What would you say to Abraham Lincoln if you had to explain the Internet to him?
When introducing a fundamental digital notion (such as “do you know what email is?”) to a man who wasn't born in the mid-1800s, hadn't been living in a cave, and boasted about how much “marketing” expertise he has, that was the only parallel I could think of.
Cue eye roll.
You can imagine my surprise when the world wide web and the words search results turned his smile into a quizzical, huh?
When I Googled “how do you explain a marketing plan to Abe Lincoln 2021”, "web pages generational gap", "2021 vs 1860 marketing strategy", and, there were memes, jokes, and stand-up comedy routines based on that exact question.
When it comes to marketing, Abe Lincoln was a man ahead of his time.
He's one of the few people in history to have successfully campaigned for public office under his name without any previous political experience.
Lincoln was the leader our country needed in the 1860s.
He was open to new ideas, progressive, and forward-thinking. His dreams and visions for the future of our country changed the landscape forever. Surprisingly, he is also an excellent analogy for what businesses face today as they try to wade through all that is happening in internet services, digital marketing, and basic marketing research.
You're probably familiar with Abraham Lincoln's claim to fame: he's the president who led the Union through the Civil War, kept Congress from breaking up the nation, and freed the slaves. But do you know Lincoln's stance on the invention of the steamboat? Or his thoughts about tariffs?
Or: Does Lincoln have anything to teach modern-day business owners about leaving Fear behind and embracing the "new normal"?
I'm not sure where you live, but if it's in the United States of America, I guess that men who look like Abe Lincoln (body type excluded) are still making business decisions with the bravery of Simba. And if you’re in the 30% not led by white old men, give yourself a pat on the back.
Back to the star of this show.
Lincoln spent most of his working life as a traveling salesman selling cheese, hats, and other sundries until his dad decided to make him a lawyer. Even a traveling salesman understands that search engine optimization SEO is how to communicate with potential clients.
For the sake of argument, if 90% of America is accepting one type of currency, making collecting payment i.e. online payments and SOP why not put your hands up and roll with it.
Here we step back in time, not accepting online payments in 2021 is corporate suicide. And, these ladies and gentlemen are the fear-filled leaders of today. These cowboys don’t even know what WiFi is, let alone how to unite a nation.
When I hear “do we really need a freelancer” to design our social media marketing, search engine optimization, or online product services;
what century is this?
Lincoln would have not only jumped on the opportunity to collect money a decade ago (that’s an educated guess (traveling salesman was a clue), would have understood the concept of marketing today whether he’d been introduced to the hardware or not.
A simple comparison of a sign in a store window and a landing page; your website is the first impression you can make with a potential client.
When it comes to an understanding of social media, online marketing, and SEO, Abe Lincoln would have been just as lost as any of us in the 21st century. And as we've done here at Putnam Marketing for years, let's use Abe Lincoln to illustrate what those terms mean then and now.