How Marketing has changed in fifteen years

how has marketing changedMarketing is a fabulous career and one I’m really glad I’m part of.  For over fifteen years it’s given me some wonderful opportunities and such variety.

Why else would I have been buying thongs on Wakefield market, chaperoning Jack Sparrow, or working on a photo shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine?

Yes I’ve had some brilliant adventures and met some great people along the way, but how has our profession changed during this time?

This year I’ve been spending time with tomorrow’s business professionals and teaching them about how to adapt their communication style to write emails and work documents.  It has also prompted me to write this post about how marketing has evolved in the last fifteen years.  I thought this would be quite a quick blog to write: after all, I’m talking from my own experience, aren’t I?

Wrong.  Turns out there’s far more to this topic than I was expecting and it’s something I’ll be continuing to think about.

Here are some of the key ways where Marketing has changed since the year 2000…

Skills have changed

The requirements for new marketers have a different focus and there’s a need to have strengths in several different areas.  When I began my career, managers planned marketing campaigns in great detail and therefore their project management skills were prized, rather than creativity.  Now we need to have first class writing skills and can’t rely on a colleague to proof-read and edit copy; things move much faster than that.

Another key skill is an eye for design and understanding which visuals and images will work best.  Social media is now all about the sharable and engaging image.

Online marketing and the development of tech

An obvious one this, but it’s had such a massive impact.  Before we placed a great emphasis on print media, direct mail and cold-calling, now we can use cheaper online advertising, which is highly targeted, we can offer customers better experiences by offering apps and new features on our websites.  Online selling is now possible for everyone, not just those with a high budget or a technical team.

We’ve become more friendly as businesses.

The tone of voice we use in our communications is much less formal: a business can’t command respect by using stuffy language just because it’s been around for a hundred years.  The customer has more choice now; it’s easier to shop around.

Relationships with customers have changed.

We still need to focus on targeting and segmentation but we’ve now got more data than ever before.  In return, customers want to have real-time conversations with us.

Reputation management is more challenging.

People are talking about their experiences amongst friends and contacts a lot more and this can move really quickly.  But if you’re skilled at reputation management, you’ll have a powerful group of ambassadors who’ll say nice things on your behalf.

These are just some of my initial thoughts.  Curious to read more? Here’s an ebook from Hubspot with 100 of them.

What are the significant ways you think marketing has changed?

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