In 1998, Silicon Valley was in the middle of the dot-com explosion. It was a time for bold experiments, like WebVan and Pets.com, and PayPal and Amazon too.
Many of those companies aren’t around anymore, but that was the year that we were starting a bold experiment of our own: Envision Technology Marketing Group (ETMG). With the growth of companies all around us and the rise of the Internet, we believed that we could work as a single agency, from our homes, across Silicon Valley. Never mind that we were still driving Zip disks with work product to our customers.
By 2001, the dot-com run up imploded.
The promise of dot-com businesses didn’t match their performance, spooking Wall Street and Main Street. Speculation stopped and many companies failed. Maybe you were laid off. Lots of good people were. At ETMG, our customers stopped calling and cancelled projects. We fought to find enough work to stay in business.
Happily, during that downturn, the great technology innovators hadn’t stopped innovating. By 2003, there were signs of life everywhere. Apple opened the iTunes store, the big chip players introduce 64-bit microprocessors to support next generation computing and networking gear, and four guys in yet another garage were working on Android.
And then we saw the light of day once more.
ETMG started working with our clients again. Some of them were in the same place; others took us along to new companies. We hired back as many of our former employees as we could. And we did our best to keep up with the changes around us, replacing FrameMaker with Creative Suite, and using AOL’s AIM to unify instant messaging, so we could communicate in real time, just like workers in the non-virtual world.
In the mid-2000’s, Facebook and Linkedin were key to doing business. Google acquired YouTube, monopolizing the eyes of billions of people. Through its acquisition of Macromedia, Adobe set itself on the path to becoming the design and Internet giant that it is today. We started offering new services to augment our client’s social media presence, like blogs and infographics.
If you’d been using a Palm Treo or a Blackberry in 2007, there’s a good chance that you ended up migrating to the iPhone, blurring the lines between work and home. We did too. The iPhone was only part of the revolution that gave everyone the ability to work virtually, and virtually everybody did.
By then, we needed the kind of big-company, distributed software that Oracle and SAP were building for enterprises. Because we weren’t on their radar, we built our own, and adopted distributed CRM software to keep up.
We’ve changed with the times, but we haven’t changed our philosophy.
In the last few years, technology marketing has changed dramatically. Many of you started out in marcom, but have moved to Web marketing, digital marketing, and digital campaigns. Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce all have marketing tools to help you with your buyer’s journey, working to influence it, based on real time feedback and testing. But buyers have changed too. They want information in chunks, and they’d rather watch than read. Today, ETMG provides the kinds of assets that work in a digital world: email and infographics, animations, video and Web copy, and great people too.
Twenty years later, we’re still here. And we’re ready for whatever you’ve got for us.
Take a ride on the ETMG rollercoaster at Celebrate With Us and see the surprise we have at the end of the ride.
A View From Our Window
By Michael Grodin, ETMG President
By Connie Howard, ETMG Vice-President