Marketing used to be so easy.
You could do some advertising, do outbound phonecalls (cold calling), or you did mailshots. You complimented your activity with PR – usually Press or Events related.
Then Apple desktop publishing came along.
Suddenly, jobs that used to go to the local printer were now expected to be done in-house in the form of Desktop Publishing.
All of us in Marketing were expected to become experts at journalism, editing and desktop design. We started to publish in-house mailshots, newsletters, even progressing up to doing in-house magazines.
No sooner had we mastered that than the Internet came along.
Now our communication had to be through websites.
But of course – for the first number of years, Internet technology was nowhere close to delivering the visual or editorial impact that we were used to. But still we had to persist. We had to produce websites and then Blogs to communicate with existing and potential clients.
When we weren’t getting an immediate return on investment, it was the marketing department who were blamed for not mastering the technology. Afterall, Amazon and eBay were making money from the Internet so why couldn’t we sell our company’s products as well?
Gradually we overcame these hurdles and invested in better photography, videos, product presentation and so on and we even managed to get the Joe Average Company of the manufacturing world to some level of decency on the Internet.
Email subscribers were going up, sales were increasing through our new e-commerce sites and everyone was happy.
For a while…
This new search engine became the standard by which Internet success was measured. Are we on Page 1 we were now asked – and if not why not? Better still – were we Rank One for our favourite keywords? Amazon could do it…
So now we had to become experts in Search Engine Optimisation, (SEO). We had totally forgotten about customers by now and were concentrating on how to write sentences that fundamentally changed the structure of the English language – all to appease Google and get us on Page one. We had to produce monthly reports about this and explain ourselves in boardrooms.
So we got our business onto Page 1 and it seemed the storm had passed – for a while.
Were our Page One’s converting into actual sales we were now asked.
Analytics became the order of the day.
Cookies, keeping track, underpage offers, popups. Why weren’t we doing more of these?
We felt like screaming – because there are only 168 hours in the week and we’re using all of them.
But it didn’t matter.
A new monster arrived called Social Media.
There were various forms of Social Media – but one that was on every client’s tongue was Twitter.
Why aren’t we marketing through Twitter we were asked.
So we had to give Twitter a try even though there is hardly a sales message on this God fearing earth that can be covered in 140 characters. That didn’t matter. Amazon was doing it so why weren’t we selling our wares in bite sized pieces of information of 140 characters?
To be continued…