January 15, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 32
The 13 Greatest Marketing Happenings ... EVER!
As 2002 began - last week - I brought you a tongue in cheek lead article.
A collection of 13 ideas (plus one bonus thought) that were most probably a super tough sell in their early years. Things that happened, like the invention of the can opener, batteries in the late 18th century, the light bulb ... and "yes", sliced bread.
This week the collection is all the way serious. Interesting, still, serious. This list of happenings truly changed - big time changed - what messages the world receives.
The early list and this list - even together - is not complete. You may have a favorite I've left off mine. The first couple of things I know I left off are telex and satellites. Those major happening are not in my top 13. Why? Because everything else that has happened and is happening would happen anyway - with or without telex and with or without satellites. My decision.
So, let's get started. Agree. Disagree. No matter, think about it. Great Happening # 1 is the Printing Press.
The time is the 1450's. Johannes Gutenberg is the guy who gets the credit ... and he should. Yet, the idea had been brewing for decades - in fact, centuries. In the 12th century in China rag paper is invented - it soon moves to Europe. The Chinese also create ways for ink to be transferred. They develop block printing. And movable type.
In western Europe the alphabet is put on paper. The Church is a major influence. They want to control thought. And learning. On the opposite side the scribes cannot keep up with the demand for documents. Something has to give.
Gutenberg sees the profit-making potential for a printing press that uses movable metal type. He combines the technologies of textile, paper making and wine presses - and the printing press is born. His first production run is of 300 two-volume Gutenberg Bibles - which sold for about 3 years of a clerks wages.
Until this time oral communication was it. News and history and culture were passed from one generation to the next by voice. Writing began interpretation, and reflection of thought. And printing made recording these thoughts possible and reasonable. Print focused on people and happenings and "truth", as understood by the writer.
It's been 8+ centuries since the first "printing" happened. 550 years since Gutenberg began the true revolution. We're still at it today. It is not going away.
Great Happening # 2 is Electricity. This time a discovery, not an invention.
The ancient Greeks, as long ago as the 8th Century B.C., began the process. They noticed an amber substance attracted bits of material - much like a magnet. When they rubbed they got a static electric charge. They didn't know what they had - they did not call it electricity. They were ahead of their time.
Ditto the Chinese and the black rock lodestone. In 1551 the Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano took another step, when he recognized the difference between what we call electricity and what is in fact magnetism.
It was 1600 and Englishman William Gilbert took a number of steps. The first person to use the word "electricity" was Sir. Thomas Bowne. In the 1730's French scientist Charles Dufay made some major moves. Most have heard of the "discovery" Benjamin Franklin made in 1752 with his kite flying experiment. Sometimes called the beginning of the electrical era.
So, as with most things, evolution evolved. And scores of people were involved. Yet, it was in the United Kingdom in 1831 that it all came together. Michael Faraday in England and Joseph Henry in the USA (working independently) took the steps that "finalized" what we today call electricity.
What we would NOT have if we did not have electricity? I don't want to think about it.
Great Happening # 3 and Great Happening # 4 tie together.
#3 is the facsimile - from Scottish inventor and clock maker Alexander Bain. In the year 1842. Please note it is 1842. It took about 100 years, until 1939 at the World's Fair in New York when American Telephone &Telegraph brought out what we could call a modern day fax machine.
In the early 1920's AT&T put the early process to real use. In 1924 they sent pictures of political conventions to newspapers. In my early school days I worked at a newspaper. Even in the 1950's the process was much the same ... the "wire service" sent pictures.
It was the 1970's before businesses adopted the fax tool.
#4, the telegraph of 1844, is right along side the fax. History takes us back to 1753, when a simple experiment by Charles Morrison "caused movements in small pieces of paper on which each letter of the alphabet is written."
Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts USA in 1791. In 1835 he develops the concept we know as Morse Code - then titled "Morse Register". A year later he builds his first working telegraph instrument.
From 1837 through 1843 there is a mass of activity and progress. It climaxes on May 1, 1844, with the first test of an overhead wire, strung through tree tops and posts from Annapolis Junction, Maryland to Washington, D.C. ... a distance of about 20 miles ... works!
It's interesting reading the sequence of events of how the fax and the telegraph brought the world together. Followed by trans-Atlantic cable in 1858. The Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads meet in the middle. Thomas Edison and his experiments with electricity (Great Happening # 2) and the overlap. Western Union and their part. The Marconi Company and ship to shore communication. More, and more and more.
Great Happening # 3 (facsimile) and Great Happening # 4 (telegraph) truly are the first links to tie the world together.
The telephone, March 10, 1876 in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexander Graham Bell brings us Great Happening # 5.
Telephone history goes way back. Man has wanted to communicate from afar from early-on. Smoke signals, mirrors, drums, carrier pigeons and from sea, semaphores ... all to get a message from one point to another.
