The Increasing Rate of Change


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Jeff Jarvis over at the Buzz Machine blog writes about newspapers needing to adopt to the huge changes taking place in the industry. Professional journalists and photographers have to compete for news scoops with amateur bloggers and almost anyone with a mobile phone and a Flickr account. The result is a phase change in how news is delivered and the bankruptcy of any number of traditional newspapers. The same applies to many other industries, not least the marketing industry.

Perhaps not suprisingly, the need to embrace change – particularly the change that drives innovation, which in turn drives growth – comes around with every business boom. (People are too busy panicking and fighting fires during a bust to worry about change.)

I have been a consultant for over 20 years now and have seen several boom-bust cycles. Although we have different and better technology now, the imperative to change to benefit from it is not all that new. And we are now in at the start of a business boom, let’s not forget that.

But what is different compared to only 10 years ago is the speed with which things change. There is plenty of evidence that the rate of change is increasing; whether that is automobile lifecycles, new product introductions, mobile telephone calling plans, you name it, the rate of change is increasing.

That we have to change should be no suprise, but the rate at which we have to change perhaps is.

What do you think? is the rate of change increasing in your industry? Or has life always been so hectic?

Post a comment and get the conversation going.

Tip of the hat to James Cherkoff over at the Modern Marketing blog.

Graham Hill

Graham Hill (Dr G)
Business Troubleshooter | Questioning | Thoughtful | Industrious | Opinions my own | Connect with me on LinkedIn


  1. Cathy

    Thank you for your comment.

    Of course, I agree with you. It goes without saying – which is reason to say it every now and again – that we should communicate with customers only when we have something useful to say and only in the ways they prefer to be communicated with. (Please, somebody tell Marketing!)

    As research by McKinsey (see Exhibit 3) has shown, not only do different customers prefer different channels, but the same customers also prefer different channels for different contacts. And these things change over time as newer channels gradually gain acceptance.

    When I think how I communicate and how it has changed over the past 10 years, one thing is for sure. The rate of change of communications channel is definately increasing for me!

    Graham Hill

  2. Graham, I always find your comments both provocative – ie – they create a reaction, and insightful.

    In the world of CRM, however, we are all customers/clients of many different businesses. And we all have our different preferences in how we wish to be commuicated with.

    Personally, I prefer email, as I always have a record of what someone has said. However, one of my clients provides walking aids to people nationally in Australia – their clients don’t want – or mostly would not know – about emails. So they will do all of their correspondence by letter.

    My daughter on the other hand – loves text messages on her mobile phone. And she loves even more, her MySpace site.

    I am in the business of delivering CRM solutions – and I need to be on top of what is happening – but surely that is the same with any business?

    Yes, technology is changing, but the basic rules of CRM still apply – communicate with your customer in the way in which they want to be communicated. And woe betide those companies who ignore the different channels.

    Cathy Allington
    Grow Your Own Business


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