According to communications research company IDC (IDC.com), Internet usage in December 1996 was limited to only 36 million people, or 0.9% of world population. By June 2009, Internet World Stats measured nearly 1.7 billion Internet users worldwide, accounting for 24.7% of the global population.
For those of us in the marketing and communications industry, the difference between 1996 and 2009 is huge. Although the essence of what we do is unchanged in many ways, it has been like learning a new language as we work to tap into the vast potential of an always on and available online home for our clients’ brands, messaging and promotions.
And now, although Facebook and Twitter have been around since 2004 and 2006 respectively, these new web-based communications channels are again revolutionizing how virtually anyone with a message communicates with an audience.
But, it feels different this time.
The Great Recession of the last two years has really changed attitudes very quickly. Some of the same clients who even last year weren’t interested in a Google search campaign are now very open to new strategies that involve dialogue and engagement through social networking.
So although all of us will be glad when the recession is over and sustained economic growth returns, the pain of a downturn will not have completely been in vain. The quick leap of advancement being made in marketing and communications practices will be good for our industry and good for our clients. And I’m convinced these advancements would have taken a great many years, if not for the financial pressures of the current recession.
Viva la Revolución!