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The Age of Enlightenment? —DeWese

November 2010

OK students. Settle down. This is an important and historic lecture, so I need to concentrate. 

This column starts off the 26th year of authoring them. It’s also my first column written on a new desktop PC.

I forgot that last month was my 25th anniversary writing this column. My first column was published in November 1984. I wrote it on an Apple IIc personal computer. Back then, I faxed the manuscript to my editor and she had someone retype the copy. Shortly thereafter, the chief editor left for another job and was replaced by Mark Michelson. He has been my editor ever since. 

Those were the digital Dark Ages. It’s no wonder we now have so much unemployment. We no longer need people to re-enter all those key strokes. We thought 1984 was the Age of Enlightenment.

I’m not enlightened. I wasn’t paying attention when I bought this new computer. I was excited by the promise of more memory and more speed.

When I unpacked the computer in my office, there was no CPU. The salesman must have forgotten to put it in my trunk. I rushed back to the store madder’n hell. I stormed into the store to complain that the salesman forgot the box containing the CPU. 

About six people were within earshot when I was informed that all the stuff formerly in the CPU is now contained behind the touchscreen, and that the various ports and drives are on the side of the screen. The people at the store are still laughing at the old man who is touchscreen-illiterate.

Yesterday’s Message

I don’t think I was illiterate when I wrote about marketing and a salesperson’s responsibility. I wrote that print salespeople had to be their own marketing departments because their companies were not providing marketing services. My premise was that selling is a function of marketing. I also asserted that for selling to function effectively, it should work in harmony with a great marketing program. 

Back then very few printing companies had a marketing program, so I was suggesting that the salesperson had to perform all of the other functions for marketing: planning, market research, public relations, sales promotion, publicity, advertising, pricing, etc.

When orchestrated correctly, all of these marketing activities make selling easy, or at least, easier. Not much has changed. Most printing companies still have no marketing programs. Many people in our industry still believe that selling and marketing are synonymous.

 

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