At their peak in 2004, there were over 9,000 Blockbuster stores worldwide. There are now less than 10 in the US, and less than 20 worldwide.
It’s funny now, looking back on those Blockbuster days. The entire video rental process was rather involved... and costly. Deciding on Thursday if you wanted to rent a movie for the weekend so you could “get a good one;” hoping a new release would be available, then sadly strolling through the genre sections trying to agree on the “Plan B;” paying $4-5 per movie for something you may or may not enjoy; and the inevitable late-night rush to return the movie before midnight to avoid the late fee. Interesting fact - In 2000, Blockbuster made $800 million just from late fees!
Now, we can pay as little as $10 a month for a streaming service which offers so many movies you couldn’t even watch them all in a month, plus no trips to a store, no rewinding, and no late fees. What a difference a decade makes.
This progression has not been limited to our movie rental habits. Think of the massive changes in the world of marketing and advertising. Companies used to fight over page position in phone directories. Fortune 500 companies would spend huge amounts of money advertising on TV and radio. Now, you can buy an ad which runs before someone watches a video online, put an ad out on a world wide social network of billions of people, or send a personalized message right to someone’s Inbox.
As you review your marketing and advertising strategy, be sure to identify any VHS technologies you may still be using. Are they really helping? Are they cost effective? Is there a better way to communicate your message to the audience you want? Don’t be caught using VHS while your competition has moved on to streaming services. If nothing else, you’ll save on the late fees.
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Random thoughts, comments & opinions.