Let's think back to what life looked like in 2008. People were wearing leggings as pants, the Giants won the SuperBowl and the Billboard charts had "Low" by Flo Rida as the hottest song of the year. Ten years later, leggings have been deemed "casual wear," the Giants are not winning a SuperBowl anytime soon and "Shawty had them Apple Bottom jeans (jeans), boots with the fur (with the fur)" is no longer the trigger to turn up the radio. A lot can change in 10 years and that includes the entire structure of marketing and advertising. As marketers, we must adapt to these new trends and new generations to keep our advertising tactics effective in 2018.
Shifting From Traditional to “Alternative” Media
In 2008, utilization of social media as an advertising tactic was still a trend of the foreseeable future. As time progressed, marketers began to realize that traditional media was no longer enough and that social media is a critical component for advertising campaigns and strategies. Sure, marketing was simpler in the fact that individuals only looked to a handful of media outlets for their information, but change in this day-and-age is inevitable and necessary. The understanding that it was incredibly important for businesses to have a strong social media presence meant marketing budgets were adjusted to incorporate social media advertising. It was projected in 2008, that interactive marketing, which accounted for only 8 percent of all ad spending, would eventually increase to 18 percent. While interactive marketing encompasses many new marketing channels, online video ads and all forms of social media, mobile marketing is the most highlighted. Remember in 2008 when smartphones were just starting to become “a thing?”. While a new fad then, smartphones are now household items consumers use constantly from checking the weather to asking Siri how to spell restaurant. (Does anyone spell this right on the first try?) All the emerging ideas then, are the status quo now, which proves how much can change with time.
Engaging the Customer: How Small Changes Can Make All The Difference
2008 was the year of new emergences, including an extreme focus on social media and its potential. According to Smart Insights, as of now, over 80% of internet users own a smartphone, which means now more than ever, companies need to appeal to mobile devices and easy-to-use programs. Social media advertising is slowly becoming a company’s first choice over traditional methods, because businesses can see the positive effects of being able to have one-on-one conversations at any time and encourage customer/peer reviews. People can literally post anything on social media, from restaurant reviews to what their dog ate for breakfast. (We don't care that Spot loves green beans, Karen from Bookclub.) This provides businesses and consumers with constant access to feedback and opinions. In 2008, the use of different media outlets and marketing campaigns to bring together one cohesive message was still new, creating an exciting development stage for businesses. Nowadays, with social media being so advanced and prevalent, businesses have to constantly stay alert to trends, adapt and continuously fill the need for instant gratification that customers so desperately have. Businesses used to find humor in the thought of spending an ample amount of money on a social media manager, but now it is not only encouraged, it is a means of survival.
Marketing Campaigns: From Then To Now
Circa 2008, advertisements were only filled with what society deemed "perfect" looking women which caused insecurities for women across the country. Research showed that only 4 percent of women considered themselves “beautiful.” Around this time, Dove's "Choose Beautiful" campaign was launched, audiences were completely astounded with how real this message was and the outcome was overwhelmingly positive. Since this campaign, many companies have aimed to focus more on “untouched” and “unedited” photographs of models in their advertising. Aerie, an intimates brand branched off of American Eagle, prides themselves on using models of all sizes, colors and body types. While some companies aim to eliminate all "imperfections," Aerie embraces them and has focused on using unedited images to help promote body positivity. The Dove Campaign broke a lot of barriers. This paved the way for companies to utilize all types of women in their advertising, and for society to accept all types of women as beautiful.
In our constantly growing society, change is not only predicted, but it is inevitable. Our culture has grown exponentially fast in the past 10 years with changing trends and adaptation to new forms of marketing (...and Drake has replaced Flo Rida). New tools are constantly emerging and old tools are evolving, which means companies have to shift their attention and resources to focus more and more time on keeping up and staying relevant. If we could have hopped in a time machine 10 years ago, we would have seen that online marketing has completely taken over, a consumer's mobile experience is everything, and creating a campaign that breaks the mold impacts not only the future of advertising but the evolution of our society. We probably also would have also seen that leggings are not pants and put on a pair of jeans.