Ueberroth: Exploit Change to Succeed

Share this content:
SAN FRANCISCO -- The biggest challenge facing marketers is change, according to Peter


Ueberroth, former baseball commissioner and current investor managing director at The


Contrarian Group Inc., Newport Beach, CA.


For example, in 1960 73 percent of children came home from school to a two-


parent home in which the mother didn't work, compared to less than 10 percent today,


Ueberroth said in his opening address to a packed house of more than 3,000 direct


marketers at the DMA's fall show last week.


"The world is changing at such a rapid rate that if you don't step back and use


change to your advantage, you won't be successful in your careers or your companies in


the year 2000 and beyond," he said.


Meanwhile, in a speech to a crowded lunch audience, America Online Inc.


president/COO Robert W. Pittman noted that AOL is building its business by focusing


on the Internet's greatest asset: convenience.


"Online is nothing more than convenience in a box," he said. "You have to look at


all the things consumers do, convert them online and save them time."


For example, a major activity that people spend time on is socializing, so it's not


surprising that 40 percent of online time is spent on e-mail or in chat rooms, Pittman said.


At the same time, finding a way to transmit voices and compete directly with


telecommunications companies doesn't seem worthwhile because it's hard to imagine how


speaking to someone over a computer could be simpler than picking up the telephone.


Similarly, shopping on the Internet is growing because shopping in stores is time


consuming and inconvenient, but watching moving pictures on computer screens doesn't


seem more convenient than turning on a television.


Pittman also challenged the audience to break from tradition and accept that some


mistakes will be made along the way when trying something new.


One of the conference's other key speakers, Gary Hamel, founder and chairman of


Strategos and professor of London Business School, also called for businesses to challenge


orthodoxies, but saw the Internet's ability to empower the consumer, rather than its


ability to save time, as its greatest strength. He noted that the Net and deregulation that


has ended local monopolies are factors contributing to greater consumer control.


"With the Internet, everything becomes an option. Online everything goes to bid,"


he said. "There will be no place for mediocrity to hide."


During the conference, the DMA honored the 1998 inductees into the Direct


Marketing Hall of Fame: direct marketer, publisher and civil rights lawyer Morris S. Dees


Jr., chief trial counsel and chairman of the executive committee at the Southern Poverty


Law Center; catalog expert and author Richard S. Hodgson, president of Sergeant House;


publisher and direct marketer Robert J. Teufel, president/COO of Rodale Press Inc.; and,


posthumously, Thomas S. Foster (1929-96), co-founder and former president of Foster &


Gallagher.
close

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here