Happy Birthday to the World Wide Web at 25 – A Digital Marketer’s Perspective

Well today is the 25th birthday of the World Wide Web and I thought I’d have a think about it from my perspective, after all without the invention by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, I, as a mainly digital focused marketer wouldn’t have a job!

The world wide web was the brainchild of just one man, and has grown to become the biggest and fastest growing communications medium of all time. Brenners-Lee is the heir of Guttenberg – only he found a solution for the super-sized era! In 25 years the World Wide Web has touched the lives of virtually every inhabitant of our planet and virtually every trade and professional has been changed for good or ill by it.

It’s hard for many people (especially the millennials) to remember what live was like before the internet. I remember my first adventures on the internet, I was in college we had this rubbish dial up modem that took forever to get online, often fell offline after a few minutes meaning I had to redial and then when I got online I kind of remember having the feeling of “what now”. Everything’s changed now, with superfast broadband being available to most people’s homes (and many people’s phones!) the world is a very different place.

Even when I started working in marketing in 2003, the internet wasn’t central to business. I worked in marketing in the automotive sector which was quite a conservative industry and resisted the internet for quite some time (arguing that people didn’t want to think about high ticket items online). I remember having a lot of fun getting coverge online for automotive manufacturers – but even when I got them some pretty impressive rankings with things like press releases – there was nothing of substance to really back up what I was doing from an online offer perspective and there wasn’t really a great deal of traffic for that kind of thing back then (and tracking it wasn’t easy either!).

Back in the early days we concentrated on direct marketing, we knew it was dying but knew it was easier to do than to concentrate online, but slowing over the early days of my career this shifted as the offering become more and more online – as did my skillset.

I expect many marketers who entered marketing at the same time as me had a similar experience.

Over the years I’d seen the power of SEO – I had set up my first website in 2000, a website which subsidized mine and my then girlfriend’s way through university, and I’d largely benefited from my rankings in Google because there was little competition out there. But if by 2006 if you weren’t online there was something seriously wrong and the marketing agency I worked for at that point had seen this coming and were offering some interesting online solutions.

I moved on, and the things I’d garnered over the years became increasingly important in ever role I’ve had since and have allowed me to work on the specialisms I have today.

The crazy thing for me is to think that if Tim Brenners-Lee hadn’t had his brainchild back in 1989, my life would have been incredibly different. I class myself as a digital marketer that does offline marketing to back up the online marketing, so my career would have been totally different – but so would my personal life – the World Wide Web has had a massive influence in ever sector of my life. Mainly for the good I think.

So thank you Sir Tim Brenners-Lee and the internet and happy birthday to the World Wide Web.

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