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Swan Dives, CDs And Marketing

Hamilton Wallace
Dec 5, 2007
During the 90s music companies feasted on profits generated from CD sales. Now, with music more popular than ever, music companies are crying the blues. Sales and profits are down.

What happened?

We all know what happened: digital music downloads.

But why did it happen--the crying the blues part? Music companies desperately hung on to CDs while digital downloads did to the CD what CDs did to the cassette tape.

Those of you old enough to know music during the pre-CD era, when man shared the earth with such things as cassette tapes, you know why CDs were such a hit. CDs were a quantum leap in flexibility and convenience: skip around your album to avoid crappy songs or replay your favorites; 5-CD players; durability; heck, you could even create CDs with just your favorite songs. Sales of CDs quickly eclipsed music sold on all other formats. Then, in the next five years, CD sales doubled. Big numbers! Happy music company executives.

While everybody was congratulating themselves music companies forgot why the CD became so popular, so they couldn't recognize and adopt the next quantum leap in flexibility and convenience.

My point isn't to wag my finger at big music companies; it's to wag my finger at me and you. We all have products or ways we do things that have been successful for us, and we heavily rely on them, don't we? Those same things are too easy to hang on to too long.

The goal of this artile is to:

* Encourage you to focus not on the products or ways you do things themselves, but on why they've been successful.

* So you can move to the next product or way of doing something that shares the attributes that made your current product or way you do things successful.

Makes sense? Of course. But it's hard to actually do--to adopt something new--especially early. Music companies, as a example, are finally starting to embrace digital downloading in a serious way. But not until Apple took 22% of ALL music sales. It was easy to scoff at selling one song at a time via iTunes when it was new. Honestly, how did you react when you first heard about the idea? And all the sudden iTunes is the new 400 pound gorilla.

What new way of doing things, product or service does this mean for you? I don't know, but, you do. That's right, you know. It's that thing that's been rolling around in your head. That thing you've been hearing about. That thing that sounded ridiculous at first, but isn't so ridiculous the more you hear about it. Yeah, that thing.

Now, you don't have to do a swan dive into the next new thing. But put your toe in. Start to experiment. Starting today. Because it won't be too long until you'll have to do a swan dive just to keep up.

Not too good at swan dives? Neither am I. So, let's get started. . .and we can help!
About the Author
Hamilton Wallace is a small business marketing consultant in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an expert in direct response marketing, including PPC, direct mail, message and story, and in creating simple, effective marketing solutions for small businesses. http://www.SmallBusinessMarketingConsultant.com
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