20 years of Glued: how has the marketing industry changed


Yes, I can’t quite believe it that our business will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in August 2023. It seems like only a moment ago I was sitting in a pub just outside Warwick discussing, with my now business partner Rob Harrison, how we were going to tender for a piece of work with De Monfort University. Pitching against our former employer who had made us both redundant. Our tender won and that was the start of what became Glued.

In some ways I feel that we’re basically doing what we were doing 20 years ago; marketing for businesses and the education sector - solving problems related to marketing challenges. I still spend most of my time in front of a Mac coming up with marketing collateral. On a day-to-day basis things are similar but when I reflected on what’s changed in the marketing industry it is remarkable.

Marketing has undergone significant changes since 2003 in the UK due to the evolution of technology, changes in consumer behaviour, and the rise of social media platforms... and that’s the biggest understatement… that last sentence was written by artificial intelligence. Which like many of us these days I turned to for some ideas to write this blog. I don’t think 20 years ago I would have anticipated that I could get AI to give me a list of things that have changed in the marketing sector, but that’s the business world we now live in. I remember driving home from work and listen to PM on Radio 4 where they were talking about this new service called Twitter – so when Glued started social media wasn’t really a thing.

The iPhone wasn’t launched until 2007 so I guess I had a Nokia or something similar, digital marketing would have been very much computer based and little would have been focused on mobile advertising.

Even more funny in my mind is that Glued is older than Facebook, which launched a full six months after Glued in February 2004. Instagram didn’t launch until October 2010 so we had been running the better art of a decade by that point.

So over 20 years we can find so many things that have changed, but what has stayed the same or is still as important as ever? I’d say it’s your marketing message: your proposition or USP. However you choose to describe it, having a compelling marketing message is still the fundamental ingredient that any successful organisation needs to focus on. All the technology, social platforms and tactics that have come and gone in the last two decades still don’t make up for the fundamental need to have a clear marketing message that the audience can relate to. It’s even more important now because we’re all exposed to so much more content each day.

20 years ago we used to create promotional DVDs for our clients, that technology came and went. One big benefit of today’s marketing industry is accountability, personalisation and data. We spend a lot of time now analysing user behaviour and what tactics get most value. In the past it was harder to use data to inform future campaigns.

About Glued

Glued is a research, design and marketing business based in the West Midlands. Our mission, is to achieve recognition and fame for each of the organisations we engage with. We aim to do that by identifying their valuable difference and communicating that compellingly and consistently to their world.

About the author:
David Wilson, creative partner, Glued

In-depth knowledge of brand development and implementation for design for print, screen and online. An expert in interpreting research findings and turning those into a creative output that engages people.


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Article by David Wilson

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