To mark our 15th anniversary, Ideal Marketing looks at 15 years of change in the marketing industry.
Wow… 15 years already! As we look back over the last 15 years, Ideal Marketing Company has had many significant achievements since setting up in 2003. We’ve moved offices three times, each time to larger premises; grown from one person to a team of eight and worked with some really varied and interesting clients across a range of sectors from manufacturing to recruitment.
However, advances in digital technology have inevitably had a major impact on the marketing industry. In order to stay at the top of our game for 15 years, it has been important to maintain our position as experts in the more ‘traditional’ marketing techniques, while also embracing the ‘new’ aspects of digital marketing such as SEO and social media.
Let’s have a look back at some of the major marketing events of the last 15 years that influenced the industry as Ideal Marketing was growing and evolving.
2003- Ban on tobacco advertising
In the first half of 2003, the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act of 2002 was put into practice by the UK government, with similar laws passed all around the world. This law prohibited all direct and indirect advertising and marketing of tobacco products in media and retail outlets and was part of a raft of reforms aimed at reducing tobacco consumption, including a ban on smoking in public places indoors in 2006 and a more recent ban on all branding on cigarette packets in 2016.
The advertising ban caused shock in a multi-billion pound industry renowned for its controversial promotions which included marketing cigarettes with approval from doctors and implying that smoking made women more attractive to men. The ban is considered to be one of the major contributing factors in reducing the number of smokers in the UK from around 14% of the population in 2003 to just over 10% in 2018.
2004- Facebook launches
No could have known at the time, but February 4th 2004 was one of the most important dates in the history of digital marketing. On this day, Mark Zuckerberg and a few of his Harvard friends launched the social media site that would revolutionise the social media world – Facebook. With around 2.2 billion active users every month in 2018, Facebook is now the largest social media site on the planet.
Social media has become an important marketing platform for many businesses and despite recent controversy around data, Facebook has enabled brands to more easily target specific consumer demographics with advertising based on age/gender/location/interests. Furthermore, creating a Facebook page is completely free and one of the best platforms to get your brand message across. Although social media sites such as Myspace did exist before Facebook, it would be difficult to contest the argument that Facebook took social media to the next level, inspiring other platforms such as Twitter in 2006, followed by Instagram, Snapchat and more platforms offering a range of low-cost marketing channels.
2007- Apple launches the first iPhone
The introduction of the iPhone and smartphone has changed the lives of billions; from how we take photos, to on-demand work apps such as Uber. However, if we narrow the focus to marketing, the main impact has been the fact that it has put the internet in everyone’s pocket. In 2007, worldwide mobile advertising spend accounted for $1.7 billion; in 2017 it amounted to $143 billion. According to Forbes, by 2020 it is predicted to account for well over half of all digital ad spending. The iPhone phenomenon has shifted the power of marketing online, helping popularise social media as well as increasing traffic to business websites. In 2015, Google started penalising websites that were not mobile friendly. Such revolutions change the way in which marketing works and have opened new doors to fresh and constantly changing marketing techniques.
2009- Brian Halligan coins the term “inbound marketing”
As CEO of marketing software company Hubspot and senior lecturer at MIT University, Brian Halligan hails inbound marketing as the most important new marketing method. Inbound marketing has four crucial stages; attract, convert, close and delight and uses techniques such as social media and quality online content and blog posts to attract potential customers to a business. From there, inbound marketing strategy focuses on transforming these visitors to your site into loyal customers through impressing them with a high quality product or service. Strategic and consistent use of SEO is essential to increasing online visibility in order to be easily found by prospects in conjunction with a range of other online techniques.
The idea of successful inbound marketing is that it reflects the way that people actually use the internet. People don’t want to be constantly bombarded with transparent or poorly targeted advertisements. Inbound marketing informs or entertains so that the prospective customer is drawn to the company, rather than the company reaching out directly to the customer. In addition to this, Hubspot reports that inbound marketing leads cost an average of 60% less than leads from more traditional outbound marketing techniques such as direct mail or advertisements.
2016- Donald Trump wins US presidential election
Irrespective of whether you agree with his politics, it‘s hard to deny that the election campaign ran by Republican candidate Donald Trump used a number of brilliantly executed marketing methods, which have already inspired big brands around the world. The campaign showed once again that PR has become more influential than advertising in the modern marketing age. Clinton’s campaign spent $1,184 million on advertising- almost twice Trump’s $616 million budget. However, when analysing the PR both received, Trump received around three times as much publicity as Clinton. That’s three times the publicity with half the advertising budget! This is because Trump knows how to make headlines with controversial actions or bold speeches to get people talking.
Trump was also successful on social media, receiving over 14 million more Twitter mentions than Clinton, despite Clinton having generally younger and more social media savvy supporters. Lessons learnt from Trump’s campaign have been witnessed by businesses all over the world, some of which are now trying to apply similar tactics in their marketing strategies.
2018- The Ideal Marketing Company celebrates its 15th year anniversary
Established in 2003, The Ideal Marketing Company has gone from strength to strength throughout all these marketing revolutions. We embrace change and are always eager for the next new marketing challenge to arise. That’s why we are now experts in a range of digital marketing strategies including SEO, inbound marketing, social media and Pay Per Click (PPC) that didn’t even exist when we started up!
To speak to an expert in across the spectrum of digital and traditional marketing methods, contact a member of our team today and we’ll be happy to help. Call us on 01858 445543 or email [email protected] today.
Helen is co-founder of The Ideal Marketing Company. She has worked at the company since 2004, having graduated to marketing following a career in educational management in London. As co-founder of the company, Helen believes it is crucial to put the client’s needs first and to deliver a bespoke marketing solution for each organisation. Helen’s great love is copywriting. Her work with clients involves generating great ideas for PR including writing features, press releases and article pitches to build and enhance a client’s reputation in the local, trade and national media.