Distribution and the Financial Agenda-
By Sarah Even
In my last post, I quoted Dictionary.com for the definition of distribution as, "the delivery or giving out of an item or items to the intended recipients, (such) as mail or newspapers," and "the marketing, transporting, merchandising, and selling of any item." I think this definition can be broken down further into the delivery of information to a recipient. This is one of the biggest concerns of businesses. They always ask the question, "how do we tell people about our service or product?" Unfortunately, we are often limited to the variety of ways we can achieve this distribution of information because of financial issues.
Especially in this slower economy, we have to always be on our toes for cheaper, reliable ways to get ideas out there. One way of doing this is to use a company like Outbrain who has started a tool called OutLoud. OutLoud charges the company $10 a month to post their article, blog post, or information on relevant sites to increase traffic to their website/blog. The company says it is perfect for, "the social media director, trying to build community by exposing larger audiences to a company blog, or to conversations happening on other sites about their products (and) the excited marketer wanting to drive word-of-mouth by amplifying positive reviews and articles about their company." So, for only $10 a month, they could be increasing their sales dramatically.
Yes, this is a way to distribute ideas, but essentially it can improve sales, and therefore benefits the business. A smaller industrial design firm in Eden Prairie, MN, Whiteboard Solutions, could get their name out there a lot cheaper using OutLoud. They have a blog, (http://www.whiteboardps.blogspot.com/), that could be posted all over other design blogs and design related sites to gain interest in their company. For smaller companies like this, it is so much cheaper and easier to pay a small fee per month than to have someone on the inside post links all over the internet every day.
Now, if you take the definition of distribution literally, you can still come back to the idea of the internet being an easy and cheap place for it to take place. Consider iTunes, the sale, delivery, and storage of music is all done digitally. iTunes (or Apple) doesn't have to foot the cost of shipping and handling, or the cost of producing CD packaging. Online books do the same thing. Companies are really taking advantage of the possibilities for distributing their ideas and products through the internet. As designers we really need to get creative and think of all the possible ways we can get many different types of people looking at our work.
Noff, Ayelet. "OutLoud: A New Way to Distribute Your Content." Socialmedia.biz. Nov. 2009. Web. 22 Oct. 2010.
WhiteBoard Product Solutions. Web. 22 Oct. 2010.