business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Excellent column this morning from David Carr in the New York Times, which reflects on the fact that this week, the major television networks will conduct an annual event known as the "upfronts," when they unveil the fall schedule to advertisers and the media; it traditionally has been when they have begun the process of selling advertising, and the public starts to get a sense of what the winers and losers might be.

Carr's point, however, is that this traditional process gets less relevant with every passing year, because the whole notion of a TV schedule is antiquated and rather quaint. Fewer people each year actually watch TV shows when they actually are on - between on-demand, Hulu, iTunes and a variety of other sources, people now watch programs when they want to watch them. Increasingly, they also watch programs on devices other than traditional television sets.

In part, this is simply because technology enables these shifts. But it also because people's lives have changed, and there is increasing competition for people's time and attention.

But these trends need to be calculated into how every marketer thinks about business and customers. The same impulse that allows a viewer to watch an episode of "Game of Thrones" on an iPad while waiting in an airport terminal will come into play when they decide to shop ... even for groceries. The momentum is all moving in the same direction, and marketers - whether at retail or on the supplier side - must move with it, not against it.

To do otherwise is to risk irrelevance and, eventually, obsolescence.
KC's View: