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Mike Paine
by Mike Paine
June 18, 2020

In a classic example of predictive analysis, you recently bought a new pair of running socks.

It’s not a noteworthy purchase, except that you bought the socks because an algorithm figured out that you needed and wanted the socks before you knew that you wanted or needed the socks.

It’s a phenomenon that everyone now pretty much takes for granted. Websites are watching and gathering information about your buying habits, and you’re receiving marketing tailored exactly to your preferences.

In honor of Father’s Day, it’s a good time to look at the Fathers of Marketing, and how we ended up at a place where something as every day as sock-buying habits became worthy of analysis.

Direct Mail in 1,000 B.C.?

The first known direct mail marketing occurred in Egypt when a landowner issued an ad on papyrus offering payment for the return of a runaway slave. Now housed in the British Museum, this early example paved the way for future ads, though some may be surprised that the original direct mail wasn’t an offer for duct cleaning.

Extra! Extra!

The first newspaper ad was listed in the Boston Newsletter, the original continuously published paper started by John Campbell. The ad, which appeared just a month after the newspaper’s first issue, was printed on May 8, 1704, and featured the upcoming sale of a local mill.

In 1729, Ben Franklin began issuing “The Pennsylvania Gazette,” and his inventive mind recognized that if advertisers paid for space among his pages, the paper could be distributed for free.

While digital marketing gets a lot of press today, the newspaper is hardly extinct. Fifty-three percent of Americans read a daily paper and 22% of all advertising dollars spent go to newspapers.

Social Upheaval

While Facebook certainly had several less-successful predecessors, there’s no doubt that the site, launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, has changed marketing strategies. The fast growth of the Internet in the 1990s paved the way for social media and the algorithms that would help sites like Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Amazon inform you that it's time for new running socks.

Integrated, Automated Marketing

These Fathers of Marketing all produced advertising media that would stand the test of time, with each still in use today. The benefit today’s marketers have is the technology to not only analyze which channels are most effective for content distribution but also automate marketing processes. With the right technology in place, social media posts can be scheduled and automated, direct mail responses can be funneled into a lead nurturing program, and companies can find the exact right mix of traditional and digital investments.

The Father of DirectMail.io

While not well known yet, Shawn Burst, actual father of four, is a marketing pioneer like no other. He's continuing to discover new and innovative ways to start conversations with consumers. The DirectMail.io platform merges several marketing channels together, allowing agencies, printers, and businesses to easily launch and analyze campaigns in real-time. Because it's all-in-one, you can accomplish 10x the work with fewer resources.

We hope you enjoy this Sunday celebrating the fathers of today and yesterday. For more information about the ways DirectMail.io helps you automate your marketing strategy for streamlined efficiency and a better return on investment schedule a demo today.


Mike Paine
by Mike Paine
June 18, 2020