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The More Things Change

January 16th, 2007 by Bob Bly

Of 1,472 managers surveyed by the American Management Association, 70% said their organizations experienced disruptive change within the last year.

And more than 80% said that the pace of change is speeding up all over the world.

That’s especially true in marketing.

Every time I look around, there’s some new-fangled thing I have to learn to stay current:

Podcasting … blogging … Google Adwords … SEO copywriting … My Space … You Tube … you name it.

Of the new marketing technologies out there, which do you think is the most important … and why?

And does all this change make you rub your hands with glee — or throw them up in despair?


This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 at 4:15 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

58 responses about “The More Things Change”

  1. Chris Lake said:

    I think e-mail is still the most important new technology because it is a direct link between marketer and consumer. In my experience, everyone understands what e-mail is and how it can be used just like regular postal mail. People will accept a certain amount of direct marketing so long as it appears legitimate–and for those who can build a good, clean opt-in list like you, Bob, that “clear to send” message is like gold.

    In a close second comes Web sites. I would rate them number one except that e-mail goes direct to readers’ desktops and Web sites have to draw a click out of the visitor.

    I don’t jump on the new technology bandwagon too quickly. I’d rather be in the second wave after the technology has matured a bit. However, I’ll try just about anything if a client’s paying for it. 😉


  2. Frank Catalano said:

    I think there is no one most-important marketing technology. These are all forms of communication that have precedents, and the key is to focus on the underlying form of communication and optimize for it. These new approaches are simply new expressions or channels for existing communication methods.

    Blogs are written communication. YouTube is video delivery (video on demand). Podcasting is audio delivery (or radio on demand, if you will).

    I think those who understand the underlying communication method and adapt what works to the new mechanism (not medium; these are well-known media types) can rub their hands in glee. Those who get baffled and blinded by the technological exterior will likely just throw up their hands.

  3. Mordechai (Morty) Schiller said:

    Bob–I miss my old typewriter…. But I couldn’t comment on your blog with it.

    I think the main thing is to find what’s useful to you in the technology… and leave the rest. Decide what you need to do. Then get the best tool to do it with. And even if you get a Swiss Army Knife… nobody says you have to use every blade and tool in it!

    That’s all they are… tools. They are supposed to work for you. Not you for them.

  4. aidgail said:

    They are all tools with their specialities. One thing to note though. The sooner you adapt to new trends the better off you are. For example, Youtupe, gooogle movie seems the future.


  5. Sean Woodruff said:

    There may be multiple vehicles to deliver communication but the piece of your headline you left out, “the more they stay the same,” is more true than all the surface “change” that people like to talk about.

    People are still people. People have had the same basic desires for centuries. It is hard wired into our brains.

    The trick, or masterful skill, is to weave the sameness into the multiple delivery vehicles so that you can get attention. All of these delivery vehicles are really just attention vehicles.

  6. SpongeBob Fan said:

    Couldn’t put it better than Morty did.

    And, regarding new trends, I don’t mind waiting a bit to see which ones pan out. Letting the market sift and perfect saves me time and “early adopter” hassles.

  7. Brent Goodman said:

    I think writing with a mind for search engines is the most important change for copywriters to adapt too. Regardless of the internet medium – emails, blog posts, articles,landing pages – whatever we write and publish online is going to eventually get indexed by search engines. And the better you’ve optimized that piece with specific indexing keywords, the more qualified prospects that will find your product or service month after month after month.

  8. Jonathan Kantor said:

    What has changed is that the level of competition is extremely higher today than I ever remember it to be only twenty years ago.

    As a result, you have to adopt new tools to remain competitive. To “blow it all off” means that it will be harder and more expensive to grow your business in the future.

    Of new technologies you listed, I think blogs have become an essential medium that is a new requirement for success. Not only do they represent a ‘one to many’ form of communication, but they also allow a business to communicate with a targeted niche of similar customers. The cost of operating a blog is extremely lower than conventional mediums such as newspaper or radio that used to do the same years ago.

    The downturn in mainstream newspaper subscriptions and lower viewership of TV news that has been caused by blogs is only one example of the power of the medium and the shape of things to come.

  9. Frank Catalano said:

    It is, I’m afraid, incorrect to say blogs are to blame for the drop in TV viewing and newspaper subscriptions. The Internet and the Web to blame (in part, along with competition for available time from video game systems and the like), yes. Blogs specifically, no.

    As an aside, a blog is not a medium. The Web is the medium. Blogging is a publishing mechanism to update Web sites with time-sensitive information from any Web browser. Like all new mechanisms, the bright and shiny aspects of it will eventually wear off and blogs will be just an assumed part of Web sites.

  10. Dianna Huff said:

    I get excited by new technologies . . . but I don’t think they are necessarily wonderful.

    David Oglivy said, “Every copywriter should start his career by spending two years in direct response.”

    I would amend that to say, all marketers (and perhaps Web designers, too) should spend two years in direct response.

    Websites are a great marketing tool for B2B, but if a company’s site lacks relevant content that moves prospects along the sales cycle and ultimately results in sales, then the site is a pretty poor marketing tool. Ditto for things like YouTube, blogging, podcasting, etc.

  11. Mordechai (Morty) Schiller said:

    Thanks, SpongeBob! I’m actually a late adopter. I just moved to XP from Windows 98! And that only because I ran out of memory and room on my old clunker! But I learn to use what I need. And out of necessity I’ve learned to get under the hood and tweak my system.

  12. Alexey Novikov said:

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