Marketing – A Brief History

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We are in the twenty-first century where everything we experience is fast-paced and effective in nature. But, taking a look back into history and tracing its past can give us a clearer a better idea on how we can proceed today.

Marketing has been in this world since time immemorial with traders from the ancient civilizations thriving by interacting with different markets. Of course, the term ‘marketing’ wasn’t coined until the late eighteen and nineteenth centuries when the developments led to the industrial revolution.

The technological and innovative blast that took place around that time turned the tables upside down and redefined the whole world’s business sector. Along with the birth of every new idea, trend and technological advancement, there was another side to the coin – marketing them!

Let’s take a look at the different stages that marketing has crossed over to meet this day:

Production oriented era

This was the initial stage where newer products were getting invented and produced. At this point in time, very few companies produced a product and were also limited to their production numbers. Only the consumers who had enough resources were able to purchase these products because of their high demand and exorbitant costs. So, the focus was on ‘how to produce and distribute products at the lowest costs possible?’ – This can be done by reducing distribution costs or by opening new markets.

Sales oriented era

This era began with the dawn of the twentieth century and continued till a little after the Second World War. Here, the competition grew drastically turning the focus of marketing to ‘selling’ the products. This is when the importance of communications, branding and advertising increased. Now the outputs generated was increasing and companies were striving hard to sell in the market.

Though marketing was still dependent on the rate of production, the focus shifted to the distribution of the goods and the potential to urge customers to buy their products. The bottom line was to convince the buyers that their products were better than their competitor`s.

Marketing oriented era

From the 1960s onwards there was a new shift in the markets as most of the markets reached a state of saturation. This era is the basis for today’s modern marketing. Now the focus is on ‘What do consumers want; where should we sell our products; how should we promote our products; what should be its ideal price’ and so on.

Social media and online marketing to have become big. The real influencers are not just the media but bloggers. Having strong relationships with a network of bloggers help.

In this realm, much effort and time is put into researching the consumers, their needs, preferences, and effects on the markets.

So, based on this brief summary of marketing, we can draw the following points concerning marketing:

  • Marketing is a constantly developing realm of the business world. Many small businesses are yet to understand the new strategies that ought to be incorporated in this era. We must let go of the focus on ‘production’ and ‘sales’ and shift it on ‘marketing’.
  • Earlier marketing was all about the company. They focused on what they could produce and so on. But, now the focus is shifted to understand consumer needs.
  • We have seen a tremendous growth and innovations in the last few years. With such changes come changes in the strategies to be incorporated in marketing. So, we should be sensitive to all changes and should adapt our marketing strategies accordingly.

Having an idea of how we have evolved to the current position in terms of marketing will help us in formulating the strategies that will attract the masses. That, in turn, will expand our businesses to great heights.