The Old Becomes New Again

They say that life always comes full circle. I would assert that never is this more true than when you’re talking about marketing.

Recently (particularly since I started watching Mad Men), I’ve been having a lot of conversations about the history of marketing and advertising. During those conversations, it’s really become clear to me that since people have been trying to convince others to buy their goods and services, marketing has really not changed. The different tactics that we’ve used to affect that persuasion have changed, sure, but the concepts have stayed exactly the same.

This is nothing new to me. You can take a look around the site and see that that’s the case, but recently I’ve been thinking about the tactics that we use now and have used in the past.

With the invention of The Great Equilizer (aka the Internet), things have obviously been shaken up quite a bit. Everyone wants to focus on how to use the Internet to be more effective in their marketing and they should – the cost of effectively marketing on the Internet is┬áminuscule┬ácompared to television, radio and mail. Email marketing is so inexpensive we’ve actually seen 52:1 returns on investment!

What I’ve been seeing more of these days, though, is the resurgence of some “extinct” forms of marketing.

Take direct mail, for instance. Direct mail, has long been thought to have gone the way of the dodo bird. However, lately I’ve been seeing more people getting more and more creative with it and making mail campaigns very successful.

Television advertising – often looked at as a waste of money since the advent of the DVR, right? Not at all! You know that people actually pay more attention to what’s on their screen during commercials while they’re fast forwarding them than they ever have before? If you have 30 seconds in a standard ad spot, that means you’re probably looking at 10-15 seconds in fast forward mode. A good creative director will have a blast figuring out how to come up with a compelling message that can be driven home through pictures and text in 10-15 seconds!

The point is, don’t ever think that any of these tactics that we’ve been using are “extinct”. Even The Yellow Pages has its place in some targeted segments.

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