Communication technologies continue to advance and grow, and new media platforms gain market share across the board. But what are the technologies and social needs that laid the groundwork for the communications methods we use today? What are the evolutions that allowed us to move from mass communications to personal communications? And what technologies were disrupted along the way by improvements in the way communications evolved.

This paper explores these questions and considers the technology and social factors that have accelerated this change and led to our ability to move from mass marketing communications to one-to-one marketing communications.

Here is the URL:  http://evolutiondirectmarketing.wordpress.com

Technology has brought forth an evolutionary transformation in the way we communicate with each other.  Humanity has changed it’s modes of communication as society itself has evolved.  As have marketers in the way they market to us, as consumers…


The petroleum industry just got lucky.  The fact that they are even around today is due to the inventions of innovation that was created outside the oil industry.  They started out as pharmaceuticals and then as oil in kerosene lamps, competing against gaslight.  But then Edison invented electricity, which should have eliminated the petroleum industry altogether.  However, because of the rise of kerosene lamps being used in space heaters, oil stuck around. Continue Reading »

At the time I chose this reading for my extra credit reading, I was reading the excerpt from Bagdikian’s Media Monopoly.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was a good link to the idea of social control but with a different spin.  In this Chapter, A Social History of American Technology, Cowen speaks about the various efforts to try to control electronic communications, only to have it continue to manifest itself so that no one individual, company or component dominates for very long (although it’s made a lot of people very rich!). She cites 3 reasons for this: Continue Reading »

My first impression as I started reading this article was “whoa Ben – tell us how you really feel”!  The excerpt from his book, The Media Monopoly (published 1997), gives us Bagdikian’s warnings of the dangers posed by monopolistic control of newspapers, television, movies, magazines,  radio and books by a few major corporations.  I wanted to understand the media landscape today compared to his predictions in 1997, when the reading was published, as so much evolution has occurred in the world of communications.  Begdikian states in his book The Media Monopoly, that in 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S.  He predicted then that eventually this number would fall to about half a dozen companies. This was greeted with skepticism at the time. When the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. Continue Reading »

Questions that will shape my paper include: 

  • What technology evolutions allowed us to move from mass communications to interpersonal communications?
  • What technologies were disrupted by improvements in the way interpersonal communications evolved?
  • What were the social influences and behaviors that drove the refinement of interpersonal communications?

Definitions (for the context of my paper):

  • Mass Communicationsa message created by a person or a group of people sent through a transmitting device (a medium) to a large audience or market.
  • Interpersonal Communicationsthe process of sending and receiving relevant information between two or more people, allows for more specific tailoring of the message and more personal communication than mass communication methods
  • Advertisinga form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services, usually to drive consumer behavior.
  • Direct Marketinga sub discipline of advertising, with emphasis on measurable results (responses) from its intended audience regardless of medium.  

3 Most Important Developments: Continue Reading »

I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to developing the discussion leader paper and presentation.  However, I first started getting “hooked” when I read my chosen article from the Harvard Business Review entitled “Reinventing Your Business Model”. I have enjoyed deep diving into Christensens theories of disruptive innovations and have thought a lot on how to enable this.  The article provided a good framework to think about shaping a business organization to enable successful disruptive innovations. Continue Reading »

Bibliography Draft

(This is incomplete but I am submitting in hopes of receiving partial credit and more importantly feedback):

This is a draft list of references and resources that will be used on my final paper on the evolution of direct marketing and the communications technologies, behaviors and social needs that drove the distinction between broadcast (one to many) and communications (one to one).  I will also look at the convergence of these patterns of communication and the impact they have on us as consumers: Continue Reading »

I have become very interested in learning how Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation theories explain the events that have, and continue to, shape innovation today.  Having a career that has spanned over the past 20 years, primarily in technology-enabled organizations, the more I read about disruptive innovation and business model theories, the more I can relate them directly to some of my own work experiences.  It’s one of those “if I knew then what I know now” things. The Harvard Business Review article, “Reinventing Your Business Model”, touches on the primary factor to enabling disruptive innovations to occur.  Without an innovation-driven ecosystem, disruptive innovation cannot occur.  Continue Reading »

Com 546 Book Report:  Roy Church and Andrew Godley (Editors), 2003. The Emergence of Modern Marketing.  London, Frank Cass and Co.

What does Madame Tussaud, Unilever, General Motors, the Motion Picture industry have in common? Their early stories, influences and business development practices represent the economies of marketing, which was impacted by politics, war and the leaders of their time.  Their business experiences have shaped the way we think about marketing today.  The channels may be different, but the disciplines and principles are the same.

This book is a collection of 7 essays representing a historical view of businesses and the values, processes and resources that shaped modern marketing.  Each going through the cycles of real or potential disruption.  And each demonstrating the systematic marketing practices that made or broke their success.  Themes that pepper these essays include product distribution, diversification, product development, market research, selling strategies, advertising and branding. Continue Reading »