History of Marketing: from Trade to Digital

The concept of marketing is as old as human civilization; from there, it is already possible to find a primordial concept of marketing very different from the whole complex system which we are today used to know.
In fact, the idea itself of promoting a product in order to sell it is the very core of marketing, and trading merchants are the pioneers of this practice.

People inviting to buy a product while screaming engaging deals, visual merchandising and inviting smells, in open-air markets are practices still common today.
(If you are passionate about anime the way I am, there is an enjoyable ecchi series named Spice and Wolf based on trading marketing that explains numerous merchants tricks. Highly suggested!)

Spice and Wolf scene – Holo (the girl) selling animal skin, from Wikipedia

However, the complexity of marketing as we know it had raised only with the Industrial Revolution (18th – 19th century), when, thanks to the fast innovation in scientific and technologic industries, it became easier for people to purchase goods instead of privately producing them.
Mass media became popular between consumers thanks to their affordable price and marketers discovered a new way to promote their products directly inside the home of their customers, and so it started the fierce race of beating the competitors.

From 1940 to late 1960 the business competition increased exponentially as some industries field had started becoming saturated of companies producing the same goods.
Then, new complex marketing strategies were developed in order to let business stand out in the market, and companies started to invest on creating entire areas and hire specialists with the sole purpose of promoting the company’s products.

From 1990, it became clear to every marketer that a new product had to be associated with a defined identity and brand in order to create awareness in the customers and be easily recognized by them.

Eventually, with the introduction of the internet, the market changed once again.
From the first plain-texted webpages to our days, the time is short but the jump in quality is extensive.

To provide the best quality results, search engines changed their algorithms. The goal was to validate referring sites to ensure the quality of results provided by the search engine. It is now almost impossible to manipulate SEO rankings. When this is attempted, it puts a company at risk for having their brand’s search engine results buried.

historycooperative.org

Finally, the ultimate weapon of marketing was created: the blog.
With their increasing popularity from 1999 to nowadays, blogs are today a huge section and investment for company marketing strategies.
Sharing valuable content for customers, blogs are informative and easily reachable. They simplify contents useful to the readers, increase brand awareness, boost sales, and collect feedback from customers, all in one place. A win-win!


Online I found also an incredible inphografic of Hubspot.com, which fully explains how the creation of new technologies has impacted the evolution of marketing.

History of Marketing Infographic

History of Marketing Infographic

If you wish to learn more about marketing history, check out the articles below:

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