The post-war world produced a nearly perfect version of marketing when they put the finishing touches on the middle-class economic iron triangle, consisting of mass production, mass media, and mass marketing. If you were watching television in the 1970s or 1980s, you surely experienced all the marketing model had to offer. It was successful and essentially built the 20th century.
Never before had corporations been capable of reaching tens of millions of customers at once. It was during this time some of the world’s biggest brands were established.
But the one thing business leaders can count on is change, and marketing is no different. The current world of getting products to customers isn’t completely dissimilar to the way things used to be, but there are a couple of technologies that have altered the relationships between people and the products they buy.
One Size Fits One
The advent of search technology made the mass market obsolete. Although it didn’t immediately sweep aside detergent and car manufacturers, it did usher in a world where customers could find the exact product they wanted simply by taking the initiative and the extra step to look for it.
This meant retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers had to alter their approach. No longer would they be able to address the entire market at once, so they began tailoring their message to focus on the individual and their needs rather than what they perceived to be the message that would resonate with as many people as possible.
Speaking to one customer at a time instead of trying to build a bigger megaphone to reach everyone meant pitchmen would need to replace the auditorium with a table for two. Businesses had to address its clientele on a more personal level rather than advertising for the masses.
This led to a much more relationship-oriented approach. Compare the scripts for insurance and car company commercials to their equivalents from 40 years ago. The contrasts are rather significant. Now, large corporations present their products as if they are sitting at your dinner table. It is a far different world than the past where they relied on unique personalities and catchy songs to sell the same product to everyone they could find.
Marketing is no longer 90% advertising and ten percent logo. It’s a process of making a product part of someone’s life and helping them make an emotional connection with something important to them. Some companies are more successful at it than others, but the ultimate goal rarely changes.