As the elder statesman in this company, I invariably get asked if I have seen great changes in marketing over the years that I have been involved with it; which, thinking back, is almost thirty years. The answer is yes………….and no!
What you have to remember here is that when I first got involved with marketing there was no Internet. No email, no World Wide Web and defiantly no Facebook. You might ask how a business could possibly survive without such marketing tools, but somehow we found a way.
Marketing was a lot slower in those days as the primary methods of advertising your product or services were ads in trade magazines, brochures and flyers, and sending your literature out via snail mail was both a pain and a logistical nightmare. The whole procedure could be soul destroying and extremely time consuming. I remember buying Bic biros in packs of fifty as I used so many handwriting out quotes for a secretary to type up.
I remember when a company I worked for in the past decided to invest in new age technology. That was four computers with specialised quoting software. Although the company was relevantly late embracing computers and the Internet, no one initially thought of using them for email and marketing. Quotations always had to be sent by post, as did marketing paraphernalia.
Days Gone By
Nowadays and looking back it seemed a little like the Stone Age in comparison. Sure, the old system worked and worked well, but it took time, which sometimes, you didn’t have a lot of. Subsequently, waiting for written quotation acceptances took forever. And think of all those thin brown file folders you filed them in with the metal clips that used to take your fingertips off and the lever arch folders that always seemed at bursting point.
A New Age
Yes, things have changed. Email and the Internet have seen to that. Email demands an almost instant reply and the incorporation of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Content Management Systems (CMS), have moved us closer to a paperless working environment. Whereas my desk twenty five years ago could hardly be found due to reams of paperwork and files, nowadays all I need is my iMac, MacBook Air and a Cloud account and I can work anywhere (That’s me working away in the above image!).
So, with the progression of technology are we more efficient? Well again, yes and no. Yes we can instantly respond to the demands of our clients which keeps them happy and the project rolling along, and No, because when we have our mind deep in a problem or project that we just have to finish, up pops an email from a customer who has just got to have something or other immediately because he’s going into a meeting with his directors in 40 minutes. Kaboom! Concentration lost, anxiety levels elevated, coffee consumption doubled.
Life in the Old Dog Yet
Without doubt, things have changed enormously over the time I have been involved with marketing and mostly for the better. However, in a world where we now want answers without waiting we have put ourselves under greater pressure and I can’t help but think that we will hit the burn out phase of our lives just that little bit earlier as a result. So, I hear you ask, have I reached this phase, the point of no return? Hell no, I’m off for a Latte. Laters!