What is Evolution Marketing?
The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be – Isaac Asimov
Once an idea has become too popular it loses its effectiveness. Essentially it has reached a point of saturation and therefore its usefulness should be revisited. The concept of Evolution Marketing addresses this problem by constantly staying ahead of the curve. But what does this mean in real terms and how can you apply it to your business?
Let’s have a look at what’s happened before to see if we can determine a trend.
Marketing: The Website
Sounds simple right but this was the first marketing tool used by organisations. Interestingly enough the first web page looked something like this:
In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee (a British engineer and computer scientist and MIT professor credited with inventing the World Wide Web) started the project, a website was quite simply a bunch of links to document the project of the WorldWideWeb (W3) being a wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.
20 Years later even though today’s websites look different they still perform essentially the same function. That was to enable people to have access to a large number of (pages) documents by way of hyper-links.
Commercially, this meant the same thing as having a shiny full page in the Yellow Pages. People used it to get information, so you just had to be there.
Marketing: The Banner Ad! (L)
When HotWired decided to make money from their website in 1994, they set in motion events that would come back to haunt us all: The creation of banner ads.
AT&T was the first to dish over some money to HotWired to display the beast they created, a 468 x 60 banner that came to life on October 25 1994.
Still used to this day we’ve developed a love/hate relationship with the banner advert which would pop up when you least expected it. But in terms of branding and awareness it still forms part of a valuable overall marketing strategy.
Marketing: The Directory
Yahoo! Ruled the roost on this one, becoming the must go to destination for anything web. This came at a time where we were trying to simply do what we did offline (using directories) and replicating it online. Seemed like a fair assumption at the time…oh how little we knew!
Marketing: The Search Engine
The first – Archie!
The first few hundred web sites began in 1993 and most of them were at colleges, but long before most of them existed came Archie. The first search engine created was Archie, created in 1990 by Alan Emtage, a student at McGill University in Montreal. The original intent of the name was “archives,” but it was shortened to Archie.
Archie helped solve this data scatter problem by combining a script-based data gatherer with a regular expression matcher for retrieving file names matching a user query. Essentially Archie became a database of web filenames which it would match with the users’ queries.
The best – Google! (nuff said)
Ray Tomlinson is credited by some as having sent the first email, initiating the use of the “@” sign to separate the names of the user and the user’s machine in 1971, when he sent a message from one Digital Equipment Corporation DEC-10 computer to another DEC-10. The two machines were placed next to each other.The ARPANET significantly increased the popularity of email, and it became the killer app of the ARPANET.
Email marketing is now the staple communications diet of both marketers and consumers alike. It’s probably the thing we best translated from the real world into the electronic one. Today however email as a marketing tool has been eroded by the evil dr. spam who finds new ways to stop our hero from being used effectively.
Marketing: Social Media
The first – SixDegrees.com, 1997
It was founded by Andrew Weinreich, a well known entrepreneur & internet executive. The concept of an online social network which made the process of “meeting people you don’t know through the people you do know” more effective. At its peak, the site had 3,500,000 users and 100 employees
The best (arguably) – Facebook.com
A simple proposition which has taken the world by storm, no lengthy explanation is needed here, I’m sure you have a profile!
So back to the point, what have we learned?
Websites >> Banners Ads >> Directories >> Search Engines >> Email >> Social Media
The obvious trend here is that everything has become more personal especially if you tag onto the end of social media – mobile (which deserves its own article, to come…)
Finally the last bastions of personal space are the ever popular location based services. Described as being those online, mobile applications that can inform your network where you are by simply ‘checking in’ to that location. This could be a pub, coffee shop, retail outlet, club, gym etc. The business owner or proprietor can equally create incentives to encourage those consumers to ‘check in’ to their establishments more frequently. This can be through offers, vouchers, discounts, specials etc.
There are a number of services available right now worth looking at:
No matter how far we go technologically or how clever the strategies become it is all to one end; better understanding of what human beings want and how we interact. Albeit to create better marketing campaigns of course J and sell us better widgets.
So what’s coming next?
Here are a few ideas…
1. Mobile marketing direct to your handset. Where advertising and branding become useful content
2. Discounts and couponing based on your location. So you might sit down in your local coffee shop and receive a time based offer
3. Search will become far more intelligent, actually understanding the meaning or intent behind our search terms based on an aggregation of our behaviour online
4. Voice enabled tweeting and updating. Advances in speech recognition software will make it easier for us to share what we’re doing without even having to pick up our mobile phone or login into our networks…we will always be ‘on’
5. Mobiles will spit out 3D holograms lettings us watch a movie trailer ‘out’ of our phones without the use of silly glasses
There are tonnes more predictions but as we fall forward and grow more quickly than ever before the next 24 months will be ones to watch. And if you’re still not sure, then watch this space and we’ll keep you in the loop!