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At the time I chose this reading for my extra credit reading, I was reading the excerpt from Bagdikian’s Media Monopoly.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was a good link to the idea of social control but with a different spin.  In this Chapter, A Social History of American Technology, Cowen speaks about the various efforts to try to control electronic communications, only to have it continue to manifest itself so that no one individual, company or component dominates for very long (although it’s made a lot of people very rich!). She cites 3 reasons for this: (more…)

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My first impression as I started reading this article was “whoa Ben – tell us how you really feel”!  The excerpt from his book, The Media Monopoly (published 1997), gives us Bagdikian’s warnings of the dangers posed by monopolistic control of newspapers, television, movies, magazines,  radio and books by a few major corporations.  I wanted to understand the media landscape today compared to his predictions in 1997, when the reading was published, as so much evolution has occurred in the world of communications.  Begdikian states in his book The Media Monopoly, that in 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S.  He predicted then that eventually this number would fall to about half a dozen companies. This was greeted with skepticism at the time. When the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. (more…)

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Questions that will shape my paper include: 

  • What technology evolutions allowed us to move from mass communications to interpersonal communications?
  • What technologies were disrupted by improvements in the way interpersonal communications evolved?
  • What were the social influences and behaviors that drove the refinement of interpersonal communications?

Definitions (for the context of my paper):

  • Mass Communicationsa message created by a person or a group of people sent through a transmitting device (a medium) to a large audience or market.
  • Interpersonal Communicationsthe process of sending and receiving relevant information between two or more people, allows for more specific tailoring of the message and more personal communication than mass communication methods
  • Advertisinga form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services, usually to drive consumer behavior.
  • Direct Marketinga sub discipline of advertising, with emphasis on measurable results (responses) from its intended audience regardless of medium.  

3 Most Important Developments: (more…)

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I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to developing the discussion leader paper and presentation.  However, I first started getting “hooked” when I read my chosen article from the Harvard Business Review entitled “Reinventing Your Business Model”. I have enjoyed deep diving into Christensens theories of disruptive innovations and have thought a lot on how to enable this.  The article provided a good framework to think about shaping a business organization to enable successful disruptive innovations. (more…)

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(This is incomplete but I am submitting in hopes of receiving partial credit and more importantly feedback):

This is a draft list of references and resources that will be used on my final paper on the evolution of direct marketing and the communications technologies, behaviors and social needs that drove the distinction between broadcast (one to many) and communications (one to one).  I will also look at the convergence of these patterns of communication and the impact they have on us as consumers: (more…)

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I have become very interested in learning how Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation theories explain the events that have, and continue to, shape innovation today.  Having a career that has spanned over the past 20 years, primarily in technology-enabled organizations, the more I read about disruptive innovation and business model theories, the more I can relate them directly to some of my own work experiences.  It’s one of those “if I knew then what I know now” things. The Harvard Business Review article, “Reinventing Your Business Model”, touches on the primary factor to enabling disruptive innovations to occur.  Without an innovation-driven ecosystem, disruptive innovation cannot occur.  (more…)

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Com 546 Book Report:  Roy Church and Andrew Godley (Editors), 2003. The Emergence of Modern Marketing.  London, Frank Cass and Co.

What does Madame Tussaud, Unilever, General Motors, the Motion Picture industry have in common? Their early stories, influences and business development practices represent the economies of marketing, which was impacted by politics, war and the leaders of their time.  Their business experiences have shaped the way we think about marketing today.  The channels may be different, but the disciplines and principles are the same.

This book is a collection of 7 essays representing a historical view of businesses and the values, processes and resources that shaped modern marketing.  Each going through the cycles of real or potential disruption.  And each demonstrating the systematic marketing practices that made or broke their success.  Themes that pepper these essays include product distribution, diversification, product development, market research, selling strategies, advertising and branding. (more…)

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I read this article with great interest, having worked for several
technology companies over the past 20 years. Disruption drives innovation, but
market leaders are not always prepared to create this disruption, which is
necessary for this type of innovation to occur. Of course companies are going
to cater to the needs and input of the customers that represent the lions share
of their business. They have to stay close to their customers to keep these
customers and grow market share within this customer base. As Bower and
Christensen point out, this often blinds companies of new technologies in
emerging markets. (more…)

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According to Wikipedia, “Direct marketing is a form of advertising that reaches its audience without using traditional formal channels of advertising, such as TV, newspapers or radio. Businesses communicate straight to the consumer with advertising techniques such as fliers, catalogue distribution, promotional letters, and street advertising”. The earliest example of direct marketing occurred around 1000 B. C. when an Egyptian landowner wrote on a piece of papyrus an advertisement for the return of a runaway slave.  In modern-day times, direct marketing really took off when Gutenberg invented the printing press. The evolution of printing techniques drove the evolution of direct marketing…at
least until today.  Today, through web-based tools and social communities, we have the ability to target audiences through their online habits both behaviorally and contextually, serving us messages that are personally addressed to us, recognizing our tastes, likes, dislikes and needs. Additionally, we, as consumers become the marketer in the way that we use these tools and communities to carry messages word of mouth. (more…)

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In the introduction of “Seeing What’s Next”, Christensen quotes the old saying “give a man a fish and  it will feed him for a day.  Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.  After spending 20+ years riding the technology wave in my career, I feel like I am learning how to fish.   Really wish I had this perspective 20 years ago.  I look back at the tumultuous ride of many of the technology companies I was attached to and now have a better understanding as to why things occurred the way they did, and the role this evolution played in shaping these businesses and further technology advancements. (more…)

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