NorCal BMA’s 75th Anniversary Anthology “Inception to Inspiration” — Part II

The Dawn of Computing — The 1950’s

The 1950s saw the systematization of telemarketing, and while this marketing tool still persists, it is much despised. On the other hand, a lot of great things happened in the 50’s.

Science took a big leap forward with the invention of the semiconductor—which would lead to the development of the integrated circuit and make computing possible. Fairchild Camera and Instrument led the field. Today, we know the company as Fairchild Semiconductor, a global leader headquartered in San Jose.

During this period, marketing leaped ahead as marketers began using demographics and socioeconomic data to segment consumers into smaller groups of prospects who, based on behavior and economic status, might buy their products. The distinction between B2B and B2C emerged as well. In fact, one of the first B2B ads ran in 1958—an iconic McGraw Hill piece that became known as “The Man in the Chair.”


(Photo Credit:  BMA National 90th Anniversary Book)

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NorCal BMA’s 75th Anniversary Anthology “Inception to Inspiration” — Part III

The 1960’s: Women flex their marketing muscles

Where the 1950’s explored demographics, the 1960s saw marketers turn to “psychographics”—the study of how personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles come together to influence buying behavior. In doing so, agencies unleashed their creativity to produce more engaging, memorable, and influential ads. The Silicon Valley’s very own Stanford Research Institute led the way with its Values and Lifestyles program.

madmenAnd in this environment of expansion and experimentation, women began to be considered for other than secretarial jobs. In the hit TV series “Mad Men,” copywriter Peggy Olson symbolizes the rise of feminism in marketing. Her character’s dedication to excellence in writing is still relevant to  marketing almost 60 years later, given today’s emphasis on content marketing.

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