Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Three Important Articles: Luddites, Oil, and Trade

Advertising Age had an interesting article about the technology averse. This article is clear demonstration of the fragmentation effects of technology on media (and further undermining of the convergence myth). The volume of alternatives people have and the fact that people have preferences for different sets of benefits (remember, in marketing, a product is conceptual, and is defined as "a bundle of benefits"), and that technologies do not move in lockstep with each other, results is significant portions of a marketplace that do not adopt, or only partially adopt technologies. Some of this is price related (microwave ovens is a good example, from $100,000 in 1950 to less than $100 today), and socially related (more women working created demand for convenience offerings, such as family plan cell phones, household gadgets, like microwaves, and time-shifting capabilities like vcr's, fast food and near-fast dining, and personal services that allow near-24/7 access, as the nature of family life changed).

So the chances of being a luddite (or a conscientious objector to technology) is greater than ever-- because there are more technologies to choose from than ever. But here's the importance of this article and concept: the media mix lives. In that sense this is not an important article at all-- consumer attention has been diverted greatly, and marketers have already shifted and reallocated dollars. what someone could come away with from this article is that there may be people who never use new technology, so therefore creating a "bottom" or "foundation" to the fall that traditional media (or the arrogant phrase "legacy media") have. The article is at http://adage.com/news.cms?newsId=44459

An explanation about how oil prices have not translated into rampant inflation was found in The Wall Street Journal today. Here' s the link, subscription required http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111024275947372968,00.html?mod=mostpop . If you really want to see it and don't have a subscription, send me an e-mail and I can forward it. It discusses how much more efficient energy use has become, and how other productivity initiatives have cushioned the blow. The article also includes a reminder that to reach the highest oil price we have seen in the U.S. in 1980, today's price would have to reach $90. While oil prices will be relatively high in the short term, it's not likely to get that high unless there is an incredibly catastrophic global event. Economist Larry Kudlow had an interesting post on his blog about this http://www.blogger.com/email-post.g?blogID=8718945&postID=111031125677814383

McKinsey had an excellent article on trade and jobs, which can be accessed at http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/article_page.aspx?ar=1559&L2=19&L3=67&srid=27&gp=0

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