From Ads to AI: How Did Marketing Get Here

In January, we shared some information about 2018 trends in the marketing technology arena. Among them, artificial intelligence (AI) tends to dominate the conversation, because that technology pervades so many of the new tools and techniques we are seeing in the business world. So many new concepts are harnessing the power of AI to connect with consumers in organic, profitable ways. But lest we overlook this as a passing fad, let’s take a look at how we got here.

Traditional Marketing

For decades, marketing took a top down approach. Rooms full of experts made grand, and expensive, decisions about how to push their products to consumers through in your face techniques. Think billboards, commercials, product placement, ads in magazines and newspapers. It was about making an impact and then repeating it, and repeating, as necessary. The idea was to market AT and TO the consumer – and to hook them in.

Consumer Driven

Around the turn of the 21st century, things have been flipped. As the internet and mobile technology exploded into the mainstream consumption, consumers have found themselves in the driver’s seat. Marketing became less about broadcasting images and brands at the consumer – and more about connecting with and engaging them around their own passions and lifestyles! We no longer market AT them, but WITH them.

What That Looks Like

Content, Content, Content… in Context. Brands are expected to be the experts in their fields. Consumers are looking to be informed, educated, empowered and maybe entertained. Once brands gain that trust, as a resource, then they can expect prospective consumers to engage – via sales, signups, etc. Content may come in the form of articles, blogs, whitepapers, videos, social media posts, podcasts, magazines, and more. Today’s marketing, it is about connecting with consumers on THEIR level, by identifying THEIR passions and interests and engaging them through content we craft.

What About Tomorrow’s Marketing?

We are on the cusp of yet another marketing shift, thanks to an explosion of AI technologies. AI is moving from theoretical to mass market. Consider Alexa and Siri and other voice controlled devices, which seemed impossible a few years ago and now are in many households. Artificial intelligence will play a role in many new applications including augmented reality, content delivery networks, machine learning, simulations, and micro-targeted marketing. Engagement with consumers will be immersive and experiential – allowing for deeper and more organic connections with prospective consumers.

Lifestyle Driven

This technology will allow us as marketers to meet the consumer wherever they are – as they go about living life. And they will be telling us what they want. Marketing will now be bottom up. We will be listening to the consumer and serving their needs – rather than shouting at them to buy our product. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If we use these tools well, we can be efficient and productive in our marketing – laser focused on meeting the exact needs of our ideal consumers.


Want to learn more about these AI tools on the horizon? Stay tuned, as next month, we will be diving into some specifics. In the meantime, get in touch anytime if you have any questions about marketing technology or want to learn more about how we can help you Sell More While Doing Less!

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