A Brief History of Consumer Engagement: Part 1

A four-part series chronicling the origins of today’s permission marketing landscape

Over the course of the 19th Century, the steady rise of industry and the formulation of a market economy (fueled by wage labor instead of the traditional system of apprenticeship) as well as the establishment of national banking standards created a sound, firm base for modern, capitalist economics. From an increasingly industrialized and urbanized landscape, the concept of modern advertising – direct messages from brand to consumer – emerged in American society.

Advertising and the nascent brand identities it created grew as transportation, production methods and access to capital were combining to produce the first definition of consumerism. To date, consumer engagement (such as it was) existed in the form of simple, static advertising messages on signs or leaflets and physical patronage of a store or marketplace. Interactions occurred, preferences were stated and some form of relationship took place. But that relationship existed inside the strong boundaries of geography, availability and value. 





As true national consumer markets grew and solidified, a new dynamic emerged: a competition of ideas instead of mere availability. And this competition was most evident in the fast-growing mass communication channels of the era. By 19221, radio advertising was reaching large, geographically disparate audiences with compelling messages. Television advertising soon followed and the golden age of one-way, interruption advertising had begun. Consumer engagement had evolved into an active competition for brand recognition, affinity, loyalty and evangelism. But it had yet to become a true conversation between company and consumer.







Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda http://www.cemsummit2013.com

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