What the advertising and marketing landscape looked like 10 years ago 

The landscape of business ownership and marketing has changed dramatically over the past decade. Ten years ago, it might have been excusable for entrepreneurs to avoid using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to advertise their products. Nowadays if you’re not on social media you won’t reach anyone under 45. If your brand doesn’t have an internet presence, it might as well not exist at all. 

Advertising has changed in the last 10 years

One of the major changes over the past ten years is the fact that the internet now goes with us everywhere, always. Each moment a consumer is linked to social media is an opportunity for an entrepreneur to connect with a potential customer or client.

However, the internet is vast. With so much information available, it is easy to get overwhelmed. So, how do you stay relevant? A savvy and sleek social media presence is the secret to success. 

What makes today’s consumers different?

Millennials and Generation Z are far more likely to engage with technology in ways that are different from previous cohorts. They are: more likely to subscribe to a streaming service than a cable package, they spend way more time on social media, and they are fluent in that current cultural zeitgeist: the meme.

These tendencies provide both a challenge and an opportunity for today’s entrepreneur. While the advertising ways of yore no longer hold true, there are now infinite inroads into reaching your target audience. Today’s consumers are almost universally on at least one social media platform such as Facebook (such as Facebook), if not more such as 

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr, etc.

People engage with these platforms to connect with friends and loved ones, to get their news, and to interact with viral graphic content, such as the meme. While this may seem like the Wild West of marketing, social media can be an opportunity to create dynamic, witty, and meaningful interactions with your audience to build your business and create brand loyalty.

What can social media help you do?

Having a strong social media presence can help you:

  • Target specific demographics
  • Engage with current and potential customers one-on-one
  • Create memorable marketing presences 

Target specific demographics 

A decade ago, Mr. O’Malley’s Custom Shoe Shop would put up a billboard along the freeway and hope that the people driving by were the kind of people who needed handmade footwear. However, there was no guarantee. There was a fair degree of risk. Now, the miracle of algorithms allows you to advertise on social media platforms directly to your target audience. 

One-on-one engagement

In the past, the only time you would have a direct engagement with your customers would be when they called on the phone or physically came into the store. In online spaces, you can have meaningful interactions with your audience one-on-one in a public forum in ways that the rest of your audience can also view and publicly interact with.

Create memorable marketing presences 

Most people of a certain age remember the Superbowl Budweiser ad with the bullfrogs. Today’s digital equivalent in Wendy’s sassy Twitter account. But while the Superbowl ad has been forgotten by more recent generations, brands’ social media presences have the constant opportunity to update, reinvent themselves, and stay relevant.


Today’s consumers are different and require different handling. So don’t skimp when it comes to social media. Having a dead social media profile is almost worse than not having one at all. People can assume you went out of business or no longer exist. That said, you need to choose your social media presences carefully so that you’re putting your time and effort where your clients aren’t.