Throughout the first half of the twentieth century and beyond, those early marketers didn’t have very many options for communicating information to buyers. They typically relied on clever messages that they hoped would influence attitudes and shape buying behavior. Marketing communication was entirely one way: The seller would talk, and the buyer would read, listen to, or watch print ads, radio spots, and later TV commercials.
Their limited ability to convey information meant that, while marketers could pass along a broad concept, an image, and a name, they didn’t really have the opportunity to communicate or relate detailed information to individual customers. That was the salesperson’s job; he or she could meet one-on-one with the buyer, engage in two-way conversation, and close the information gap between buyer and seller.
The dawn of the brand-marketing era saw early advertising agencies emerge and refine the process of brand creation in the consumer’s mind. In hindsight, many of those early campaigns’ naïveté and stereotypic views of consumers seem laughable. Eventually, though, advertising emerged as something close to a high art form, becoming a staple of modern culture.