We have spent the last 50 years moving away from personal interaction, starting with the age of TV and Radio.
Marketing focused on selling to target audiences with little concern for the people in that audience. From TV and Radio, to Print, Direct Mail and Telemarketing, sales and marketing digressed to a numbers game obsessed with creating campaigns and measuring return.
Thanks to changes in the social and geographic make-up of our country since the early days of the technological revolution, generalized message driven marketing did not seem out-of-place as we all grew apart.
We moved to cul-de-sacs in the ‘burbs, chose to watch TV, play video games and surf the web rather than personally interact. We built fences, closed drapes and ordered in. We created our own interactive worlds within our physical communities – only to become punch drunk by the never ending value added messaging we received as people tried to reach us through every channel imaginable.
Businesses marketed to reach a demographic, playing the numbers game – reach many, convert a few, dial to style. Individuals were being removed from the equation.
Now advancements in technology have allowed us all to come full circle. We have rejected the mass marketing game. We are headed back to a time when we chose vendors based on personal integrity and not on marketing prowess. Back when who said it was more important than what was said.
Business is becoming human again and I welcome it. The world class, best of breed, new paradigm, next generation solution is being replaced by the experienced qualified person with a name and face and an easily research-able, valid, professional online profile.
The very technology that, in its infancy separated us from each other, has now matured enough to connect us all back together again. In the age of research-buying, people are again doing business with people.
As developers bulldoze entire unoccupied cul-de-sac developments in Las Vegas, I can’t help but wonder if a sense of real community will come back – developing offline as it has online. After all, we have seen some trickle over with Tweet Ups, Linkedin meetings and breakfast events. Time will tell.