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At first glance, the idea that advertising is a living being may seem strange, even absurd. But the history of advertising shows us that it is indeed a living and evolving entity.
Advertisements in the 1800s were primarily published in newspapers, city directories and other printed publications. And these ads are a far cry from the one-to-one marketing many consumers receive today via email or social media.
But comparing the ads of today to those of more than a hundred years ago is only one way to recognize how advertising is a living and constantly evolving discipline. By understanding the continued growth of advertising (now and in the future), you’ll be in a better position to capture it yourself.
The evolution of advertising has accelerated in recent years
Technology has played a dramatic role in the evolution of advertising over the past few years. This is perhaps better seen insofar as personalized marketing came. In the 1990s, personalization was a rarity, aside from placing ads in media that appealed to a particular target audience. Ads these days often don’t just target audiences, they focus on individuals.
For example, Facebook has been reported to use 98 personal data points to target relevant ads to its billions of users. Customize Amazon uses machine learning to provide curated product recommendations to shoppers based on past purchases, location, and other contextual data.
This comes at a time when customers increasingly expect brands to better understand their individual needs – with 52% saying they expect offers to always be personalized.
Advertising has changed, and so have consumer expectations. Individualized advertising has become the norm and can be a powerful differentiator that sets a brand apart from its competitors.
New opportunities and new challenges remain
Although advancements in technology have greatly contributed to the evolution of advertising, that doesn’t mean that entrepreneurs won’t face marketing challenges.
For example, while Google Search has dominated much of the conversation around digital advertising over the past decade, its parent company Alphabet recently reported declining revenue in Google search, resulting in layoffs from one of the world’s biggest brands. At the same time, the company signaled an additional focus on AI, particularly integrating it with Google Cloud and Google services.
If one of the biggest rig holders in the industry makes these kinds of changes, you can be sure that it will lead to additional changes to the digital marketing countryside. At the same time, the mixed levels of controversy and enthusiasm for AI underscore how consumers may have equally mixed reactions to its increased use in future marketing efforts.
Regardless of the specifics of how the current AI boom unfolds, it’s clear that such advancements are poised to change how marketing materials are created and how they reach and engage customers.
And AI is just one of the factors that can continue to evolve advertising. New social media platforms like ICT Tac have created new ways for marketers to communicate with specific audiences. When trying to use new channels, brands should strive to create meaningful and authentic messages that make sense for the platform.
Successful entrepreneurs don’t wait on the sidelines
While advertising has proven to be an ever-evolving entity, one fact remains: it is essential for successful businesses. Like Henry Ford said“Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.”
While many brands will reduce their advertising budget in tough economic times, or waiting to spend money on advertising until they have strengthened their position in the market, is usually the opposite recipe for success.
For example, during the Great Recession of 2008, McDonald’s gained market share and increased sales while its competitors struggled – and those results were largely attributed to it sticking to its designated ad spend, even as other brands like Burger King and Pizza Hut pulled out of advertising.
The same can be true for businesses in any other niche, no matter how long you’ve been in business or who you’re trying to reach. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to jump in head first to get their brand and product or service in front of the people who could benefit the most.
Successful entrepreneurs take the time to focus their message on the unique pain points of their target audience. That’s why they look at multiple channels to reach audience members, and pay special attention to emerging platforms. Successful marketing takes work, but the end result is growth that probably wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Build your future with advertising
Marketers designing print ads for newspapers in the 1800s probably never would have imagined the kind of advertising we are capable of producing today. But it also means that many of us are unlikely to fully conceptualize the continued changes and innovations that will affect the industry in the future. As entrepreneurs, what we should never do is get lazy, because ignoring innovation in advertising is virtually the same as not advertising, and as Dr. Marietta Poshi, Professor of Marketing at Warner University says, “Advertising is the most vital element in connecting a brand to consumers. quality of a product, if its value is not properly communicated, the purpose of the product (or service) is defeated.”
By prioritizing understanding industry trends, you’ll be better equipped to grasp practices that appeal to your target audience and help you grow, now and in the years to come.