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As MGA celebrates 25 years in business this year, it’s timely to reflect on some of the major changes over that quarter century to the way we live our lives and conduct business.

And as we do that, our minds also turn to where we were in ’92.

Technology has vastly altered every aspect of how we work from the time when we relied on the humble telephone and fax to communicate in the ‘90s. Today, online search capability, email and other immediate contact technologies mean we collaborate and access information across oceans and time zones in ways we previously couldn’t have imagined – and now couldn’t imagine being without.

Accessibility 24/7 means increased flexibility for all of us, and remote access to servers and other business-related resources has resulted in an improved work/life balance.  Now we’re able to work more fluidly and deal with business from a range of locations beyond the office.

Twenty-something years ago, widespread use of the Internet was still in its infancy. Corporations started vying for control of the online marketplace and companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook have since emerged as central hubs of modern commerce in the digital realm. In that time, search engine optimization, social networking, social bookmarking, and other forms of digital traffic generation have all come of age.

Today, the internet is responsible for billions in profits from an ever increasing number of online business transactions. Corporate websites, along with a steady exodus away from traditional print advertising, demonstrate a major difference in how modern business owners think about marketing to consumers.

In the early 90’s, portable cell phones were just about a manageable size and we were starting to catch on to the mobile revolution. Today, smartphone technology and app driven commerce is at the heart of modern business. With apps ranging from displaying company products to providing a vast array of payment methods at the touch of a screen, consumers and business owners are virtually unable to function without a smartphone in their hand.

So, how has the world of advertising and marketing changed?  Well, in the way we describe ourselves for a start. This is the age of the integrated communications agency where the need is to be channel agnostic, and where our comms strategies and recommendations embrace a plethora of touchpoints rather than purely and simply the single-stream advertising campaigns of the 90’s.

In recent years, there’s been a broadening definition of ‘brand’ where brands show off their personalities across traditional and emerging media as well as social media outreach.  The art of storytelling has arrived where to be authentic is key and where savvy consumers can see through contrived, inadequate brand messaging in a flash.  Smartphone wielding consumers that are always on the go are more fickle, harder to engage, and awash with messaging in every direction.  Our challenge is to find just the right pithy, useful or entertaining messages ensuring that they land and resonate effectively. Video has an increasing role in addressing that challenge where information can play out and resonate with viewers in their own timeline.

So, it’s a different perspective from an agency lens in 2017 certainly, but still one where relationships, trust and transparency are key to success – all of which we take very seriously.  As we’ve grown up to our present day stature of a full 25 years old, it’s tempting to reflect on what each of us was doing all those years ago.  In our journey down memory lane during our 25th year and as we engage with our clients, we’re building on those recollections and taking the opportunity to ask “Where were you in ’92“?

Iain Hunter
Group Commercial Development Director, MGA

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