ICS Magazine

Change is the Only Constant

July 12, 2004
I received a call the other day from a college student studying somewhere in Florida. Said seeker of higher education is majoring in business with a focus on marketing.

One of her current projects involves obtaining a client, examining his or her business and market position, and determining what course of action will result in the best possible exposure and market share for the company. In her case, the client is an independently owned carpet-cleaning company in Broward County. Our initial exchange went something like this:
Her: What I'm trying to do is understand the market in which my client is positioned, and any specific marketing techniques being used effectively by successful companies in the cleaning industry that might pertain to my client.
Me: You mean you want to get a feel for the different marketing methods that have worked for other companies in the field?
Her: Yes, but more importantly, I want to understand the particular customers that my client is going after. I need to know who they are in order to figure out how to best approach them.

When it comes to successfully marketing your company and services in the cleaning and restoration industry, what's really the most important piece of the puzzle: knowing who your client is, understanding how to best market your company to that client, or is it a combination of the two?

"A combination, moron!" the learned shout. "Give us something harder next time!" And yes, I'll agree that knowing the client base in your particular region and selecting the best marketing techniques to reach that base is fundamental to a company's success. But if it's so simple, why don't more companies do it? Money, perhaps. But how then does one escape the downward spiral of, "To make more money, I need more clients. To get more clients, I need to market effectively. To market effectively, I need to make more money..."

In coining the phrase, "Creative Destruction," 20th century economist Joseph Schumpeter said, "The opening up of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the organizational development...illustrates the same process of industrial mutation-if I may use that biological term-that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live in..."

In business, the only constant is change. How well you do it can make all the difference in the world.