The World Wide Web, the Internet, and the "Information Superhighway." No doubt about it; the web has brought the biggest revolution to marketing since the printing press. Even bigger and more profound perhaps, since at the time of inception of printing and mass marketing few could afford the cost of a book, if indeed the consumers of the time could read, yet most in the United States and Canada now own a computer with Internet access or at least have ready access to World Wide Web, the marketing power of the Internet, and the use of this sophisticated communications, marketing and analysis tool and set of tools. Smaller nimble firms with the wish to promote their wares and services to the masses of consumers now are on a level playing field with Goliath firms with massive resources, yet not with the flexibility of quick and thorough action to deliver the message or messages to their customers and potential customers in a most prompt and timely manner and fashion.
Look at what used to be the dominant media and powerhouse of its time - newspapers and the mass media. Newspapers are part of the "old school" of mass media. Newspapers and its sister mass market forms of broadcasting were the way to go - the most powerful, effective and cost-efficient means of promotion.
Marketing would delve into product research, focus groups and the like. A message, or at best a few direct messages, would be developed and directed towards the given target market or perhaps markets. At the best there might be several different "campaigns". Yet the role of the marketing remained the same; "broadcasting" that was to blast out this message in mass broadcast form to all. It was in essence a matter of simply throwing mud against the wall, hoping some would stick. Tell the message 200 million times. If only 1/10 of a percent of those who listened or saw the promotion bought the goods or service promoted well then the advertising firm would well convince the owners or management of the firm that they "were on the gravy train" and they had not only a profitable campaign but a marketing, sales and profit success on their hands.
The days of the broadcasting mode of marketing and sales are long gone. It's just too expensive and wasteful now. With the internet and computerization being more efficient, effective and ultimately cost efficient technologies, products services and options have opened up. Customers, groups of customers and clients can be targeted almost exactly to a tee. Different sets of customer groups can be exactly almost surgically met in the marketplace. People are "much smarter "now. They cannot be as simply fooled as not long ago. The consumer can conduct easy research, promptly and thoroughly in a manner that few of the largest organizations with the greatest resources, whether they be large monolith marketing companies or government organizations, not long ago.
It might be said that computers and computer technologies have "democratized "the marketplace both from the standpoints of consumers and smaller companies and organizations wishing to promote their goods and services to the marketplace. Now even the smallest outfits can compete with the "big boys". It's a brave new world out there - not only for those wishing to sell but for consumers as well,
The days of product "broadcasting" to the market and marketplace are long gone.