Francis Bacon in 1627 "thought" the telephone. Yet, until electricity, the concept was not practical. By 1831 inventors knew what to do ... it took 45 more years to pull it together.
Although controversial, as Elisha Gray was within hours of Bell at the patent office, it was Bell, with Thomas Watson, who get the credit. Watson build the contraption ... and Bell and Watson together demonstrated with the famous words; "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you!".
The phone was a major jump in communications - as it was the first "tool" with speech and sound combined.
Do you know where your teen-ager is? Check the telephone.
Great Happening # 6 is the movies.
Early on Thomas Edison disliked the idea of motion pictures. He felt only children would watch them, and they' get bored after a while. It took William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, an English engineer working with Edison, to "sell" him there was money in motion.
Dickson was the real driver behind the process. He worked with Eadweard Muybridge, one of many attempting to record motion. In 1890 they built what they called a Kinetoscope - and made the first "picture". It was 5 seconds long, and could be watched by one person at a time.
In 1893 the first film to be copyrighted - 'Record of a Sneeze" - showed one of the team, Fred Ott, sneezing in front of a camera. It was shown in Kinetoscope Parlors in New York, San Francisco, Washington, Atlantic City, Baltimore and Chicago.
In 1895 the Lumiere brothers in France opened a "movie theater" - which soon was the rage Paris. 1898 and into the early 1900's more films and more theaters appeared in major cities around the world. 100 years later "going to the movies" is a worldwide past time.
A few weeks ago I wrote about wireless. Great Happening # 7 is that - it is the radio.
Personally, I like radio better than movies or television. The creativity needed to get the message understood with a voice and other sounds is a true art.
The history of radio goes back to electricity - facsimile - telegraph. It is the next step ... away from wire to wireless. Where an antenna "pulls" the sound in from the air.
In 1895 Guglielmo Marconi, near Bologna, Italy did his first "live" experiments. Yet, it was in England on June 2, 1896 where Marconi got his patent, and sent the first Morse code signals over a 2 mile distance. In 1899 radio transmission across the English Channel, from Dover to Wimereux happened.
Of note is radio in the USA was "slow". It was 1919 before the first station went on the air ... KDKA in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. WWJ in Detroit, Michigan in 1920.
There are more television sets in the world than telephones ... a good thing for marketers ... a sad thing for communication. Great Happening # 8 is television.
The year is 1926 - a full 2 years before sliced bread comes to the super market. And the first television broadcast is successful. The history goes back to Ireland and 1873, when telegraph operator Joseph May discovers how electronic signals can be transmitted. In 1875 George Carey takes the photoelectric cell process to the next level - and sends an image.
There were others who made major contributions along the way. Such as Constantin Senlecq in France in 1881 ... German Paul Nipkow in 1884 ... Karl Ferdinand Braun from the University of Strasbourg in 1897 ... Russian Boris Rosing from Saint Petersburg in 1907 ... Scotsman A.A. Campbell Swinton in 1911.
John Logie Baird, in 1926, sent the first real television transmission - a real scene of the head of a person. The picture was scanned in 30 lines, with 5 full pictures every second. In 1929 Baird convinced the BBC it ought to make television transmission outside normal radio programming. Frames per second was up to 12.5!
In March 1935 from Berlin, true television service began. In time for the Olympic games the following year. TV began in Paris in 1935, too. And the BBC got behind it all, beginning broadcast in November 1936. The first USA broadcast was from New York in 1939.
Most of the world did not participate in any of this - until after WWII. Modern TV was born in the early '50's ... and is now a mainstay around the world.
Great Happening # 9 is a technical device - the transistor. For without it, much of what has happened, either would not have happened or would have happened much slower. The transistor is a major communication Great Happening.
The year is 1947. The AT&T Lab finds researchers John Bardeen, William Schockley and Walter Brattain inventing a tiny, reliable electronic component. That over 5+ decades has changed how we send and receive messages.
In the early days it was as "tall as a wrist watch". Today that same transistor is smaller - and can hold 10 million molecules on a head the size of a pin.
Through the years the power of the transistor has grown dramatically, too. The name is Moore's Law, named after the Intel co-founder who predicted the number of transistors on a piece of silicon would double every 18 months. And it has, more or less.
Most of us know this device is in just about everything we own and use. We almost take it for a "standard" in life. It was and is as major an event as any in this list.
That absolutely wonderful tool, that if you are reading this you have and use ... E-mail is Great Happening # 10.
E-mail has a long and interesting history. It goes back to Great Happening # 3 (facsimile) and Great Happening # 4 (telegraph) ... earlier electronic messages. Another cousin is Telex, which flourished between 1920 and 1980 (and although it may come as a surprise to many, Telex is alive and well. In many third world countries, and for ship to shore transmission, this "old" system is in place. Still. Today. 2002.)
Most of us did not think about or use E-mail until the very late 1980's or into the mid-1990's. Yet, during the 1960's-'70's in the hey day of mainframe and mini-computers, many companies used internal E-mail systems. It expanded to branch offices, clients, and then spread on a world-wide basis.
