Wunderman on direct marketing. Or was it social media?

Lester Wunderman, speaking at MIT:

"We are living in an age of repersonalization and individualization.  People, products and services are all seeking an individual identity.  Taste, desire, ambition and lifestyle have made shopping once again a form of personal expression.  A computer can know and remember as much marketing detail about 200,000,000 consumers as did the owner of a crossroads general store about his handful of customers.  It can know an select such personal details as who prefers strong coffee, imported beer, new fashions, bright colors.  Who just bought a home, freezer, camera, automobile.  Who had a new baby, is overweight, got married, owns a pet, likes romantic novels, serious reading, listens to Bach or the Beatles.  New marketing forms which will link these facts to advertising and selling must evolve – where advertising and buying become a single action."

I was speaking to David Sable of Wunderman last week and he mentioned this speech vis-a-vis some research I’m currently working on.  The quote is from November 29, 1967.  Many people trace the birth of direct marketing to this speech.  Speaking of forward looking, perhaps being a good left-brain marketer is to be a bit of Nostradamus…?

Forty years later, you can apply the same insight to advertisers and agencies today to explain why social computing matters.