And another thing...

Brad Brenner

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Portland marketing like pay phonesI recently sat down with the CEO of a medical company that was concerned about the dramatic changes taking place in his industry. It quickly became clear that time was quickly passing his company by. It wasn’t that his services are no longer needed – they are. But they are being done differently, called something different, referred to with different terminology, and address different customer needs. In Short – his company needs an overhaul…fast.

In marketing, we call it (re)branding. Everything from the company logo to its positioning and key messages need revision to reflect a changing marketplace..

Sounds dramatic (it is) and rare (it’s not). In fact, we’re finding a growing number of companies coming to us for similar help. They’ve never used a marketing firm before but they’ve quickly found themselves out of step with the rest of the industry. Most worrisome – the phones aren’t ringing with new business calls like they used to.

And that brings me to the real crux of this post.

I was having a beer with a couple of colleagues over at Bridgeport and we began listing some of the things that have become – or will certainly soon become — obsolete. I thought I would share that list with you here. I’ve put down nearly 20 items. I’ll bet there are many many more that are missing. Can you think of any additions?

Obsolete…or soon to be

  • Phone books
  • Libraries
  • Postal service
  • Paper coupons
  • Maps (like you’d get at the gas station)
  • 1-800 numbers
  • CD’s, DVDs, (I won’t even bother listing records, cassettes and VHS)
  • Terrestrial radio
  • Wrist watches
  • Pen pals (email pals?)
  • Typewriters
  • Phone cords
  • Encyclopedia sets
  • Using area codes to figure out where someone is calling from
  • Books (Amazon now sells more e-books than hardcopy books)
  • Cursive handwriting
  • Pocket money
  • Card catalogs – for that matter, the Dewey Decimal System
  • Privacy
  • Screaming to someone upstairs, “hang up – I’m on the phone.”

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More Stories By Brad Brenner

Brad Lee Brenner is a master blogger, radio host and founder of Brenner Associates, a public relations / communications firm headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Over the past thirty years, Brad has written hundreds of articles that have been published in trade journals, newspapers and online news sources. His focus of expertise includes technology, the medical industry and communications for the digital age.