Prior to the advent of localized marketing, three key technological “disruptions” changed how marketers market: Broadcast television, the Internet, and smartphone/mobile computing.

Marketing, before the 1950s, was conducted locally with a reach that did not surpass local newspapers and radio at a limited level. This was followed with broadcast television, enabling marketers messages to gain national attention and with significantly increased “efficiency and consistency,” notes StreetFightMag. Broadcast television enabled a new technology that introduced the notion of national “brand marketing” sending a single message to tens of millions of consumers who were watching their televisions simultaneously. McDonald’s, The Home Depot, and Coca-Cola are three such examples of nationally recognized brands.

The Internet, or World Wide Web, arrived at the consumer level in the mid-1990s and enabled a new technology that, again, changed the marketing landscape, according to StreetFightMag. The Internet gave birth to digital marketing; first with web pages and soon, display advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and paid search capabilities. This was followed with social media, including blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.

Digital marketing, a two-way medium, also allows marketers increased control, such as providing a deeper understanding about their audiences. On the downside, digital marketing is strongly connected to a physical location, such as a desktop computer, which limited its audience to individuals who could afford these devices, StreetFightMag points out.

Today, we have iOS and Android devices, providing, as part of the devices many offerings, mobile marketing technology. “Just as television didn’t mark the dawn of TV marketing and the internet didn’t trigger the era of internet marketing, mobile marketing is not what you get from mobile computing. It’s only part of it,” says Rob Reed, Founder of MomentFeed.

The smartphone revolution has made localized marketing inimitable in a number of ways and greater changes are coming. For now, smartphones are location-aware—reaching consumers at any given time—and increasing consumer expectation for increased marketing relevance. The devices are also associated with massive projected growth. Global smartphone use is expected to grow from today’s 2.6 billion consumers to 6.1 billion by 2020. But marketers should be aware that most—90 percent—of all commerce continues to occur offline in physical locations.

According to Mr. Reed, “Mobile is an enabling technology. Mobile is a meta-channel that transcends every medium including TV, print, radio, web, outdoor, in-store, social, and search because consumers are ‘mobile’ on a persistent basis.” Mr. Reed reminds us that, mobile is “the enabling technology for localized marketing” that marketers at the national and global level are beginning to use.


StreetFightMag; Why All Brands Need to Prepare for the Localization of Marketing; July 9, 2015; by Rob Reed;