Why Learning the History of Marketing Matters

It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly when it started. It’s just always been happening. Marketing’s always been a part of business, built into the fabric of how economies run. You have something to sell or a cause to rally ‘round, so you find a way to make it attractive to others. This process of promoting a good, service, or anything, is called marketing.

Marketing isn’t only about finding new customers; it’s about getting existing customers to stay and even buy more. Retention is a huge part of marketing because it takes so much effort to win customers in the first place.

What’s magical about marketing is that the rules are always changing and they’re extremely complex. We’ve lived through a massive transition into digital marketing on a breathtaking scale. The way small companies approach marketing is almost completely different than large companies. Your product, who you are as a company, and who your audience is dictated unique and diverse marketing strategies. Here’s some information on how we got here and how far the industry has come.

The Basic Concepts of Marketing

Yes, you could spend years creating an amazing product and hope people will magically find where you live and flock to buy it, making you instantly wealthy. That, however, has never happened and will never happen. As long as people have made, created, or changed products, they’ve understood that presenting them in an attractive light and promoting them to other people is part of doing business. Marketing has been around as long as commerce between people and organizations has existed.

Beginnings in the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution and print advertising changed the way marketing would be done forever. Now, individuals and companies could reach more people at a lesser cost. With the advancements in technology and industry, there were more, better products available and people with money eager to buy them. The simple ability to pass out brochures, post advertisements around town and recreate picture ads quickly make marketing more effective than ever. That incredible shift in how marketing was done led to things like magazine ads, advertisement posters, billboards. Print media was everywhere.

Radio & Television

The next major shift in marketing came with the development of the radio and television industries. Now, ads could be carried live to millions of people around the world simultaneously. Emotions were not evoked in pictures or text, but now in words. Companies used comedy, tragedy, practicality, and other behaviors that drive consumption to integrate into advertisements. Companies could reach more people and this era marked the beginnings of demographic targeting.

The Digital Marketing Era

Attitudes toward digital marketing depend on how much experience you have in the online world. What people from past generations used to dismiss has become, by far, the most vital marketing channel for all products, services, and groups. What started as simple online ads or search engine ads has grown into a large industry that spans incredible levels of data analytics and marketing styles. Digital marketing can include:

  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising
  • Search Engine Ads
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Google Analytics
  • Mobile Ads
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Computer-generated Spam

This list could go on. Needless to say, digital marketing has put more tools into marketing teams’ hands than ever.

Shifting the Power to the Consumer

One of the best things about digital marketing and the modern marketing era is that consumers have a great deal of power deciding how they want to receive and process advertising. Despite the initial phases of digital marketing, where data privacy standards were less regulated, now individuals can control what ads they see and how their data is used.

Companies even create what is known as inbound marketing to cater to customers actively looking for the products and services they’re interested in. The internet has made finding what they want easier, and they’re looking on a massive scale. Modern marketing teams are now creating videos, blogs, forums, and other means of developing online communities of likeminded customers. They can use these channels to deliver news and new products to their loyal fanbase fast.

While we don’t yet know what the next phase of marketing history will be, we know that digital marketing still has a long way to go. No doubt companies and consumers will continue to innovate how products are promoted across the board.

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