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Blasts from the past:
digital marketing history

To start with ... that title is wrong. You see, digital isn't the term we used back in history. For more on that, see Internet, online, digital or e-marketing.

In some of my classes, at events or when I'm talking with practitioners, folk seem interested when I ramble on about the early days of marketing on the Internet. So here's some of my stuff from bygone days. Looking back at what I did back then, I can see how early my opinions on all things 'digital' were formed - and I've hardly changed them since. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing ...? Take note, however - some of this stuff is out of date - I'll leave you to work out which.

The first - website objectives - is an article I wrote for inclusion in a Chamber of Commerce magazine circa 1998. I would later extend these objctivese - with the exception of cost saving - to all online marketing .

The second is a website checklist that I used as a handout for some courses I ran as part of a EU funded project.

One of my first efforts - dating back to 1997 - the best of sites, the worst of sites was a one page handout for virtually any kind of meeting / networking event / presentation you can think of.

Copywriting for the web was another one-sheet handout I used between 1997 and 2002. It was aimed at SME owner managers who were writing their own content. Sadly, they still do, which makes this article still - frighteningly - relevant.

You should bear in mind that I wrote these to be printed, not appear online - back then there were no blogs or newsletters, only a few chat rooms and the odd influential website - and cyberspace [oh yes, that's what it was called back then] was ruled by the techies. Although I was obviously influenced by what some folk were saying [I discovered Jacob Neilsen early on], much of what I say in all of the above comes from my own experience out there in the e-commerce trenches when most of the general public did not know what the Internet was.

As a footnote: I was part of the 'campaign' to have website written as one word, which has been pretty much universally accepted - I notice that back in the day I used web site. Ho hum.

How to cite this article:
Charlesworth, A. (2007). Blasts from the past: digital marketing history. Retrieved [insert date] from

This page was first published on this domain in July 2018 ... but much of the content was on for some years before that.

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