There has been a gradual shift in marketing technique over time. I studied about globalization in my undergrad degree, but as I’ve reflected on it over the years, this concept really has come to define the age in which we now live. Its genesis could be traced as early as Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, but it has really come in to full force in our day.
We live in a fast-paced culture. Influences from halfway across the world shape the products we buy, the prices we pay and even our tastes. Yes, items are now cheaper, but many jobs have been cut, as a result, over the years. North America (and Europe) simply can’t complete in the same industries were their mainstay.
If you are interested in this topic, I suggest you read Thomas Friedman. In 1999, he published a seminal book on the topic entitled The Lexus and the Olive Tree, which I have studied in university courses I took. Friedman recognizes the cultural interchange that occurs in our age of globalization.
As far as marketing is concerned, in line with stiffer global competition, it has been increasingly necessary to “sell” a lifestyle to the consumer, and not merely a product. I grew up in a family who had folks working in the television and music industry, as well as the graphic design of packages, before the advent of the personal computer revolutionized how we do work. These industries have undergone such profound transformation. In the 1980’s, television was at its zenith and catchy jingles could attract viewers. Now, handheld devices give viewers the freedom an choice to go where they want to consume their entertainment product of choice.
Yes, we Canadians and Americans value our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But scratch beyond the surface and citizens are sick of commercialism. A perfect example is with the local farmers’ market our church has been volunteering at the last several years. Community members and families want authenticity. Our church has facepainted with the children as we have sought to establish connections with the neighbourhood. People want fresh food, grown locally. But I think people want and need Jesus. I believe He is the answer to all of our desires since only He can forgive us of our sins. Only He can truly satisfy. When we point folks toward Jesus, we know that they will be in good hands.