It seems as though marketing and advertising have gone through six macro stages to date. We’re still counting, of course, though we’re counting much much faster now, so fast that by 2015 we’ll likely be in stage seven.. whatever that is.
1. Marketing by Reputation. Since forever until about the 1800s, local tradesmen (yes, mostly men) have been selling a known product to a local audience with excellent customer service as the core principle.
4. Marketing by Sizzle. This would be the 60s and 70s advertising of the Mad Men, which separates the product features from the ad, focusing instead on some abstract “connection” the customer might make to the product. This worked well nationally and grabbed status-bound global customers, too.
5. Marketing by Community. That’s us, in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, with social media “communities,” and crowd sourcing. This marketing mechanism started global and it’s still evolving.
6. Marketing by Information Sharing. That the trend du jour in 2011. It’s way global, it’s off the starting block relatively faster than social media, and I have no idea how long it will last or how it will evolve.
7. Next? Right … like I know the answer to that. Still, I can imagine that “next” will cater to either lots of “at home” or, alternatively, "on the go" consumption, via either a very large or a very small screen; will require fewer, if any, in-person connections; will span global and nano-consumption models; and, possibly, require very little "marketing."
How can we sell anything without marketing? I don’t know. I just know that about 100 years ago, not even the richest imagination could conjure up – or believe – that a pair of shoes from any of hundreds of shoemakers could be sold by giving away detailed information, generally--but not necessarily specifically--related to a given product…all of it without ever meeting the shoemaker (or the customer).
-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo