Watch out for the analog people

Hi world. Was thinking about an attention grabbing title for my first post on this blog and this seemed like a pretty good one to capture the essence of what i wanted to say.

To give some context to this title, the term “analog people” is a reference that we have used at work, for troops within the sales and marketing industry as a whole, that refuse to get used to the fact that the industry has evolved beyond the 30 sec TVC and the print ad. I work in sales and marketing myself and a lot of the topics i will be writing about, will focus on digital marketing in particular and the interesting scenarios that technology disruptions cause within the work environment.

However, this title also has a deeper meaning and refers to a stereotypical person that is a victim of their own previous success and resists change from the norm. In today’s business environment, these challenges emerge from the inevitable disruptions within the industry.

We all know that the web has been transforming the way that people consume, share, organize and search for data. What has also become evident, is that the sheer novelty of this channel has generated a “generation mind gap” between the staff inside any company. Nokia’s Anssi Vanjoki has often made references to Internet Immigrants (people who had to “learn” the internet) and Internet Natives (people who have grown up with it always being around) within his speeches. This gap between two generations is one that is having a larger impact on corporations than many would have originally thought.

With the emergence of the internet (both fixed and mobile) as the new mass medium, analog channel expertise has become less relevant and the digital channel understanding is often in the heads of young professionals that have not had the 15 years of experience to climb up the corporate ladder. What this causes, is a disruption to the status quo in which smart companies embrace change and empower people inside the company to become change agents, while ignorant ones stick to their old ways and resist change.

This is not a new phenomena. My grandfather used to work in a Finnish saw mill during the early part of this century. At this time, the first wave of punch card technology was hitting the industry and he was pushing to have this technology reviewed by the board of directors as an alternative and much more effective solution for managing the overall demand supply network. The topic was eventually covered by the board and the conclusions were to keep investigating this emerging technology, but no larger investments would be made until the chairman has retired (and will not have to deal with the hassle) … Go figure 🙂

We too often tend to become slaves to our old habits and refuse to change as times change. I work at Nokia, where the speed of change is one that seems to give heart attacks. Combining the fastest paced consumer electronics industry with the overall service industry on the internet, means that there’s no time to keep an ego and think that you know everything. That’s also what i love about Web 2.0. People connecting with other people and sharing, learning and achieving together. Nobody can claim to be the ultimate guru in this field, but we’re all allowed to participate and learn. That’s why i wanted to start this blog. To participate and share some humble thoughts that have come to mind across this journey.

2 thoughts on “Watch out for the analog people

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