Understand what the Information Age is and what its impacts on marketing – WAU
The Information Age is characterized especially by the popularization of the Internet and new technologies. Industries such as genetics, robotics and informatics gain more relevance in this context. This brings social, cultural, behavioral and consumer changes to different markets and sectors of a business – including Marketing.
We have lived in the Information Age since approximately the 1950s. It arises as a result of the diverse digital and technological transformations experienced worldwide, and it comes to oppose different aspects of the previous period, the Industrial Era.
While one era was driven by coal and steam, the other is built on oil and electricity; while one privileges rigid and hierarchical working relationships, the other proposes new business models; while one reaped the fruits of the invention of the press, the other opened up the importance of the digital presence.
Where did we come from to get here? Getting here will take us where else? Come with us to learn more about the Information Age and understand its main effects for different sectors of a business, especially Marketing. In this text, you will see:
What is the Information Age?
The Information Age is the historical period in which we live. It usually receives other denominations, like Digital Era or Technological Era, being also known like Third Industrial Revolution.
It is believed that this period began between the middle and the end of the twentieth century, more specifically between the 1950s and 1970s. The creation and popularization of items such as microprocessors, fiber optics and personal computers are the starting points of this transition. .
Another characteristic of the period is a change in the market, which quickly ceases to favor the traditional industry and value information and technology on a larger scale. In other words, it is a new way of inhabiting and transforming the geographical space in which we live.
How does the Information Age arise?
Several factors contributed to the emergence of the Information Age and the change from one historical period to another does not happen overnight. Thus, this transition was gradual and marked by different aspects.
Among them, we can mention new behaviors on the part of the population (such as greater interest and access to university, intensified after the Second World War) and the market (such as the publication of large-scale books from the invention of the press, still in the century XV, but that reaps its fruits some time later).
Created in 1969 by American military personnel in the context of the Cold War (and still very different from what it is today) the Internet also plays an important role in the transition to the Information Age. It enables and influences the dynamization of several international flows, in addition to offering greater data storage capacity – something decisive in the period in which information is considered an important bargaining chip.
You may have even leafed through encyclopedias in a library to do school work; perhaps you have lived precisely the intersection between that experience and the convenience of searching Google (probably with dial-up Internet, probably).
Imagine now what it is like to have had contact with this hyperconnected context since birth. One of the main characteristics of Generation Y is immediacy, which is most likely a result of the changes brought about by the Information Age.
If today it seems obvious and commonplace to observe the demonstrations in Chile or the resignation of Evo Morales in Bolivia through Twitter, that was unthinkable until recently. So much so that the Arab Spring, 2011, is pointed out as the first popular revolt to have been ignited through the social networks.
Thus, it is clear that with the arrival of the Digital Age we started to experience a new way to exchange information and different social, cultural and linguistic relationships have been impacted – and modified to a greater or lesser degree.
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What are the differences between the Information Age and the Industrial Age?
The period before the Information Age was the Industrial Age. It is marked especially by the first and second industrial revolutions. Below, we talk a little more about each one, as well as presenting the two revolutions already experienced in the Digital Age. Check out!
The First Industrial Revolution
The transition from the feudal system to capitalism is the major milestone of the First Industrial Revolution, which happens around the 1800s. England was the pioneer country, reaching worldwide relevance through the installation of factories and the development of machines to carry out previously manual and artisanal works.
The textile industry was one of the most benefited by the machinery. The establishment of wage labor and the division of society between wage earners and holders of the means of production began in that period.
The Second Industrial Revolution
It is estimated that the Second Industrial Revolution began in 1850 and lasted approximately until the end of World War II, in 1945. The main characteristic of the period is the distribution of the English industrialized model to other countries in the world.
While steam and coal were the industrial driving force of the First Revolution, oil and electricity are now driving the factories. This allows for the emergence of other models of organization of industrial production, including the automation of new processes. It is in this context that Taylorism and Fordism arise.
The Third Industrial Revolution
The Third Industrial Revolution is also known as the First Digital Revolution. This is the period in which we live and which arises between the 50s and 70s, from the domain of industries and areas of knowledge such as robotics, genetics and informatics – in addition to the aforementioned creation of the Internet, which arises precisely in the context of the Cold War.
State-of-the-art technology, the installation of multinational companies and the consolidation of financial capitalism are some of the main characteristics of this phase.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
How can we talk about a Fourth Industrial Revolution if we are living the Third one? Some scholars – headed by Klaus Schwab, director and founder of the World Economic Forum and author of the book “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” – are already beginning to signal the possibility that we are experiencing a new transition.
As we said, the popularization of the Internet has drastically affected the way we relate and how we consume. Several trends in the digital world suggest that new transformations await us in the near future.
Internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning would be some of the examples of this and this “industrial stage” would be in agreement, even, with the characteristics of consumer 4.0 and marketing 4.0.
What is the relationship between the Information Age and Marketing?
As we speak, the Information Age has changed both social relations and the form of consumption. If one of the characteristics of this period is the possibility of storing large volumes of information, the adoption of a culture data driven it’s your result.
Besides that, new technologies become part of organizations and they need to be incorporated into different sectors – either to automate and optimize some process, or to improve customer service and relationship with the public.
Consumers have a new behavior, increasingly high expectations about products and services that they purchase and Business Marketing from different niches needs to agree.
With new consumption patterns, companies need to reach consumers in the channels they are in: then there is Inbound Marketing, which consists of attracting customers from relevant content, and Digital Marketing, which proposes to do this through approximation and consolidation of a relationship between company and client through social networks.
If today it is natural to send email marketing to your leads, answer questions from your Facebook followers and monitor data about your persona’s online behavior, all of this is possible thanks to the Information Age. Hyperconnectivity is already part of the reality of a large part of the population and, as we have seen, the trend is for new technologies to be incorporated into this routine in a short time.
Without a doubt, this will bring new challenges to Marketing, so it is important to know and master the current technologies in order not to face greater difficulties with the new ones to come.
Did you like to know more about how we got to the Information Age? We hope so! Often, knowing the historical context is interesting for us to know how to deal with certain situations in the present and also to prepare ourselves for future trends.
Continue with us and take advantage of the visit to our blog to get even deeper into the topic. Download now our ebook that explains how to adopt 360º Digital Transformation in your business. Good reading and see you next time!