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Anticipating the Future: Surviving Seismic Shift and Healthcare Reformation

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Man holding a briefcase taking a leap across two cliffsI had to look up the provenance for: “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” The attribution—so says GoodReads.com—is Allen Saunders, American writer, journalist and cartoonist…from 1957.

And, while the reformation of healthcare continues at a lightening pace, it’s a timely planning reminder for medical marketing to consider how things are changing. Specifically, you need to create a business and marketing plan that takes into account both national trends and the players in your marketplace.

Here’s a real-world reminder that, like healthcare, the nation’s economy continues to shift seismically. You probably saw one of many news reports when the venerable Chicago Sun-Times dismissed its staff of two-dozen photographers…and began iPhone photo training for reporters.

It was a painful story of change on many fronts. For one, it was a reminder that the recession was not just about the housing market crash. As many businesses struggle to survive, they pull back on expenses. And in this example, technology was helping make many jobs and industries obsolete. And, looking deeper, the shift appears to be supporting their online presence, with more video and less print.

For the Chicago Sun-Times, being venerable is no insulation to how the Internet has relentlessly been eroding the ink-on-paper newspaper biz. (An inevitable transformation that the industry ignored or denied until it was well underway.)

When I was an undergrad at Ohio State, I happened to work at a newspaper. At the time, I wrote an extra credit paper for my Marketing 101 professor on the eventual demise of newspapers. It was predictable even many years ago.

For marketing planners, anticipating the future isn’t easy, in fact, you might be wrong about some things. But nevertheless, change is certain, and making plans without looking ahead will be fatal to some. And even if your predictions aren’t 100 percent accurate, looking over the immediate horizon will put you among the few survivors...and ahead of the competition.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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