We’ve seen several marketing revolutions in the last 100 years. Contrary to other revolutions, marketing revolutions are usually unplanned and often only noticed in retrospect.
In the past when people wanted to promote the business, they had to publish ads in professional magazines and fly all around the world to present in relevant tradeshows and exhibitions. The upside was that both channels enabled front row access to a very specific and relevant target audience. The downside was the high investment in both time and money. Therefore, many small and medium companies decided not to use these channels due to a lack of capital. In turn, they relied on the “Word of Mouth” scheme (what’s known today as Viral Marketing).
In the late 1990s, the internet entered our lives. Business owners are now able to build a website demonstrating their products or services. This website can be accessed and viewed anywhere in the world. In 1998, when Google was established, a new era of marketing began, mainly around search engines and their results. Search Engine Optimizations (SEO), Google AdWords, and AdSense emerged to allow businesses to rank their website higher in the search results pages. Companies could “buy” specific keywords that relate to their business or service. Once these words were being searched, it would provide them with better visibility than companies that paid less or didn’t pay at all. These were the first steps in the Digital Marketing world.
In 2006 Facebook decided to expand out of the several Ivy-League universities in the US. Shortly after, people all around the world created profiles on the website (before it was called a social network). Facebook didn’t mean to change the Digital Marketing world, but they did. When additional social networks emerged, it enabled businesses to launch marketing campaigns to specific targeted people and communities, instead of casting a wide net and hoping something will catch. The targeted individuals were defined by several criteria (e.g. gender, location, age, hobbies, etc.). The more criteria you choose, the smaller your target audience is, but this small amount of targeted audience is the best fit for your product and services, hence conversion chances should be higher.
In 2007 the first iPhone was introduced to the world and was intended to enable continuous access to the internet, while we are on the go. The iPhone and other smartphones that were developed thereafter created new marketing schemes. It’s called Location-Based Services (a.k.a. LBS). Businesses can now target audience when they are near their location, which increases the chances of them purchasing. If I am passing near a coffee shop and I receive a push notification with a coupon or about a new pastry they have today, the chances of me entering the store are higher than if I receive the same notification when I am far from the coffee-shop.
In parallel to the above marketing revolutions, the term “Business Networking” emerged. Business Networking enabled people to meet regularly for the sole purpose of helping each other get more customers and expand their business.
In our future entries, we’ll talk more about Business Networking and how any business can use it to get more leads, reach new customers, and penetrate new territories and markets.