A Look into the Past: How Advertising and Marketing has Evolved through the Years
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but no one else does.” — Steuart Henderson Britt
It seems, as business owners, we are so pre-occupied with advertising and marketing. And rightfully so, our businesses will not be the mean money-making machine we want it to be without these. But how did advertising and marketing come about? Let’s take a quick look back on how it all started.
In the beginning of time, Adam and Eve were living blissfully in the Garden of Eden. One day Satan (disguised as a snake) appealed to Eve’s emotions as his target market and enticed her into taking a bite of an apple. Of course, using a bit of “word-of mouth” marketing and influence — Eve in turn convinced Adam to bite into this forbidden fruit as well.
Of course, this first use of Marketing did not go so well for the consumer… and, although we’ve taken a bit of creative liberty here… the point is — this is an ideal example of convincing your audience that they want your products and services and that they want your products and services.
So from biblical times, let’s fast forward past 1440 when the printing press was invented… past 1922 when radio ads were introduced… past 1954 when TV ads began…past 1973 when the mobile phone was introduced…past mid-1980’s when computers were introduced and to pre-internet 1990’s… when preferred media & medium used included:
Cheesy infomercials on radio
Repetitive 30 sec/60 sec ads on CBS, NBC & ABC
Annoying telemarketing calls
Daily credit, home equity & mortgage direct mails
Billboard ads littered the freeways, and
Ads in printed media (magazines, newspapers & yellow pages)
During this time marketers spent millions of dollars creating memorable cultural icons (Marlboro Man & Green Giant) and jingles many of us still sing to this day… like Alka Seltzer’s “Plop, plop, fitz, fitz, oh what a relief it is” or McDonald’s Big Mac “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun!”
Back in the day — we used these icons/jingles to create a “faux” connection between viewers and brands for the sole purpose of selling.
Let’s forward to the era of the World Wide Web…
The internet has revolutionized advertising/marketing and consumer’s immediate access to news, reviews and product/service information. Technology and digitization have changed traditional media & mediums with introduction/use of cell phones, cable, streaming, video & social media. And we no longer focus on product and direct selling as the centerpiece of marketing & advertising.
Why? In the internet world — brands have to work twice as hard to gain the trust of the consumers. Not only are consumers actively involved in the buying process — they are also hungry for new content and access to multiple sources of information. We now have multi-generations relying and using new communication channels.
Now let’s look at today’s COVID era…
Trends started before the pandemic (AI, Blockchain, Remote Delivery & Cashless Payments) have escalated and taken root. Many of these trends — from Digital Commerce and Consumption we thought would take years have exponentailly been accepted and used by consumers in their day-to-day life. Virtual platforms and supply chains are being revisited and reengineered daily. Plus, brand messaging, tone and media accessed have changed. Today it is not surprising to find Public Service Announcements on social media about honoring your local community or for profit brand ads on health, safety, hygiene and other essential services.
Gone are the days of the packed stadiums, theaters, and entertainment venues. In its place, a much more compassionate and social conscious approach have taken hold in marketing and advertising. Focus on consumer data, social media and influencers are more critical than ever before. Clearly, the future of marketing and advertising is more customer-focused and the next competitive battleground will be focused squarely on customer experience.
With that said — even in biblical times — Satan understood the importance of customer communication. As we continue to navigate the pandemic, focus on consumer needs and engage with your audience through every possible channel — whatever that channel may be in the years to come.
For marketing and advertising strategy that is a-tuned with the times, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk!