Article

Sarah Gate
Sarah Gate 26 May 2016

3 Things Digital Marketers can learn from Marketing in the 1950s

We've all poked fun at a 1950s ad, when it was not uncommon to open the daily newspaper only to read about the health benefits of smoking, over breakfast. But smoking aside, here are three hot tips that the modern marketer can learn from the golden years of advertising and successfully implement strategies today.

For the sake of a good listicle, here are three key fundamentals we can take away from the 1950s advertising pioneers, who sort of stumbled their way into marketing and helped to shape what it is today. 

1. Define your message and your audience: segmentation

1108.jpg

Advertising in the 1950s emphasised society's upward mobility and prosperity, I'm sure you'll be familiar with the term "keeping up with the Joneses." The main householder buyer was identified as the "housewife" and advertising (see above) started to target her, not necessarily successfully (again, see above). What we can learn from this is that it is important to truly know your audience and how they will react to your message.

Thanks to digital marketing, the ability to track and target at an individual level has allowed for hyper-segmentation. Although marketers can understand the effectiveness of a campaign faster than ever before, the thinking should remain the same as our 1950s advertisers, in which it is still important to identify, target and communicate the RIGHT messages to the RIGHT buying audience. And maybe do some market research before.

2. We are here to sell: direct response

801192_600-(2).jpg

Sometimes as marketers we forget the core of our function; we are really just fancy* salespeople, pushing a product or service. It is confusing when advertising does not have a call to action or leave the viewer interested enough in the product to go out and try it. The nature of digital channels has seen an influx of performance measures available, and we too often get caught up in the numbers of click-throughs and impressions. Digital marketing should flick through some 1950s ads for a quick refresher on how to successfully reinstate the call-to-action and in turn nurture lead generation. 

3. Don't be a pop up

3816361-l.jpg

In a multi-channel, multi-device world, marketing seeks for consistency and video commercials now fight for a captive audience. We've all gone to stream our favourite TV show online only to be [read: rudely] interrupted by an advertisement in the form of video content. There goes 30 seconds of your life you will never get back. Adblockers are available for those more technical consumers, but the majority will sit through the advertisement. Without starting a campaign against these ads, they are commonly unpopular and increasingly common. Whereas our 1950s counterparts were successful at ensuring a harmonic relationship between buying and selling advertising space; for example, a host of a TV show would announce the sponsor, or there would be subtle product placement. As a result, the brand was a reflection of the content it was present with as much as, in turn, the content represented the brand. The more the line between advertising and content blurs the harder it becomes for the consumer to distinguish the difference of where one starts and the other begins. The summary of this is that marketers need to look at how their advertising space affects their brand. 

*Because we are fancy. 

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
If You’re A Social Media Manager, UGC Should Be Your Top Priority

If You’re A Social Media Manager, UGC Should Be Your Top Priority

It’s high time that the marketing world rethinks what an effective social media manager actually does. Hint: it’s not chasing “likes” or showing off their follower counts. Let’s face it: so many brands today totally miss the mark when it comes to their social content. Maybe their posts come off as too “salesy.” Perhaps they’re pushing too hard, leaving their followers behind in an endless trail of “look at me” posts.

Luisana Cartay
Luisana Cartay 11 September 2017
Read more
Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Customer Journey Mapping: A Real-Life Approach to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

As financial services and insurance (FSI) companies strive to deliver the seamless multi-channel customer experience, the traditional marketing model has been radically reimagined. Innovative institutions are showing how cross-functional teams focusing on the customer journey can work to develop a single view of the customer – an approach that can bring tangible rewards. Yet research shows that large institutions still have some way to go in maximising the return on their investment in this area.

Aoife McIlraith
Aoife McIlraith 18 September 2017
Read more
10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

10 Marketing Lessons From Apple [Infographic]

The 10-year-old kid, selling ice cold fresh lemonade on the street corner in your local neighbourhood had it right. He or she may not have realized it but the simple marketing strategy that they accidentally and innocently came up with works perfectly on the people strolling by on their daily walk.

Ellie Summers
Ellie Summers 19 September 2017
Read more