THE LONG TAIL

...THE LONG TAIL...

The ‘Long Tail’ is a visualization used in describing a business strategy. Looking something like a tadpole the illustration has a large head shape and a long tail that gets smaller and smaller away from the head. On a graph the bulbous head is where a product or service has the largest number of potential buyers. As the number of interested customers gets smaller the tail gets longer and slimmer.


In many business models there is a lot of focus on supplying the head where the product or service has the potential for highest profit. The long tail buyers for a small niche product could cost more to satisfy with fewer sales.

COVID 19

But, everything has changed! Covid19 has had a massive impact on everyone.

There are always some positives. More people than ever are going online to explore. More people are looking for smaller and more specific interesting topics. More people are providing the things that are interesting. The potential of thriving while supplying the ‘long tail’ has expanded.

And the ‘Long Tail’ opportunity is super important for artists and art lovers.

THE ART WORLD

The previous art-market was dominated by a few big players. It required substantial investment, and needed quantities of sales, but provided a limited choice to the long tail.

This was especially relevant for prints. The big publishing companies used to produce large volumes of a limited range of prints. They planned well ahead and printed and stored their future stock in vast warehouses. Their marketing strategy used a simple sales sequence. From publisher via trade show to retailers, then retailers to buyers via the high street. The final customers had a limited choice and paid a high price.

The publishers had such dominance in the fine-art print business that they could, and would, contract and promote an elite stable of artists.

ALL CHANGE

The art world is no longer controlled by the big players.

The wonderful thing about the Internet is that it makes drastic change quite possible. These-days self-publishing artists can do so much more. They can print-on-demand, and reduce storage costs, create highest quality art-work, and offer very small specific niche product directly to a worldwide audience, in a very short time. Artists can now find unknown numbers of potential collectors, all at affordable cost.

The Covid19 pandemic has resulted in many more potential collectors exploring the Internet. So the ‘quite possible’ becomes ‘possible’.

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Who Am I?

Colin Ruffell FRSA. 

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