Has anyone noticed that the world is changing right before our eyes? If you took someone from the 1970’s to 2010 they would probably think they were on a different planet because the things that we have at our disposal today were only seen in science fiction movies back then. In the 1970’s we didn’t watch cable T.V. (even though it did exist very few had it and it was very limited) we used an antennae on the roof and we had 9 channels, and cartoons came on for an hour in the morning, the afternoon and on Saturday and Sunday mornings, not 24 hours a day, and if you wanted to change the channel it required getting your ass off the couch and walking across the room and changing the channel. And hanging out with your friends meant playing baseball in the street, hide n go seek, climbing a tree or someone other outside activity. If you were really lucky you parents bought you a transistor radio that had a single earplug so you could have a mobile radio. Office’s used filing cabinets, type writers and White Out. Advertising consisted of Television, Radio, print and billboards, and it worked.
Today we have cable television with 800 channels, cartoons are on 24/7 on multiple channels, we have remotes for just about everything, you can even get one for your refrigerator now. Hanging out with your friends means piling 10 teenagers into a room to play Xbox, and most of them are busy “texting” with someone that isn’t in that room, and they do play baseball still it’s called “MLB 2010 The Show” and its available on Xbox and Playstation, and of course we all have an IPOD which holds thousands of songs and videos and we can listen and watch anywhere anytime and is available in High Def. Offices utilize a server, spell check and a flat screen monitor. Advertising still consists of T.V., radio, print and billboards, but they also use the Internet and you can watch T.V. on the Internet, on your Iphone and Blackberry, and billboards are now an interactive digital medium that rotates through several advertisers every few minutes. So yes the world has changed, but there is more to it than just the obvious technological advantages, new technology has changed not just how consumers view advertising but how they use the information that is so readily available to them.
In 1985 if you were in the market to buy a new car, you would go down to the dealer and when you got there a salesman would help you look at the various cars you might be considering, take you out for a test drive, much like today, but he would do more than that, he would also give you information about the car, how many miles per gallon it got, how good the engine was, how well it performed, etc, etc. The only information that got you to that dealer was the advertising that you saw on T.V., heard on the Radio, maybe you saw a billboard or an ad in the local newspaper.
Today technology is not just used by the advertiser to get their message out to the public; it is also used by the consumer. Today if you were in the market to purchase a car, you would still see those same advertisements on television, heard them on the radio, and maybe saw a billboard, whether it be traditional or digital, but there is something else you would also do. You would go on line and research the car that you were looking for, you would go to a site like Edmunds.com that is a site that’s function is to provide the consumer with stats and info about various vehicles, this type of site is known as a Decision Support System (DSS) and allows you the consumer to research the car that you are considering buying, learn about its performance and how it fares against other models of the same class by other car manufacturers and it allows you to see what current drivers of the car you are considering purchasing are saying. When you walk into the dealership you are informed you don’t need the salesman to tell you about the car, because you already know as much as he or she does, if not more. You just need them to let you test drive the car, and to discuss financing, assuming you didn’t already go online and get prequalified for an auto loan.
Technology has changed not only how businesses advertise and do business but it has changed consumers as well and has given them a wealth of information that previously wasn’t available to them before. Marketing used to use a push strategy meaning you pushed information out to the potential consumer, information that they may not have known about, you went out and pushed your product or service to them, where conversely today we are in a pull marketing environment meaning the consumer pulls your information to themselves, they research than seek you out armed with information. So as a business it is vitally important that you not only utilize technology to market your brand but that you also use technology to create a positive image of your company and that you use tools like relationship marketing to create relationships, not quotas so that the consumer is pulling you towards them instead of pushing you out of the way to do business with your competitor.