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I’ve heard a lot of my college professors, who’ve also been a part of the industry, talking about how marketing has changed over the years. If you’ve been a media student like me, you’ll understand how utterly boring it was to listen to the professors talking about their industry experiences or those guest lecturers who literally almost snatched hours of our precious time only to forcefully share with us their personal work lives and made us fill forms asking about our after-graduation plans when we didn’t even know what we were going to do by the end of the day. But now, as I start working in an industry my professors and lecturers always talked about, I realize how important all that ‘free ka gyaan’ was. It’s been a while since I revisited my college lessons, so, here’s a gist of what I remember and know about brands, their marketing techniques and the industry in the 90s, 20s and today.

The 1990s

The marketing system was as simple as ‘the more you pay, the more you get’. Marketing and advertising used to be costly and not a big affair in those days. As I’m a 90s kid myself, I remember the fat as hell yellow pages lying on the coffee table all day and night. Most local businesses used yellow pages as a mode of promotion and reaching to the audiences. And if you weren’t in the yellow pages, you didn’t really exist. The best part then was the manageable, smaller and not so focused target groups, most brands knew they had to grab the locals’ attention and they’ll be sorted. All that the businesses had to decide was how much to spend to be able to post an advert bigger than the competitor’s in the last edition. Some bigger business houses also used newspapers, paying some amount to get a space in the advertorial section. Some also paid a little extra money to occupy one of the few billboards, radio or TV spots and magazines.

The 2000s

In the end of the 90s internet had started to come up as a medium for not-only-information-searching, but it was by the beginning of the 20s when internet was in full bloom. Sending direct mails and postcards was another practice that started to fade by this century. The marketing techniques started shifting towards a new interest with websites being created and focus moving to e-commerce. Press releases became a significant marketing tool. E-mail marketing too became a thing around the same time and people actually started to hang out on the internet exploring, reading and sharing stuff. Then we moved ahead, creating online ad banners, Google adverts and then e-mails also became more advanced when advertisers started circulating newsletters and mail promotions. What followed was named convergence, a combination of many mediums. It started with internet radio, then YouTube came in and everything changed.

The Present

The present is the 21st century, fondly known as ‘kalyug’. This is the time when we’re almost hand in hand with the west but the parents still refuse to accept this. A research said, we, the millennials are usually one of the very first to try new technology. So mom you get it now, why we’re always on the phone? Today, newspapers are endangered, magazines are dying and Press releases are almost extinct. The Newspapers are replaced by mobile phones, TV is replaced by mobile phones and the Radio is also replaced by mobile phones. People no more write mails but type e-mails, they do not read newspapers but their social media walls, neither do they visit offices, they visit websites. Marketing has become a difficult job today, needs a lot of research and planning. With the increased number of options, the most crucial part is finding the right media mixes to reach the intended target groups with maximum efficiency. It has all become more about time and not just money.

Marketing strategies will continue to evolve and find new possibilities in the coming years. Can you think of how your company’s marketing strategy will look like in another 10 years?

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