With each passing decade, marketers' ability to better understand their customers deepens.
In the early 1960s, advertising and direct mail were aimed at the masses. According to the research in the following Infogroup Targeting Solutions infographic, "by 1967, the term 'direct marketing' was coined, referring to communicating directly to the customer based on household and demographic information."
In the 1970s, data surged to the forefront of the marketing industry. In 1977, the International Association for Statistical Computing was founded to "convert data into information and knowledge." In 1979, Oracle gave birth to the relational database.
The 1980s focused on using database marketing to analyze customer data, create target segments, and reach them through direct mail and telemarketing.