News and views to improve the strength and vigor of all your direct response marketing activity.

Working sons of working fathers are 2.7 times as likely to join the same profession — at least according to the New York Times. If my father had been a mathematician, perhaps I’d be able to succinctly lay out a detailed statistical model demonstrating the likelihood of following in his footsteps. But as he is a copywriter, I’ll review the radical changes that show the shifting nature of the ad game, highlighting the differences between my time as a copywriter and my father’s era of copywriting. More specifically: How has the world of marketing evolved, from when my father was banging out ads on a typewriter, to our current era of omnichannel marketing?

Then to now: moving from the mailbox to the inbox

“The Philly ad game is completely different from when I started,” my father mentioned when I talked to him about this blog. “New formats, new channels — so much is unrecognizable.”

In the decades since he started clacking the keys on a Smith-Corona Sterling at his first agency gig, new methods of reaching people have exploded the market. Although many forms of “traditional” advertising are still around — paid sponsorships, TV ads, radio, billboards, magazines, etc. — the new frontier is digital. From the earliest days of America Online banner ads, digital now includes podcasts, social, email, augmented reality (AR), and beyond.

The evolution of omnichannel

As consumers and prospects began spending more time online, advertisers followed. The era of omnichannel marketing was born to address the changes in the way prospects consumed media and marketing.

The migration mimicked innovation in entertainment and technology — from print media to radio, from radio to TV, from TV to digital, and so on ad infinitum. During my father’s career and mine, new formats became lucrative methods of attracting eyeballs and converting prospective clients. Omnichannel marketing hit big. If you can’t catch a prospect with a print ad, you’d get them via direct mail, TV, radio, banner ads, social ads, and so on. And as the audience’s thirst for diversified media evolves, so too must the humble copywriter.

As businesses evolve, innovative marketing must still depend on the hard work, sweat, and talent of creative people — no matter the medium.

What’s next?

At the beginning of both my father’s career and my own, we’ve seen seismic changes in the way we reach (and learn about) consumers. From the first “ads” scrawled on the walls of a cave by a neolithic marketing professional, we can now reach consumers through automated email campaigns, retrieve data on clickthrough, scroll-down rate, A/B tests, and so much else.

Soon we may see AR marketing campaigns specifically for people who use AR devices like the Apple Vision Pro. When my father started writing newspaper ads for sandwich shops, I’m not sure he could have imagined writing copy for a digital ad straight out of Back to the Future.

The key to reaching people anywhere and everywhere

My father has one piece of advice: “Just make it interesting,” he says. “Have a good hook.” This is the heart of the matter — as the business evolves, innovative marketing must still depend on the hard work, sweat, and talent of creative people no matter the medium. Across the entirety of both of our careers, as everything had changed … and changed again (… and again, and never stops changing), nothing beats a killer concept, some tight copy, and inspired art direction.

Much like my father, DMW has shifted over time to meet our audience where they are. Although we have extensive digital offerings, we still create award-winning direct marketing pieces using traditional media channels. If you want to learn more about DMW and our omnichannel marketing capabilities, get in touch today.