Think Ahead While Cutting Back: Marketing Priorities in a Recession : MarketingProfs

via Think Ahead While Cutting Back: Marketing Priorities in a Recession : MarketingProfs Articles.

The Dour Marketer just caught a tweet from MarketingProfs’ Ann Handley pointing to this free piece by some smart people at MarketingNPV (disclosure, which has quoted me in a white paper penned by former colleague Rob O’Regan on marketing ROI in the past).

This is really good, n0-nonsense advice on how to cut when the mandate comes down from on high, and what not to cut during our current Depressionary pothole. There’s been a lot of this advice slung around recently, with rainbows-and-unicorns advice about “don’t stop the authentic conversation,” this sounds more like the real deal:

First, get your head out of the emotional sand. You’ve lost the battle over the power of Marketing to drive the business in the near term. Don’t let disappointment cloud your future. Suck it up, look ahead, and don’t take it personally.

Second, take a step back and define the objectives for making smart cuts:

  • Achieve the target reductions the CEO is asking for (most people stop right here).
  • Support the company strategy for competing successfully.
  • Conduct a thorough and unbiased analysis of all options.
  • Preserve your credibility. Live to fight again another day.”

Are e-books hitting the tipping point?

Take the recent announcement of the Kindle 2 by Amazon, last holiday’s shortages of the first generation device following Oprah’s endorsement; mix in Google’s immense effort to digitize the world’s library of copyright-expired books; throw in a ton of OEM interest in eInk and other e-reader screen technologies; blend in a bad economy and the simple math that e-books are half the price of their tree-killing, backpack straining ancestors; add a little something called the iPhone and an Amazon app that makes Kindle format books readable on that hip little device; bless with a patent infringement lawsuit by Discovery Channel over some copy projection system in the Kindle; now see Sony do a deal with Google to make half a million free books available to owners of Sony’s stylish reader ….

I’m not going to write the paper book’s obituary, but it feels like, as one writer put it yesterday, e-readers/e-books/whatever-you-call-em are poised to become the iPod of the literary world very soon.

It feels like a classic format/standards war is about to break out. Sony is the master of dumb moves when it comes to copy protection and file formats. Anyone who bought one of their post-Walkman music players knows they had an approach to DRM that was right out from behind the Iron Curtain – what one would expect from a content company that also makes devices. Amazon, who gets credit in music for pushing DRM-free tunes before Apple did the same, is not a veteran of the format wars. You want someone who has gone to the mat at Microsoft, Adobe, etc. when you arrive at a file-format fight. Google knows formats and open systems better than anybody, so my perfect world would be this:

  1. The Kindle file format extends to all new devices with no royalties back to Amazon.
  2. Sony ends the division and signs onto the Kindle format as well.
  3. Google makes its content device-agnostic (which it should given its waltz with the publishers)
  4. Amazon discounts the heck out of the Kindle on a spring promo and gets it down to $100 – I know lots of non-techie people who are NOT early adopters who want a Kindle bad but have no way to justify $350 in this market. Indeed, coupon zealots like me and let us throw the discounts to the people we want to share books with.