I was recently talking to a marketing firm that really doesn’t grasp the changing dynamic of the marketing environment online. They were still convinced that the best way was still the old way and they had little knowledge of email marketing, how to implement it and virtually no knowledge of how to utilize online social media. Which quickly made me realize that they must adapt and learn quickly or they may go the way of the dodo bird. Here’s why:
Think back to 1995…I know…I know it seems like a long time ago. I was just graduating from college with a degree in Visual Design. The college curriculum during the early nineties included very little computer design because…well…there weren’t many programs and most of the professors had no idea how to use the programs themselves.
- Adobe software programs that are design standards today like Photoshop & Illustrator were in their relative infancy. The majority of our design work and training was still a lot of paste up, photocopying and layout done by hand, not COMPLETELY on the computer as almost all design work is done today.
- The “home” computer was still relatively new as Windows 95 had not been released yet and most of our computer work was done in on-campus “computer labs” because few students could afford their own computer, much less the expensive software needed for design. The computers we did have in the computer labs were also notoriously slow. If you put a photo into the design you may as well ask the computer to slowly crash and die.
- The internet was also in it’s infancy for the home user as most web browsers were released to the public in 1995. So there was NO training in web site design. Most web developers at this time coded HTML using text editors. Web site design was not done visually until 1997 with the release of Macromedia’s Dreamweaver program.
All right, enough waxing nostalgic. So what’s your point, is what you are probably saying now. Well I’m getting to that.
14 years ago it was a much different world
After college I learned much of what I know by taking classes, learning on the job and teaching myself in my spare time. So I was able to survive and thrive with my own business doing graphic and website design. That’s not to say I’m the cat’s meow of design. Eric Guerin isn’t walking around talking about himself in the third person. There are many, many designers that are far more talented than I am BUT I can say that a number of people I graduated with and who were in the design field in the mid-nineties are no longer. Why? Because they didn’t change with the times and adapt to the new tools emerging.
Which brings me to today
We are on the precipice of another landslide change in how people are marketed to and how they interact with brands. People want to interact with the companies and brands they are passionate about online. That’s why there are over 70 million blogs worldwide and counting. Email Marketing is one of the simplest and easiest ways to keep in contact with your customers and help promote repeat business. Over 390 million consumers are at least watching video clips and listening to podcasts on a weekly basis. Social Media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter offer the business the ability to have individuals in their company interact with consumers and their brand identity on a 1on1 basis.
So the what is the moral to this story?
These social media tools are developing and growing in popularity at an alarmingly fast rate. If marketing firms, designers and even the individual business owner doesn’t take the time to educate themselves they could find themselves within a relatively short period of time falling victim to advertising natural selection.