How has Marketing changed in the 21st century?

Were you able to go back to the year 1999, you would find a very different world looking at you. While today we are used to advertising things on stuff like social media and classified ads, back in the day it was not possible. It’s not seen as odd for someone to say sell a piece of clothing they like on eBay to someone who is based in a different country – even a different continent. Prior to the new millennium, though, that was not the case at all.

Marketing in the late 1990s was still built around a far more localised level. While many companies have websites, they tended to be low-quality in terms of what were see today. They also had a fraction of the visitors, as the internet cost more than your average accessory. It was something that not everyone had; today, we have the internet in the palm of our hands and on our screens. How, then, has marketing changed to fit that?

We’re always selling information

Marketing has changed because it has become an exercise in data harvesting as much as anything else. Today, it’s very much common for someone to get ‘free’ stuff provided to them in exchange for their most valuable commodity: personal data.

In the past, a shop could only sell to you based on their assumptions and what you would tell them. Today? They will be able to tell what you are looking for, and roughly when you want it, simply by having a user profile built up of you. We often trade the information that makes our internet purchases easier to understand without even realising it.

The web listens and learns

Ever wonder why the topic you were writing about and searching about online is now appearing in your advertising? It’s all linked. The information that can be gathered about what you search for, and in what context, ensures that you can be someone who is easily led by advertising. SEO is no longer just about what’s on a web page – it’s more about our behaviors, today. Our internet history tells far more about us than we would ever assume, leading to the most user-centric advertising possible. Talk to your local SEO Company and learn what’s possible.

Broad stroke advertising is dying

In the past, companies would invest huge sums of money in large billboard adverts in high-traffic areas. They would see it as being an area of X thousand visitors per day, so if only Y percentage took up their offer they should still benefit in some capacity. Today, we no longer need to advertise to everyone.

The world of marketing today means that we can privately target someone based entirely on their search and usage history. This allows adverts to be more personal, and personable, than ever realistically thought possible. That’s a massive reason why advertising today no longer concerns things like contact books, Yellow Pages-style advertisements, and even things like newspaper classified advertisement.

Today, we are looking to advertise to the individual as opposed to an individual set of traits or interests. The world of internet marketing is likely to stay in such a position for many years to come, too; it’s a complete transformation from the old-school ways of marketing which were far less effective, far less personable, and far less likely to deliver results.

Enter Neuroscience

Science and technology have come of age when it comes to marketing our businesses. No longer a process run by boffins in a lab, neuroscience is being used by business at scale, every day. Leading Neurotech platform’s co-founder, Andy Dean, says “Businesses of all size are realising the power of neuroscience to help them understand their customers more deeply, in ways they couldn’t do before. Neuro is providing insight that can’t be gained using traditional methods, such as the complex range of emotions and sentiments within people towards products and brands.” If you haven’t heard about neuroscience and its impact on business yet, you might want to learn quickly!


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