The Constant Evolution of Brand Communication

Throughout history, brands have continuously adapted their communication strategies to keep up with technological advancements. From print to radio, TV to web, and now the digital AI era, the landscape of marketing is always evolving. However, is it truly a revolutionary shift, or a return to the roots of personal engagement?

I think brand communication is coming back full circle back from the good ole Fuller Brush days of door-to-door salesmanship. Only now it’s called “engagement.” People haven’t changed… they still have the same basic needs and wants, but over the decades, HOW they got what they wanted and needed has changed. I grew up in the beginning of the TV era, where brands got in front of people through their television sets and sold them soap, lawnmowers, trips to Tahiti—anything they wanted—with one-sided advertisements. It was also the era of ad agencies and direct mail—also one-sided communication, and these were the only game in town.

Then along came the digital and social transformation. Wow! Now we have gazillions of people we can get in front of with ads! What a boon, right? Not really. Instead of spending billions on print ads, we spent billions on digital ads, even though the social revolution taught us that what people REALLY wanted from brands was one-on-one conversation, empathy, and human connection. What they didn’t want was more marketing noise. That is the whole reason for social connection. People still want what they wanted from a door-to-door salesperson back in the day…to talk to someone knowledgeable about the product, to speak to their neighbors and friends about it, and to share experiences before making a decision to buy. They DON’T want to be bombarded with interruptive ads (but they do want a brand to be responsive when they reach out to them). They want one-on-one connection with real human beings.

By leveraging social listening platforms, and the developing AI tools, and creating relevant, meaningful content, brands can establish a strong emotional connection with their audience, ultimately leading to increased customer loyalty and advocacy. The evolution of marketing has brought us full circle, emphasizing the timeless significance of human connection and relationships in brand communication. So YES, buy that media and place those ads, and work hard on the strategy and to stand out, but don’t forget to leverage the available tools to listen, engage, and build relationships with consumers… those tools are advancing as well. 

Marketing will truly win when humans control the machines instead of the machines controlling the humans.

Related: Building Unbreakable Bonds and Trust with Social Insurance and Social Cred