Stanley Shapiro, author and teacher, started his presentation by illustrating the practicality and importance of  strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. I could tell that Stanley Shapiro had a great mind for marketing as he broke down presentation by typical marketer jargon. He started with his weaknesses; he was not confident in his technological capabilities. His strengths came in the form of many years of marketing and teaching experience. As he begun to describe his life as a marketer I remembered the creative feelings, which drew me to a marketing management diploma at my last university. He had seen the rise and fall of every major technological innovation since the invention of the television. Technology changes the way we market products; for example, television popularized mass media advertisements and multi-million dollar marketing budgets.   Television changed the marketing industry forever. Mr. Shpiro described television marketing as a mass blast of product information (personal communication, February 26, 2010). Before television, how did companies advertise their products? I was surprised to find out it had everything to do with using world and national fairs. Products were demonstrated to the public through fairs and as products grew in popularity, they were advertised by word-of-mouth. During this time, before marketing became mainstream or became background noise advertising survived on word-of-mouth. In my experience, although companies dump millions of dollars into advertising each year, the most powerful form of advertising is still word-of-mouth. I believe any advertising campaign should base its success on what its customer’s perception of the product.  The term “marketing” was developed in 1900, and it evolved over the next 100 years to encompass something outrageous. Marketing, in the current marketplace, is building relationships with customers and looks more like friendship than selling. Throughout the early days of marketing as a business, it was discovered that it was possible to influence people’s desire to buy goods (R. Bartels, 1976). Early advertising fascinates me and hearing how marketing grew in Canada and the U.S. was very interesting. I was shocked to learn that even before the world fairs of Pairs and national fairs in Canada, the first important step forward in marketing technology was the electric elevator. Inventor Werner von Siemens developed the first electric elevator in 1880 and, as Stanley Shapiro discusse, was installed into shopping malls to increase the attractiveness of multilevel shopping centers (personal communication, February 26, 2010). Marketing’s growth as an industry has wound itself into modern society, and one can see its effects in every aspect of daily life. In school, at Royal Roads University, common teachings focus on targeting specific consumer segments, building relationships with these consumers, and servicing their needs after purchase. The dynamic change in how marketers illustrate their product has changed so much since the early days, of untargeted mass advertising commercials, I find it fascinating that in a few years we may see another shift in the methods of advertising. Television used to be simple; it contained a massive audience viewing only a few networks. However, the current television programming targets specific viewer demographics with a diversified product (S. Shapiro, personal communication February 26, 2010). Television advertisers, due to the diversified entertainment markets, must constantly revaluate their advertisements and re-focus them on continually evolving markets. The internet now provides the most popular medium, which allows further diversity of business markets. Furthermore, it provides advertisers a cost effective way to connect only to the customers who they wish to target.  As of 2007, the average Canadian spent 68% of their 41.3 hours per month browsing information-sourced web pages. These statistics are too large to ignore.  Social media is the next technology innovation, which marketers are utilizing to narrow their focus on individual consumers. Through a bit of research, I found that 43% of the U.S population, in 2008, watch T.V programming on the internet. Although, television still occupies over 50% of advertising, internet has a vast and diverse viewership that is very targeted. The smart advertisers, in my opinion, will use this medium to open dynamic two-way relationship building. Although social media seems to be the new cool thing which allows greater personalization and relationship building, as Stanley Shapiro illustrates “ it is only a new weapon in the marketing arsenal, not a nuke” (personal communication February 26, 2010). I think this quote really illustrates the liquidity of this industry. A marketing innovation will never fully utilize its full potential until the next innovation is released.  Companies, in my opinion, must learn to adapt quickly to the next new method of advertising or face their message becoming lost in the “white noise”.

References

Bartels, R. (1976). The History of Marketing Thought [ebrary Reader 2nd edition]. Retrieved from http://faculty.missouristate.edu/c/ChuckHermans/Bartels.htm

Canada. (2008). Retrieved February 28, 2010, from http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/canada.php

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