Interviews with Successful Online Marketers & Entrepreneurs

To Succeed In The Future, Look To The Past

We often believe that if we want our companies to succeed in the future, we have to predict trends and do outreach on all the newest platforms. Remember the Tiktok craze? 

But if it’s guiding marketing principles we’re after, it is probably better to look to the past. Why? Because here you can uncover tried-and-tested ideas that work in all times and places.

Digital Escapism

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We’re already seeing the emerging signs of digital escapism today. But the movement is likely to grow considerably in the future. People are going to shut down the social media accounts in their droves and move “back out into the real world.” 

What this will look like in practice is hard to say. But digital platforms may lose their hegemony. And that could change the future of marketing for everyone. 

All this means that marketers will have to find new channels to find customers – or, more accurately, old channels. 

Just take a look at pages like Even today, print advertisements are still an enormous industry, serving hundreds of thousands of companies across the country, proving that direct mail is still a valid strategy. What’s more, it doesn’t come with any of the privacy baggage associated with social networks. And so, fundamentally, prospects feel positively towards it. 

One-On-One Relationships

During the 20th century, corporations moved over to a mass-production model. The idea here was to get costs down as low as possible by treating all customers in the same way.

But there was a time before this when economic relationships were one-on-one. 

Think about the nineteenth-century factory worker visiting the local cobbler, or the mother of five going to the butchers. In each case, the customer knew precisely who was selling the goods, what they were like as a person, and so on. It was personal. 

Today, companies are trying to get back to that early-industrial ideal. Their main tool to achieve this is actually chat apps on major social networks (though some are now using built-in chat tools on their sites). 


We’re also seeing a drive towards authenticity, leaving behind the insincerity of some corporations that dogged 20th-century businesses. In the past, companies would make all sorts of outlandish claims about what their products could do. And, as a result, consumers became quite cynical, according to Today, there is hardly a western consumer who takes adverts seriously (or would admit that they do to their friends). 

That’s why the future of marketing will again look to the past. Customers want the same level of hard graft and authenticity that people got all the way back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Companies need to do more than offer superficial slogans and communicate with their audiences on an emotional level. 

So, in many ways, marketing is going full-circle in terms of its basic principles. It’s coming back around to something that 19th-century business owners would find quite familiar. And that’s a good thing. It means closer relationships with customers and greater audience engagement. 

About John-Shea

Internet Marketing Entrepreneur