Marketing is 1 of the diverse & broad topics you can get and so many avenues to look at and so many variables to account, makes you wonder how businesses knew what’s the best avenues to take to get that customer but today we are looking a bit further than that.We are going to explore some of the past, present and future marketing trends and try to work out which combination has the best return on investment.
The old wild west of Marketing
Life before the internet, seems almost hard to imagine but there was a time when there was no google, YouTube or any social media platforms. The most common marketing platforms back then was , radio , print , personal selling and eventually TV . In the early 19th century Radio had a massive audience. There used to be soap operas live on stations broadcasting to millions of listeners and marketers used to advertise during intermissions and those ads where very bold , designed to capture the audience . Take a listen here to some ads from the early 1950s, after the war people were crazy. Radio had its time and place but it was soon made obsolete by the advent of the television which ushered in a new age of marketing & advertising.
Motion Picture Advertising take #1
The 1st ever television advert was aired on July 1st 1941 before the start of a baseball game between the then Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, the ad was 10 seconds long and it was for a company called Bulova watches. It cost them 9$, 5$ for the station charge and 4$ for airtime, check out the video here. That Bulova advert was a true turning point because now the radio was obsolete, some can argue radio is still alive and viable but when TV adverts started it was a real big change to what we knew as marketing at that time as now we can actually show the customers the product, make impressions & influence them especially with the rise of Youtube . A good example are cigarette companies who’s advert made smoking cool which increased sales and the numbers of smokers.
Thus making a lot of money but then ultimately got banned but it gave proof that TV was here to stay and was a proven medium to market a company and also develop brand presence in the mind of the potential customer. TV up till today still has a lot of currency but the costs of adverts can go into millions. TV also gave way to home shopping like QVC and if you like what you saw, your wish was just 1 phone call away and this was a first example of direct to consumer or semi direct as it took out the factor of a brick and mortar store.
“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” — Tom Fishburne, Founder & CEO, Marketoonist
The last marketing medium of the past is print , back then you can find some truly beautiful adverts , you could almost consider them painted , take a lot of a few here but the 1 that we are going to look at is the pre search engine , directories , the yellow pages. Back then if you needed a plumber near your, there was no Hey Siri or hey google, there was the directory and instead of SEO you had A+ ratings and placement. The thought of using a directory today is absolutely foreign and that’s even if you can find 1 but you can see how it had its heyday but now it’s the search engine that’s the new directory but this medium has evolved into things like Yelp.
That was a look at the past, now to the present day and we spoiled for choice in the present day. The advent of the internet made reaching people so much more easily, just imagine that a person half way across the world can reach you with the click of a mouse. The size of the world hasn’t changed but the reach has, reaching someone hasn’t been easier thus marketing to them has become much easier and precise.
Modern Day Marketing
Social media and its various platforms has changed how businesses brand, sell and retain customers. Facebook is the world’s largest social platform with 2, 5 BILLION users. Just to put this into context in 2019 the world’s population was 7.7 Billion people and 32.47 % of them are Facebook users. That is both amazing and scary at the same time but we are here to look it from a marketing perspective.
Facebook in recent has created Facebook market place a platform which is like an online classifieds and its pretty good , allows your great exposure at no cost and easy communication paths to a user. Back then the classifieds where in the back of the newspaper, which you had to buy and by how empty those sections are looking it’s safe to say it’s becoming extinct.
“You are what you share.”
― Charles Leadbeater, We Think: The Power Of Mass Creativity
Facebook ads is 1 of the most lethal tools at a skilled marketers disposal, as it allows you to bring your marketing plan down to a fine science, in terms of area, geo location and even age group, it’s never been easier to pinpoint a target these days the way Facebook has created its platform and this is even before retargeting which is a brilliant tool provided you have a sales funnel up to the task.
I would like to touch on Instagram but first I would like to shed some light on SEO & Google PPC, both of which stands for Search Engine Optimization and Google Pay per Click. SEO & PPC both share a key fundamental and that’s the keyword of the search term, SEO is organic keyword search where your website ranks for that search word by having relevant content, google technical SEO and good domain authority whilst PPC is where you pay for the keyword in a bidding system against other marketers.
SEO and PPC allows you to target the exact phrase you want , for instance Lawyer New York , the search engine be it google , Bing or Firefox will run search and see which site best ranks for that keyword and that will appears on the results whilst with PPC , you can appear at the top of the result as an ad. Both of which are the driving force of many companies to today.
Now let us look at Instagram which is arguably the most active platform but what I’d like to touch on is influencer marketing. I am sure we have seen someone in Instagram selling something or endorsing something, anything from Makeup, food to even beard oil but influencers have serious power, don’t believe me? Kylie Jenner youngest billionaire in the world built her business through her influence. A company I’d like to highlight is Fashionova which did 554.8 million dollars in 2019 and largely through their influencers.
This just highlights how powerful social media is and how it can influence how a company markets. there are numerous other platforms also that have amazing potential reach like LinkedIn , Snapchat and for those in Asia WeChat but as far as the global market goes , Facebook , SEO , Google PPC and Instagram is where the consumers attention at the most.
The raise of E – Commerce
The days of going to an actual shop and buying something ma soon become a thing of the past. so E-Commerce has changed not just the way we shop but how we live, as we move more and more into an on demand economy where time becomes more of a premium, E- commerce / online shopping will become a daily thing. Today with the technology we have we have fridges that tell you that you are low on milk and can order by you simply giving the go ahead, you can literally buy and do any transaction these days. This all gave way to global power house companies like Amazon and Alibaba whom often dictate E-Commerce trends and have put an end to many conventional retailers.
The economic model of supplier to distributor and customer is slowing shrinking as must companies (suppliers) can cut out the middle man and deal directly with the client \ customer , this is called Business to Consumer or B2C. A B2C model makes a lot more sense for a lot of business as they have more control over the sales process, better logistics planning and bigger margins and most importantly they are at the mercy of a retailer and these direct to customers B2C businesses are everywhere and more so on Instagram as it allows them to conduct E-commerce transactions.
All of this is possible by the raise of E-Commerce.
The Future of Marketing
As much as we all would like to look into a crystal ball and see what the future has for us we can’t but we have technology as our guide and right now Artificial Intellegence or AI for short , VR OR Virtual Reality are what’s going to dominate the future of marketing. AI will be able to analyse vast amounts of data and be able to pick up on customer signals and retargeting, while VR will integrate with E-Commerce and be able to allow customers to view products virtually, just imagine using your phone to mock up how a fridge will look into your kitchen or how Facebook knows exactly what Ad to show you after searched something online.
We all have a voice assistant on our phones be it Hey Google, Bixby or Siri. They make things so easy for us so as if we need anything all we have to do is ask…now imagine saying ‘Hey Siri, Find me a plumber nearby’ and that is what’s the next generation of searching will be, no more typing just talking and what else will tie into this is SEO as the AI will choose the highest rated service provider in the area.
ARE YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS READY?
Marketing has changed and will change even more and the writing is on the wall. It’s who adapts first wins and those who don’t lose and loose BIG. never forget about your customer.