Welcome to the New Age…Buckle Up!

Marketing, along with everything else, has entered a new age. Welcome to the 21st century.

Since its inception, advertising has been dedicated to the creation of programmed messaging. For nearly 300 years, those who could create the best message and deliver it in a memorable way across as wide an audience as possible, won. Cha-ching! In even the last decade, this tried and true method of advertising—the types of content and ways we consume it—have completely changed. Marketers are struggling to keep up.

Advertising dates back to 1704. The first recorded advertisement was a newspaper ad selling Real Estate in Boston. For the next 300 years, we have carefully developed marketing messages programmed to mass audiences, and that has dominated the way consumers learn about products and services. There has been little change outside of the introduction of new innovations like radio, TV, and the Internet. Basically our marketing goals have remained the same: find a unique insight about your demographic, develop catchy creative, and then buy as much media as you can afford to program that message into consumers’ heads. Lily Tomlin once said “If it wasn’t for commercials, we’d all be wandering around in the stores, wondering what to buy”. This was the way people learned about new products—there simply wasn’t much access to any other information.

Then fast forward to the turn of the century…the 21st century—the one that we’re in right now. Welcome to the wonderful world of web search, and most importantly Google. How did we know anything before Google? For the first time, consumers are able to easily seek out and research product information themselves before making a purchase. Consumers have started taking control over the information they consume. Power to the people! Even though traditional advertising is still the primary vehicle for marketers to attempt to impact consumer behavior, a cosmic shift has begun. With web searching becoming more predominant, there is now more accountability demand from marketers and their claims.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp….even new platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and other social and mobile sites have ushered in a new age. Consumers no longer need to be programmed, or even search for new products. The products are all around them. People see what their friends are listening to, what fashion items they just bought, what products are “hot”, and what they are cooking for dinner. Information is everywhere and from sources far more trusted than advertising—their peers. The advertising game is changed forever.

Some advice for this new age in marketing? There is much to say about that, grasshopper. We at Saba Agency strive to stay abreast of the latest and greatest trends in advertising and technology. Our advice to our clients is that a marketer’s job revolves much more about utilizing and understanding technology nowadays than at any other time. And it will be increasingly true as we head deeper into the 21st century. Those with a deep understanding of the interplay between technology and using it to reach consumers will be well positioned for success.

And you can take that to the bank.


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