We’ve come a long way from yelling through a megaphone to get customers to pay attention to you. Now, we are much smarter and efficient in our efforts to promote our business. From the man standing on a street yelling at people to come to his store to the brilliant targeting social media, I will cover the evolution and reasoning of how we got form A to B, and I will organize it in the form of eras of marketing.

Face-to-Face Marketing

Obviously, this is the oldest and most prominent form of marketing. You meet someone, and you strongly encourage action like buy a product, see a show,  try a sample, hire the person, etc.

There are of course some big limitations. You can only meet so many people a day, and you can only be sane enough to repeat something so many times. So what do we do?

Direct Marketing

The next logical step, we give them pieces of paper with sales pitches on them. We can print an abundance of them and hand them out to people in the street or anyone we encounter. With the postal services, we can send them to every address.

This style of marketing is a total numbers game. You should expect a 2-4% conversion rating, so if my company prints out x, I should get y. Simple, simple.

However, we’re putting the success of our business in the hands of the reader and how they read the message. Thus, we don’t have that cunning sales pitch we had in the Face-to-Face Marketing. Thus, the question of are we really conveying our true message to each customer, every time? Probably not. T

The other big obstacle to Direct Marketing is how do we know people are reading it? People often will toss it in the trash and move on with their day.

If only there was a way to combine the ability to express a message on a mass scale and make them watch it.

Interruptive Marketing

ENTER YOUR LEAST FAVORITE TYPE OF ADVERTISING

Hello, I know you were reading this article, and so I thought I’d tell you about a wonderful product… You want to watch your TV show, but you’re  forced to watch this message pitched by someone who wants you do something. They always want you to do something…

The problem here is you’re giving up time to do what you want to do. You will and always tune it out if it doesn’t apply to you. Also, as an advertiser you have to pay for every person to see that video or photo, and boy it’s expensive.

Interruptive Marketing 2

ENTER YOUR SECOND LEAST FAVORITE TYPE OF ADVERTISING

So you’re tuning it out? Well, what if it’s entertaining and funny. Ah! That’ll get your attention, and you’re going to tell all your friends and family about this hilarious commercial, and you’ll watch it over and over and over.

But we still have some problems, anytime you’re paying for interruptive marketing you’re paying for everyone to see it. Yes, you have the ability to isolate your audience based on content, but the problem is your content can be mainstream and some of your potential customers may not be interested in that content.

Also, you may not do anything that company wants you to do even though you think its funny and entertaining. They may not be in the market and they may have no need for your product.

Inbound Marketing

Welcome to the world of SEOs, Metadata, and Keywords. We all hate this world, and someone you know tells you they know more than you, and there’s always something you’re not doing that someone swears you’ll get thousands more views if you do…

If you haven’t noticed yet, I think this is the land of smoke & mirrors. It’s the land of b.s. and overly complicated tactics. You’ll notice there’s an abundance of SEO consultants out there, and they all are grossly expensive. Whenever I meet one, I have this biological reaction to roll my eyes and shake my head. I just can’t help it sometimes.

Inbound Marketing at one point in time 7 years ago had some truth behind it, but in the last 7 years Google has changed its algorithm countless times, and as recently as last month with Hummingbird, which basically eliminates all of what was left of metadata, and elevates all rich content and continuously updated websites. Poor metadata, it’s been killed loudly and triumphantly for the last few years, but every SEO expert will mention the importance of it within 15 minutes of meeting them.

Oh that’s right, I was writing the history of inbound marketing. It was too good to be true for about 6 months, and then scam artists have been making money off of it ever since.

It’s nice to have free marketing, but it’s better when you have control over it.

Social Media & Blog Marketing (Also known as Reach Marketing)

We learned in Interruptive Marketing 2 that people like when content and marketing are indistinguishable, we like being able to find our customers where they live, and we like free-ish marketing. As of today, this is the latest iteration of mainstream marketing. It isn’t perfect by any means, but is by far the most effective and successful version of any marketing discipline.

The problems that I see with Social Media & Blog Marketing is the sheer quantity that are out there, so it’s hard to be heard, which brings us first circle. We went from a man shouting at people through a megaphone in order for him to be heard to a medium that is so effective everyone is doing it, but not one can be heard.

What’s next? We’ll find out soon enough.