The United States Department of Defense begin their in-house system in 1972. Personal computer growth ... Apple II in 1978, IBM PC in 1981, Macintosh in 1984 and then the true PC era ... exploded E-mail possibilities. There were literally millions of PC users sending and receiving E-mail long before the Internet made it possible for "everyone" to do it.
E-mail marketing, as well as communication, is as much part of our world today as direct mail. Which had it's beginnings B.C.
Great Happening # 11 is the Internet.
No surprise here. Except it's roots. Which go back to 1957 and the Advanced Research Projects Agency, created under the Eisenhower administration within the umbrella of the USA Defense Department. Why? A Russian thing called Sputnik.
A leader early on was Dr.J.C.R.Licklider. He wanted the government and computers to be more interactive. A word we use a lot today - not much 4 decades ago. Part of his thrust was to get private enterprise and those at the university level involved with "The Cold War" effort.
It took until 1969 for the full creation of the Internet to take place. It began with ARPA and 4 western USA universities ... University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), Stanford University and the University of Utah. The schools were doing research in cooperation with ARPA. And no one could "talk" with anyone else. Thus, the Internet was born to make that possible.
By 1981 200 universities were linked via the Internet. By 1983 the full Internet is in place ... and commercial uses as Prodigy begin to appear. In 1992 there are 17,000 networks in 33 countries tied together via the Internet. By 1994 there were 3 million hosts ... today the number is somewhere around 40 million.
No one doubts a Great Happening is the Internet.
Great Happening # 12 could be controversial ... as my pick is cellular telephones.
With the telephone being Great Happening #5, why bring back a product line extension? Because I think the Japanese, where cells phones really got their start in 1979, and then the rest of the world, truly changed communication by a major multiple.
The concept of a cell phone first came about in 1947. It began with car phones, which were very elementary - with limited range and poor quality (some may say there hasn't been that much improvement today!).
A cell phone is a type of two-way radio - and thus in the USA came under the Federal Communications Commission (FAA). Early on they limited use to such a small number, that from a marketing perspective there was not a market. It wasn't until 1968 an incentive was in place to build a network ... AT&T dove in.
The first commercial cellular telephone network began operation in Tokyo in 1979. Washington/Baltimore USA had a system by 1981. By 1987 it was available nationwide in the States - and the demand far exceeded available service. The rest is history, as "they say".
What is interesting to marketers today, is land-lines are at a plateau, even back-sliding. Wireless is booming. Third world countries who missed the initial telecommunications opportunities are skipping the hard-wire phrase, and going straight to the open airwaves.
Isn't technology wonderful.
Great Happening # 13 is the World Wide Web.
The WWW is last on my list of 13. Only because this list is more, or less, in date order. And the Web began its' life in 1991.
A young man named Tim Berners-Lee, at the European Particle Physics Lab (in the early days called CERN ... in French, the Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire) developed, under the Internet umbrella, the Web. The conception date was 1989.
The base principle for the Web is that of universal readership. i.e., if information is available, then it should be available from anywhere for anyone. In this model a user relies on a program to connect to a remote machine, called a server, to access the data stored there.
The initial reasoning was the same as for the Internet ... to capture and share knowledge and information. As example, all of the research I did for this article was done through the WWW. Of course, security, privacy and other issues enter in ... still, this is the platform for what the web offers. And why.
It wasn't long before commercial uses popped up. Personally, I have been involved with the Internet since 1989 ... worked with Prodigy in those days. To "test" the system I bought all my holiday gifts in 1989 and 1990 through Prodigy, over the Internet. By the mid 1990's much of the world could easily do the same. Through the World Wide Web.
Well, you get the drift. This has been a tough - and very long ... nearly 3000 word - assignment. To talk what I felt are the The 13 Greatest Marketing Happenings ... EVER! And well worth every minute and keyboard stroke. Learned a lot, enjoyed much. Hopefully you did to.
13 X 13 = 169
Yes ... 169 ... that's how many "ideas" come your way each year in my Baker's Dozen collection.
13 times each year I bring a new article - each with 13 points. This series started because I got bored with lists of 10. They always looked so "made-up". Most often stretching the last 1 or 2 or even 3 points to get to 10.
So, I looked about and found the marketing / direct marketing / sales world offered many opportunities for lists ... complete lists. Thus was born The Baker's Dozen collection.
The complete archives are housed here. The special article for this week - since we are still early in the 21st Century - is my view of why direct marketing can offer us so much. "Click" here to read 13 Platinum Advantages Direct Response Marketing Offers the 21st Century Marketer.
As with every issue of The Works of Marketing with Ray, a few words from the worlds most quoted philosopher ... Anonymous.
You, if you're even a little bit like me, you have known people who need these words.
"Your future depends on many things ... mostly you"
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.