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The Value of Change

Marketing people can be divided into two categories: those who resist change and those who welcome change. Guerrillas are in the second category. They not only welcome change, but they also are ready for change and respond to change.

They realize that change is inevitable and that if they resist change, they are falling behind. Change has never taken place as rapidly as it is right now, and that pace will pick up as we move into the new millennium. Guerrillas have learned that Peter Drucker was right on target when he said the only two valid business purposes are to create customers and to innovate. They recognize that if they can innovate and adapt, they can prosper.

They know that the best changes must come from themselves. A lone inventor developed the variable-speed windshield wipers now used on all cars. When a major car manufacturer was asked why they hadn’t developed it, they responded simply that their customers had never asked for it. That’s the attitude in most businesses. But it’s not a hallmark of guerrilla businesses. They know that change is their responsibility.

Although they know in their hearts the value of commitment to a plan, they also realize that flexibility is more crucial now than ever before. Rather than being thrown off balance by the future, they’re keenly aware of what the future holds for them. This awareness comes from their clear view of the present.

From Louis Patler’s enlightening new book, "Don’t Compete -- Tilt the Field," we get that clear view of the present to help you see into the future. Prepare to be astonished by what you see:

On average, around the world, an innovation in digital technology is copyrighted every three seconds. That’s no misprint; that’s a fact.

In the U.S. in l960, there were approximately 5,000 people over 100 years old. In l996, there were 1,000,000. By 2010, that number will rise to over 5,000,000. In the western hemisphere, a child born in 2000 can expect to live well into the twenty-second century.

As movie theaters gained popularity with the advent of TV, libraries are gaining popularity in tandem with the Internet. High tech seems to generate a commensurate need for high touch.

World export of services and intellectual property in many countries now equals the export value of electronics and automobiles combined. In the U.S., intellectual property is now our biggest export.

More than half of many companies’ revenues, from technology to food service to banking, comes from products and services that didn’t exist two years ago.

1996 was the first year that PC sales outpaced the sales of TV sets. In many nations, there was more email than snail mail.

By 2002, there was a 5000 percent increase in the number of telecommuters worldwide.

Computer power today is 8,000 times less expensive than in l966. The same progress in the auto industry would mean you could get a BMW for $2 and it would travel 600 miles on a thimble of gasoline.

In some parts of the world, online subscriptions are growing at the rate of 20 percent per month.

Even though there’s been a huge technology explosion, the average employee of a multi-national corporation in l997 worked 20 percent more hours and slept 20 percent fewer hours than in l986.

In l984, the average product development cycle was three years. In l997, it was six months. And it’s getting shorter each year.

On average, multi-national corporations listed on the New York and Tokyo stock exchanges lose half their customers within five years, half their employees every four years, and half their investors in less than one year.
These companies undergo dramatic changes from top to bottom.

Your job as a guerrilla is to know the difference between a change and an improvement and to gear your company to embrace improvements, adapt to the future, and innovate rather than stagnate. I hope the changes I’ve just listed motivate you to review your marketing, your target audience, your marketing weapons and your marketing mindset.

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By Jay Conrad Levinson

About the Author: Jay Conrad Levinson

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Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, "Guerrilla Marketing," plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide.
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