Monday, October 23, 2006


Putting Consumers in Charge Messes Things Up; Video Clogs; New Media Jobs in Great Demand; Small Customers; and more...

The idea that the consumer of information is in charge of the communications process is difficult to comprehend for many. This article explains how it has affected the network TV business, as old rules of thumb no longer apply, and no one knows how long the new rules of thumb will apply.

Streaming and downloaded video clogging up servers! These problems never last long... because technology never moves in lockstep across all sectors, you get these kinds of imbalances... which entrepreneurial executives detect as opportunities...

Business Week reports on some of the new video technologies that are on their way

WSJ reports how salaries for new media jobs are rising significantly.
Soaring demand for online advertising is creating an all-out battle on Madison Avenue for people who can create or sell interactive ads. A shortage of advertising talent with digital-media experience is sending salaries soaring -- up as much as 60% in the past year...The lack of digital talent could slow the growth of online-ad spending...marketers across industries are looking to spend 15% to 20% of their budgets on digital media, but right now are spending less than 5% of their budgets in the space..."There is more demand for expertise than there is expertise." Part of the problem, Yahoo's Ms. Millard, is that skills required in the online- and old-media worlds are so different that few people can easily "toggle back and forth." Creative directors at an interactive ad agency need to understand how to craft banner ads, email promotions and video spots that don't look like traditional TV commercials. Media buyers need to know all the newly popular Web sites as well as understand search functions and other new digital venues -- a different role to buying space in newspapers or time on TV.

WSJ article about how libraries are changing
"What is the role of the physical library when so much of what students use on a day-to-day basis is available on their laptops or iPods at home?"

Article about some printers in the Wichita, Kansas area
"I think I've seen more change in the last 10 years than my father saw in 30," he said. "We were just beginning cold type back in 1984. We had our first typesetter. I'm now on my 15th."..."A lot of the business I used to do just isn't there anymore," Wooten said. "We used to do a lot of pre-printed forms for people to fill out. Now the form is on the computer screen. We used to do 30 forms for Intrust Bank. Today we do three."...But technology has also made it easier to generate documents and opened doors for designers -- and would-be designers, printers say...Home printing and self-printing have also cost commercial printers some clients. "We've lost some business to laser and office printing, but overall the industry is still growing," said Stuart Lungwitz, co-owner of The Print Source, a company that has roots 60 years deep in the Wichita economy...."There are a lot of things that can't be done electronically," he said. "You still need a commercial printer to do metallic colors, foil stamping or fluorescent colors."

Founder of Transcontinental talks about China
Click here (link is so long it messes up the layout)
"Printed products are the country's primary method of disseminating information and the government is not ready to transfer control to a private corporation, and even less so to a foreign one," Marcoux said. Foreign companies are only allowed to hold a minority position in these companies, he noted. Marcoux also said Chinese competition has squeezed the Montreal printer's markets, but the company has come up with effective strategies to compete. He estimated that 75 per cent of Transcontinental's income comes from areas where competition from China is not a factor. He said the composition and publishing of circulars and newspapers offer a sound base for the company's growth. In book publishing, the firm also invested $45 million to equip two Quebec factories with fast, automated presses.

GM spending more online, and is encouraging local dealers to do the same.
...[GM] plans to allocate more of its national ad budget to the Web even as the company faces widespread spending cuts and heavy revenue losses, according to Merrill Lynch... "more of GM’s marketing budget will go online despite an already 10-15 percent share of the national ad budget [being spent on the Web]"... "The company is also nudging its local dealers to spend more online."...On the local level, currently just 9 percent of GM's media dollars are allocated to digital properties.

I was having a conversation with someone and in passing they mentioned that they had a client who wasn't interested in pursuing someone because they were "too small." I immediately thought of YouTube. This is the company that Google just bought for $1.65 billion.... (yes, billion... a thousand millions) and they had only 67 employees and were only in business for 19 MONTHS.
Two things: first, Peter Drucker's famous "feed tomorrow, starve yesterday" is very important in sales. Sales people, however, live in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world that penalizes long sales cycles and nurturing of small businesses. Second, this is why we advertise. The over-emphasis of immediate returns and ROI on communications spending means that no one... and I mean no one... worries about people who are not customers yet, but will be decision-makers in the future. This is why we create brands. This is why we work with schools. But many companies have stopped, and instead focus on "events" or sales situations where there are only "qualified buyers" today. They're ruining their business tomorrow, in the process, and will always be selling. Drucker again: the purpose of marketing is to make selling unnecessary. These managers will always be selling, and one day they'll wonder why a competitor seems to "inherit" their business or come out of nowhere.

That Kodak video? YouTube vistors are now greeted with this:

Joe - even Senator Ted Stevens knows the internet is a series of tubes that are getting clogged.

The kodak video was probably removed do to copyrights maybe instead of speculating you should actually try and find out about it. The video went over well at their Graph Expo party, which was probably the only place they ever meant to show it.
The video may have been shown other places internally and possibly to some analysts, but I am not sure, and I can't say it matters. It created a buzz that certainly rattled some viewers. I can't imagine any copyrights involved as I don't remember any music on it that would have required rights negotiation; the entire video was created under contract for Kodak, and it was posted by Kodak on YouTube so others could see it. So that is not likely the issue at all. In a single showing, I can understand it as being funny. And then it sinks in... laying off workers is not a "big fat makeready" and that the entire video was inappropriate for a company that desires to be taken seriously and also desires to be great once again. Having an old man pointing to his "cojones" is hilarious at the time, but only pushes those goals further away. Even if it was just that one showing, the memory lingers otherwise people would still not be talking about it. I know I certainly look at Kodak and its execs in a different light because of it. It was a great disappointment. They certainly could do better than this.
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