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Embracing Change is Dumb Because Change is Always Happening

Since I don&

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: August 27, 2008

Since I don't have a column on Monday because of the Labor Day Holiday, I thought I'd hit on one of my favorite topics, that of “change.” I wish I was one of those high five-figure speakers who can get away with telling businesspeople to “embrace change” like it's something new. It's hogwash. Businesspeople live with change constantly; every single part of their day has something to do with change. If you don't deal with or create change, you're out of business. Sales is a great example. We wouldn't have salespeople if we didn't have a need to send emissaries out to convince people to change.

Here's some interesting things just in the past couple of days that are good warnings of changes to come. Be aware of them. Plan a response. Get ready.

Amazon's successful Kindle e-book reader will soon have a larger, textbook-size version. Publishers have always hated the used textbook market. I'm sure they'll somehow limit the e-book sales, perhaps even start licensing textbooks.

The Los Angeles Times has a report of how cellphones will be used for everyday electronic transactions.

Intel really impressed this writer with some of the things that are “cooking” in their labs. How about “broadcast power,” that is, the ability to send power through the air to another device without wires? He was not impressed with what is coming out of Apple, however.

I found two superb articles about the current and future state of newspapers. The first one is here and the second is here. They are extremely well done, and I heartily recommend them. Use them as a way of understanding the larger story of print media, new media, and communications.

The same source has a story about the new online version of The Sporting News. It's free, is not a website, and is designed for computer viewing. It's not like Zinio's strange combination of a PDF of a magazine with embedded web links. I'm very impressed with the samples and current editions I saw.

Advertising Age reports that traditional and new media are all funding studies and releasing new data about their effectiveness. Among the reasons for the new interest in ROI, other than the concern about economic conditions and fewer dollars available for media, has been the rise of CEOs in consumer package goods companies who came from financial backgrounds, such as the CFO position, and not marketing.

The Postal Service is using an online video campaign to attract younger customers. Just because you use the media preferred by your target market does not mean that your message is right for them. The medium is not the message.

Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.



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