Dollars following eyeballs is a fancy way of saying that those who can get people watching their media (TV show, billboard, trade show, etc.) can charge rent to those who have something (the brands) they want to show those eyeballs.
When I first started in sales, many moons ago, we rented trade show booths in the hopes of catching the attention of a few people interested enough in our product to schedule a meeting with us. The media company put on the show and controlled the eyeballs (owned the audience) and we the sales people (representing brands) rented those eyeballs.
The power of the internet, and a connected economy has completely flipped the script. Today if you’re not building an audience (eyeballs) of your own your missing the big picture. Unfortunately I know a lot of organizations and sales people who are. For example, a few times a week I drive past a billboard in my neighborhood that a realtor has rented space on for years. She’s a friend of mine. She’s paying rent to the media company, and as long as she pays they’ll rent it to her but when she can’t anymore they’ll rent it to the next gal.
Here’s an idea, why not take that same money paid towards the bill board and build your own digital media empire. She could start with a simple community blog, invite guest bloggers to write the articles, and all of the sponsored ads would be of homes she’s listed. Now she’s gone from renting the media company’s audience to building her own. Up front it’s more work than just paying for the billboard, but in the long run she’d own it. When she retires she could rent it out.
True story. I did something similar to this as a mortgage rep. I built my own mortgage website. When I decided to leave the industry a broker paid me a $24,000 rental fee just to get the leads that came off the website.
Believe it or not it’s a simple two step process of getting this done. First you’ll need a platform. Any old CMS will do. Something like WordPress, Blogger, or Typepad. Second start attracting eyeballs with various types of content. That’s it. Congrats you’re a media company.