I know you are busy, but pause for a moment and consider the miraculous history of marketing and branding for business, because I think it is going to help you. The very first Internet domain name was registered just 27 years ago in 1985, by a company called Symbolics.com.
ARPANET, which came online in 1969, was its grandfather, connecting large computers at four universities in California and Utah; it was only used by computer experts, engineers, scientists, and librarians. By 1972, ARPANET users had a form of email, and file sharing in 1973. ARPANET expanded and inspired other networks over the next decade as more and more academic and government institutions developed and adopted this networking technology.
Each had a string of numbers as their address which were hard to remember and update if the site moved to a different IP — Internet Protocol — address. So domain names like maggieanderson.com were a BIG advance. Associating IPs with a domain name made it easier for people to memorize, and changing the location of a site only required changing the numerical address associated with that name -- the name remained the same and the internet address could become part of the company's brand. The early domains were tech companies like IBM, Intel, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett-Packard.
Here's a startling timeline: In 1985, only six companies held .com domains. By 1992, there were fewer than 15,000. In 2010, there were 84 million separate domains, pouring $1.5 trillion USD into the global economy.
Less than three decades ago only large technology companies and research universities could afford the investment in internet technology. Today one third of people across the globe -- including the remotest corners of the Outback, the Andes mountains, the poorest African villages, seldom visited islands of the Pacific -- one third of all people in the entire world, over 2 billion, use the Internet, could obtain a domain name and begin their own company marketing their products and services for minimal cost over the internet. The "glass half empty" types will see this as competition run amuck, of course. But if you are in the "glass half full" camp it signals an opportunity for global prosperity that lifts all boats.
To put the astounding development in marketing communications the internet provides in perspective...
In 1041, movable clay type was first invented in China. Over four hundred years later in 1450 Johannes Gutenberg made his first printing press, and print completely dominated communication for the next 500 years, until radio and television began to capture viewers' attention. I grew up a couple of miles from the KDKA Radio tower East of Pittsburgh which was the first radio station to play music over airwaves on November 2, 1920. The first television program? Hit the airwaves in July 1941. In the 900 years from 1041 to 1941, anyone who owned a business and wanted to promote it in any of these media -- print, radio or tv -- had to be doing quite well, because the cost of these technologies was high. Marketing communications took a significant percentage of revenue.
By contrast, the internet took less than 30 years to expand access to its vast communication network from exclusively well-funded corporations and universities to any entreprising individual operating from their basement or kitchen table, gondola, thatched hut or yurt.
If you don't feel you are fully leveraging the marketing miracle of the internet -- with a Website, blog, social media and email platform -- I'd love the opportunity to spend a day with you to come up with a strategy for how to boost your brand visibility. My VIP One Day is designed to help you clarify your niche, capture attention and come away with a strategic plan to bring in your ideal prospects. If you are doing fine, I'll be honored if you pass on my information to an entrepreneur or executive who could use a short-term partner to bring new perspective to their branding or marketing.
About the Author:
If you are ready to take your business vision to the next level, let Maggie Anderson Words That Work help you look at all the new media marketing solutions for small business today and become more visible and credible as a leader in your industry. Maggie Anderson is a communications coach and marketing expert and provides simple, step-by-step programs for small business executives and professionals, coaches and consultants. She helps you find effective communication strategies to develop your personal or company brand, stand out and attract more opportunities using social media, blogs, Web content, speechwriting and presentations, white papers and other effective communication tools.
Or Do It Yourself with her Marketing Kit for Experts that shows you how: