Saturday, September 13, 2008

Draining the Pond . . . and Print

For the longest time, printers have been swimming in the protected pond of advertising. For most of our years, the GDP went up, print sales went up. The GDP went down, print sales went down. As Dr. Joe Webb pointed out in 2007, not true anymore. And just this week, he's clarified how this is playing out at

The full article is subscriber only, but here's one of good parts:
but there are still owners, executives, and managers who still insist in their belief that print demand follows GDP. This means that they constantly misdiagnose what is really happening, attributing changes in demand to economic factors and not to other influences. These other influences have been powerful, to say the least. If our industry followed GDP growth for the last 15 years, it would be about $175 billion in size; this year we may be relieved to be $97 billion.
Meanwhile, many printers retreated to being an output service of the advertising industry. Now the buzz is about being "marketing partners" for advertising.

I've been on a soapbox for a while, saying the real growth market is in education, health and government EHG. The advertising pond is getting lower and lower. It's not the printer's fault. It's not Print's fault. It's just hard to be a big fish in a small and getting smaller pond.

Here's a post I found today.
A beautiful experience: When you decommodify, advertising becomes irrelevant.: "Here's what Stephen Berkov, the executive director of client strategy for (and former innovation director for Audi) has to say about advertising and ad agencies:

There needs to be less focus on the advertising and more on the relevance of the products and services themselves. When that happens, the marketing takes care of itself. So, I see a smaller role for advertising and therefore ad agencies in the years ahead.

Kind of reminds me of the famous quote by the founder of the Geek Squad:

Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable"

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