever the platform, great content will always win out,” said Eisner.

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