The pursuit of visibility in the shadow of the pandemic

Aslak Berge

Even in a narrow space, there is room for opportunities. Some are also better and more effective than before.

During a Senate hearing in 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was summoned to be grilled. The now-retired Republican Senator Orrin Hatch asked the following:

“So, how do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?”

“Senator,” replied Zuckerberg, almost surprised by the question. “We run ads.”

Narrowed in
Traffic, distribution and visibility. The ability to reach the end-user is a significant value in itself. Not just for Facebook.

PHOTO: Aslak Berge

But opportunities to reach customers have been narrowed this year, Covid-19 has made sure of that. It has also felt in the aquaculture industry. Especially for the supplier industry, the so-called “fish service”.

Cancelled flights and travel restrictions have made it challenging to speed around the world. Meetings and new sales are crucial for business.

But the show must go on.

Traditional sales channels, such as conferences and expos are on ice.

Cargill is among those who felt the brunt of this. And that problem still persists. Earlier this autumn, the feed producer announced that it is putting its conferences on hold until after at least 2021.

Video conferencing has become the new normal. Some have also relied on webinars and podcasts. What many of these have in common that they have lean distribution ie. they do not reach those they want to. In August, for example, Nor-Fishing conducted its traditional exhibition digitally. Based on the number of visitors, one cannot call it an unconditional success.

So how can one achieve visibility?

At the same time, the media has won many new readers despite a strange year of coronavirus-based challenges. Profitability may not have kept up, but traffic-wise, the 2020 pandemic has been a good year. This applies to both traditional mainstream media and niche/industry news media. Smartphones do not suffer under quarantine.

Source: Google Analytics, media kits

SalmonBusiness’ sister publication iLaks, for example, has seen its readership increase by 35 per-cent so far this year. Traffic is particularly increasing on mobile. Close competitors Fiskeribladet and IntraFish also seem to have significantly increased reader traffic in the past year, based on what is presented in their own media kits.

Though this isn’t surprising.

The industry players still need to reach out to the customers, the right decision-makers. And the simplest and most cost-effective seems to be through the niche media, where pre-segmented reader groups can be easily accessed – every day.

When purchasing feed barges, workboats, buoys, mooring systems, nets and gutting machines, the users, the staff working on these facilities and boats – those who actually use the equipment – are always consulted before the management trades in.

Therefore, traffic and the ability to achieve visibility have significant value – even in the aquaculture industry. Especially in an era of masks, conference freezes and coronavirus hit airports.


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