#ThrowbackThursday: Stories of Marketing Past

The marketing world is made up of strategies and trends. A whole division of this world is made for anticipating and projecting what comes next, and it just so happens that this division is wrong… all of the time. Generally people only remember the correct predictions, like Apple as a company anticipating a market for digital music. The following Throwback Thursday series will consider stories out of the the business and marketing world which got it wrong and not only wrong but laughably wrong. It will also highlight stories which now seem very obvious but were newsworthy at the time.

This internet thing, it might be good as a news source:

(Source: New York Times)
Yes, back in 2004 the future of internet news was newsworthy enough for a small blurb. Since that article published countless newspapers have went bankrupt, consolidated, merged and have been bought by private interests. These days, as is most obviously clear, internet news is the norm. Reading news on a mobile device was very expensive and not so readily available:

nokia-2600-old-for-s-1930120648 (1)
(The best selling phone of 2004 didn’t have a news app, but it did have a color screen!)
Now, this piece of throwbackiality is not necessarily wrong, it just did not anticipate the intense change in usage and most certainly did not anticipate the nature of mobile news. As for the future it’s clear digital content and news will reign king and making any projections outside that may see this blog on another throwback special in the future.

Job Boom’s that We Never Saw:

(Party like it’s 1999)
Quite a bit can be remembered during the tech boom of the 90’s. Jobs were plentiful, the biggest scandal politically was Bill Clinton’s private life and Michael Jordan was still winning championships. After the recession that hit right after 9/11, spirits were low and unemployment was rising. A way out, or a light at the end of the tunnel was what the media was looking for.

The article talks about rising unemployment and how there would be a bounce back: “At this particular moment in economic history, that is quite a statement. Two million workers have been downsized or displaced since the recession of 2001. At 6.2 percent, the national unemployment rate is the highest it’s been in nine years, and the number of new jobless claims has sat above 400,000 for 20 weeks. To base hiring policy today on the prospect of a return to the tight labor market of 1999 seems not just counterintuitive–it defies the evidence of one’s own eyes… The cause of the labor squeeze is as simple as it is inexorable: During this decade and the next, the baby boom generation will retire. The largest generation in American history now constitutes about 60 percent of what both employers and economists call the prime-age workforce–that is, workers between the ages of 25 and 54. The cohorts that follow are just too small to take the boomers’ place. The shortage will be most acute among two key groups: managers, who tend to be older and closer to retirement, and skilled workers in high-demand.” This was from Paul Kaihla of CNN Money, September 1 of 2003. Ten years later here we are, absent of this ‘Job Boom,’ and more seriously wondering how to project such a serious projection. Media like this is commonplace in business sections and it’s refreshing on this Throwback Thursday to see that often times it turns out to be incredibly wrong, and incredibly unfortunate.

The Evolution of Digital News Marketing:

(The Beginning of Digital News Marketing)
These days lots of news outlets have placed stories which were paid for to sell a product. Often times it is disguised as a news story, and contains many news elements. This technique has developed into a multi-billion dollar marketing strategy and as a reader, you possibly consume a lot of these stories. Back in the day it was a little less strategized and a lot more obvious. You got less news and more information because it was essentially an advertisement. This piece from the New York Times is a refreshing piece of throwback marketing. Coffee table books are still popular, but ones with ‘digital photography,’ are just called photography these and photographs using film are now disclosed as ‘film,’ as clearly the norms have shifted.