History of Advertising: How Consumers Won the War for Their Attention

Marketing evolution

Before mass media, there was a time when human beings weren’t bombarded with advertisements. Brands weren’t as ubiquitous in older, simpler times. Most products provided an absolute purpose and remedied a need for the people, and they were advertised as such. Take soap for instance. People needed soap because they wanted to be clean, so ad agencies filled the first simple voids with solutions, their solutions. Advertising has changed dramatically since those days however.

Today, it’s nearly impossible to not be bombarded by advertisements. From the big city lights of New York, to an old stretch of dirt highway in Kansas, everywhere there are advertisements. How did all this happen you might ask? Basic human needs were met. People had food and shelter etc. Their lives were no longer just about survival, and entire industries raised up to filled up hundreds of “luxury” niches, with multiple companies, each competing for a few seconds of your time to meet every possible need and want you could have (or advertisers claimed you had). HubSpot is setting out to take a comprehensive look at the history and evolution of advertising.

Advertising has become ubiquitous. Appearing everywhere you look, listen, mov, call, read, drive, fly, work, and play. Taking over our public spaces, and cluttering our cities with constant noise, advertising has become so big a part of our lives it is hard to imagine life without it actually.

Interestingly, nowadays, there are 10,000 soap makers all vying for the attention of consumers. Each of them trying to figure out the most effective and cost beneficial way for their product to get in front of your eyeballs. If a company has enough money to spend on a campaign, they’ll do practically anything to get the consumers attention. But in the coming years two fundamental elements of business come back to haunt this digital age:

“Create Great Products so your marketing rings true!

Understand that in a world so full of information, the consumer has all the power.”

Once we build great companies and products and understand that consumer choice trumps marketing, we can begin to build real trust. We can attract attention by creating content that consumers actually want. We can then connect and engage with our customers by adding value in that content through learning or entertainment. Then we will delight our customers because they’ll feel their choice was well worth it and their time well spent.

This is how real trust and loyalty are built. Quite literally, centuries of human evolution are begging companies to do this. It’s time each and every one of us embrace the course of history so we’ll survive in the future. 

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