“What’s that?” asked an apprentice who was visiting our offices recently, still wet behind the ears and slightly too cock-sure with his fresh 2:1 in Marketing.
I suppose to someone born in the late 1990s, a large telephone with an integrated printer may look a little bizarre.
‘It’s a fax machine’ I replied, realising I was being a little more cock-sure than he was.
As I returned to my desk after a decent chat, I realised the double edged sword of being born after the mid-1990s. Yes, you might know your Deezer from your Jango, but you’re still out of date – just in the opposite direction.
It also reinforced to me how business, and specifically marketing, is developing so quickly. Working in the technology industry as I do, my colleagues told me story of winning their first deal from a fax-shot. They’d design it on Pagemaker, print it in monochrome and fax it to as many companies as they could muster from the phone book. They described it nostalgically as if it were on a cine camera (had to Google how to spell that – I’m an early 80s kid – I guess my visitor would have asked Siri. On his watch. Whilst sending a Snapchat to his ex).
And here we are just 15 years later…
From designing fax shots on Microsoft Works to building eshots in the cloud, wherever that is. We add a 15px padding around a transparent .png header, we tap a click through to view a Full HD movie streaming from our Vine channel. We use tracking code to analyse Traffic Acquisition on Google Analytics, made more accurate if we utilise unique embed code to feed a survey form from Dotmailer so we can allocate a campaign source and track ROI. And all to the backdrop of dawn chorus #whatevs
So when our visitor comes of age and hits his mid-thirties, in (gulp) 2030ish, we assume a mouse will look as fruitless as a fax machine and a USB stick will be as comedy as a 5 ¼” floppy.
We’ll still all come to work though, even if an Android has done the driving, and have a banter in the kitchen over a brew. We’ll still sit around a table and discuss how to generate a healthy return on cost, even if half the table is half way across the world. I guess we’ll still be sending mail shots as well, and also what will essentially be an eshot.
Fax shots though? It’s a long shot, but you never know.