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Then & Now: How would Marketing Styles of the 90s fare today?

Updated: Jan 13



Marketing in the 1990s was a vastly different landscape than it is today. The internet was in its infancy, and social media was yet to be invented. Marketing was largely focused on traditional media such as television, radio, print, and billboards.


Mail Call

One of the most significant developments in marketing during the 1990s was the rise of direct marketing. Back then, direct marketing involved sending mass mailings to potential customers in an attempt to generate leads; these potential customers would allow them to canvas a broad area with the hope (fingers crossed) that their message landed in the right hands. To do this, companies could purchase lists of potential customers based on demographic information, and then send them mailings designed to appeal to their specific needs and interests. This type of marketing was highly effective at generating leads and building customer loyalty, but it was also expensive and time-consuming.


Focus on the Brand

Another significant development in marketing during the 1990s was the rise of brand management. Companies began to recognize the importance of building and maintaining a strong brand image in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Brand management involved developing a clear and consistent message that conveyed the company's values, mission, and unique selling proposition. This message was then communicated through all of the company's marketing efforts, from advertising to

product packaging to customer service. For the first time, companies paid attention to top of mind reputation management instead of problem solving.


Come one, Come all

The 1990s also saw the rise of event marketing. Companies began to sponsor events such as sports tournaments, music festivals, and charity fundraisers in order to build brand awareness and connect with potential customers. These events provided a unique opportunity for companies to engage with their target audience in a fun and memorable way.


Despite these developments, many aspects of marketing in the 1990s remain relevant today. For example, the importance of building a strong brand image and developing a clear and consistent message is as important today as it was 30 years ago. Similarly, event marketing remains an effective way to engage with customers and build brand awareness.


However, the rise of the internet and social media has fundamentally changed the way that companies approach marketing. Today, digital marketing is king, and companies need to have a strong online presence in order to compete. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide companies with a powerful tool for connecting with customers and building brand awareness. Additionally, search engine

optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are essential components of any successful digital marketing strategy.


Marketing in the 1990s was a vastly different landscape than it is today. Direct marketing, brand management, and event marketing were all significant developments during this time, but the rise of the internet and social media has fundamentally changed the way that companies approach marketing. While many aspects of marketing in the 1990s remain relevant today, companies must now have a strong online presence in order to compete.


 
Willow and Sage Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that specializes in helping small business owners realize their full potential. Our job is to create a strategy that blends the organic and the paid, the owners' dreams and the living brand. We’re passionate about helping brands find their creative voice. With over 25 years of experience navigating the marketing arena for corporate entities, nonprofit groups, and small business owners, we are sure in our knowledge, marketing ideas, and methods! We’re here to make your life easier and help small businesses to grow!
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