BLOG: Bohemian like you

By the time the opening notes of Bohemian like you have played I’m usually transported back to my mid-twenties, an eager young thing learning the marketing ropes at Vodafone when this song was used in their main advertising campaign.

When I started there in 2003, the personal communications revolution was in its infancy. I remember being given my first work phone – a Samsung S100 flip phone – I felt like I had the coolest device and coolest employer on the planet! Their network advertising ‘Best in Britain bar none’ emblazoned outdoor poster sites and the sides of buses (although the less said about bus advertising now the better!) and there was a mood of optimism and bravado in the air.

Just like the song, the early noughties advocated youthful energy, confidence and spontaneity with the causal connections, conversations and meet ups made possible by the voice and text features of the mobile phone.

Not long after, the 3G network was rolled out, BlackBerry launched and email on the go had everyone hooked at all job levels. It was the start of the ‘always on’, ‘always available’ culture. It wasn’t conceivable then that there would ever be a time when BlackBerry would not reign supreme and we wouldn’t all be crackberry slaves to the email alerts.

But, that’s exactly what happened when the iPhone, a new type of phone – the smartphone – landed. It blew the competition away, and the bar was raised on a higher level of phone addiction that we have become accustomed to now.

As I was leaving, nearly a decade after joining, the balance had tipped amongst consumers 60 to 40 in favour of smartphones. The humble feature phone and BlackBerry were on their way out.

Whilst the pace of technology and devices evolution has got faster and faster, one thing that hasn’t changed during this time is the importance of the marketing mix – all those Ps!

1 Product

2 Price

3 Place

4 Promotion

5 People

6 Process

7 Physical evidence

Whether you’re in the business of selling products or services, the Ps are still relevant and the best foundation for a successful business – thank goodness as there’s so many of them! But, technology has affected how we execute all of them. Now we use social media for breaking news, produce digital publications more than print brochures, generate content for email marketing over direct mail, create brand experiences for customers instead of TV  / radio advertising, do our research and shopping online more than in stores…and so on.

My kids are digital natives, my seven-year old son is learning to tie his shoelaces but using a digital device is instinctive to him. The jobs that they might do in the future haven’t been invented yet.

Were you starting work in the noughties? How much has technology changed what you do and how you work?

Watch the ad

Song credit: The Dandy Warhols. Watch the music video.