Communications Before and After the Internet

Published on 2020-06-16

Do you manage the advertising and communications yourself like many mechanic Auto Centre owners and managers? These specialized activities are added to the many daily tasks and other essential work you do. You have probably noticed that the tools and methods used for communicating with your customers have evolved a lot and are constantly changing.

Relatively High Level of Knowledge

When a member of the team at Mechanic Web Services or myself talk with owners or managers, what we do, and this is very important, is target the Web tools their Auto Centres should prioritize. I’m always impressed to see the relatively high level of knowledge in their responses to our Web-related questions, despite the lack of time they have to read up on the subject.  This got me thinking about the evolution of communications on the Internet, to try to find an explanation for this surprising fact.

The Arrival of the Internet for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

First of all, just being able to define the exact date of when the Internet arrived, the before and after dates, is difficult! Poster in the window, ad in a directory, mass mailing, company logo, company Facebook page, website; I try to draw a timeline from these communications and advertising tools and I can’t do it. Can you?

Almost Impossible to Draw a Single Timeline

Keven Ouellet, my business partner and a programmer (among other titles!), always says that nothing is ever deleted on the Internet. This may explain in part why we don’t know where to trace a line from the start to the end. Because there just isn’t a single timeline. I realize that the communications tools that I want to locate on a timeline have not disappeared: they have just evolved, each in their own way. In fact, they change their form and method so often that I’m not even able to connect them at precise times on the timeline.

Local Advertising Is the Perfect Example

Let’s take local advertising as an example. Before the arrival of the Internet, we bought space in local newspapers that had a defined publication frequency (daily, weekly, monthly), a fixed circulation of copies, and a stable distribution (paid or free subscriptions) sold in a network of positioned displays. A representative called us to advise us (and sell to us!) on special sections, targeted offers, and discussed them with us.

Now with the Internet, we open our company Facebook page and receive advertising suggestions for our community, targeted by age groups, geographic areas or fields of interest, and for specific actions, like increasing your audience, clicking on a particular link, subscribing to a list or buying something. The complete definition of local advertising, right?

In conclusion, do you agree that ‘BEFORE the Internet’ still exists? And that ‘AFTER’ has been part of our lives for a period specific to each one, which started somewhere between 2005 and 2020, often depending on when we personally discovered 

Patrick Gagnon

About the Author

Patrick Gagnon
In business since forever and passionate about events that involve the automotive world, I officially founded Victoire Special Activities in 1999, the company that later became Victoire Events & Web in 2010 following the addition of our Web services. The Mechanic Web Services (MWS) division was created in 2017, with the aim of offering a specialized service for mechanic Auto Centres and Auto Parts Stores. It is with contagious pleasure that I arrive at the office every day to work with my team on the three areas of our expertise: events, Web and automobiles. What more could I ask for?

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