Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Studying Marketing? Use The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine

Are you researching the history of a particular company or a marketing technique? For example, what if you want to see just how far online retailing has come since the days of dial-up Internet service?

You can use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to research a specific website at particular points in its history.

At left, for example, is the way the JC Penney retail website looked in December, 1996. This is online retailing in its youngest days. Compared with today's whiz-bang sites, there's no animation, no audio, no social media links.

Yet the merchandise photos add interest. Also note how the company explains the process of "secure online shopping."

By 2002, JC Penney was making graphics the star of the show for Christmas (at right). The site isn't as busy looking and the logo is prominent and recognizable.

By 2012, the short-lived "square deal" JC Penney logo was in place (see below) and the retailer was promoting its social responsibility connections as well as its merchandise.

Today's 2015 JC Penney site is shown at bottom. The logo is nearly the same as it was in the 1996 screen capture by the Wayback Machine.

This home page echoes the look of the JC Penney ad flyers. Labor Day sales are the main focus, discounting is the message of the day.

Not shown here are the 5 social media links at the lower edge of the page.

Go ahead--follow a different marketer back through the years to see how its online look, logo, and messages have changed.

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