The History of Marketing

As Jeff Beer claims, the aim of Marketing is to identify, create and maintain satisfying relationships with customers, by strategies and tactics, that benefit both the customer and the marketer. There are different ways of marketing a product, and, nowadays, one of the most successful ones is by social media. In order to reach the level of marketing in the social media, different and lower levels have been “suffered”; history plays a great role in it.

“It is hard for many to believe, but when compared economics, production and operations, accounting and other business areas, marketing is a relatively young discipline having emerged in the early 1900s. Prior to this time most issues that are now commonly associated with marketing were either assumed to fall within basic concepts of economics (e.g., price setting was viewed as a simple supply/ demand issue), advertising (well developed by 1900), or in most cases, simply not yet explored (e.g., customer purchase behaviour, importance of distribution partners)”. (KnowThis LLC., 1998)

In order to carry out this post, different sources have been taken into consideration, as for example, and article called “25 predictions for what marketing will look like in 2020” and “Knowledge source for marketing since 1998″ . Apart from this, a couple of videos have been also taken into account, which are “The history of marketing research” and “0002 The History of Marketing”.

According to the timeline taken from the blog “Visionary Loyola”, there can be differentiated 3 different eras in the history of Marketing:communications-picture

  1. The historical era: This era can be considered just an introduction to the following. As the printings press did not exist yet. the sellings where announced mouth to mouth.
  2. The mass era started when Gutenberg invented the press, so, from 1439 to 1999. Other mass media appeared in the following eras such as the radio or the television. This gave a big power to brands. Media and brands were mode powerful than people, and the dialogue between the buyer and the seller was a monologue. Companies were product-focused, the brand perception was obtained though advertising and people was organized by proximity. People still organized locally. The most asked question was “how can I help you?”. This era can be placed from the invention of telephone and Gutemberg’s printing press, to the invention of Internet.
  3. The digital era is known by all of us. It’s social media itself.

There can also be differenciated another 3 different eras according to which the objectives of Marketing were:

  1. The production orientation era.
  2. The sales orientation era
  3. The marketing orientation era

In the first era, their focus was therefore on production and distribution at the lowest possible cost (for example, reducing distribution costs, opening new markets).

In the second era, Marketing was therefore still a ‘slave’ to production, but focussed on distribution, communication and persuading customers that one manufacturer goods were better than others.

Finally, from the marketing orientation era, the sophistication of marketing management has therefore developed into what we now see in a modern marketing department. Marketers are involved at a strategic level within the organisation and therefore inform an organisation about what should be produced, where it should be sold, how much should be charged for it and how it should be communicated to consumers.

From this historical perspective, it is necessary to say that the marketing we are familiar with nowadays is a very recent invention. It is also true that marketing has changed a lot during this last century and it might continue changing. For more information, Zenithmedia timeline provides us with a good overview of the major media developments that have influences marketing. Zenithmedia is the UK first group-buying agency, has grown considerably from its original media buying roots. It has now expanded to include new specialist companies. Expanded it network though China, Europe and the USA, and it became the worldwide media depender. In 2000 Zenith Media was transformed into ZenithOptimedia, The ROI Agency, and it was the first one to demonstrate connectivity, investment, evaluation, outcomes and productivity of the companies.

The first courses in Marketing were imparted in the early twentieth century, and they were delivered in Germany. Dr. E.D. Jones is considered to be the first person offering a marketing course, and it was given in The University of Michigan. However, during the first years it wasn’t called “Marketing” itself, but “The distributive and regulative industries of the US”. But it wasn’t until 7 years later that a real Marketing course was given in The University of Wisconsin.

“Just as technology and consumer behavior will evolve in unpredictable ways between now and 2020, the ways marketers react to—or perhaps influence?—these new developments will also change in ways we can’t fully imagine now. But if anyone can offer a credible forecast for the near-future trends that will change the way brands connect with people, and the way creative companies will work in the next few years, it’s the people who are most influencing the ad and marketing world right now”. (Beer, 2015)

The truth is that as society evolves, so does technology, and all the facts that technology brigs with it. The fact that technology develops, makes also marketing grow and develop better strategies to conquest consumers. Can you imagine how will marketing be in 10 years? There are four projections for the marketing world in the next 10 years:

  1. The Closures of Big Box Retail Stores. It was believed that niche retail stores were the future of the society, but this hasn’t proven to be successful. Businesses that have the aim of opening, need to find a place in the online sales, in order to be potential customers.
  2. Consumed Media Fragmentation to the Extreme. Traditional ways to reach people have changed a lot. In the past it was by radia, television and print. However, these methods were costly and expensive. But that’s the past, and nowadays we have more developed resources, such as: tablets, smartphones, billboards, bus ads, ads before movies, interactive digital touch screens located in train stations, computers, laptops, radios, YouTube, and so much more.
  3. Convenience will be the King. Let’s face it. If you are busy and you have the option to cook at home, or to have a meal prepared for you that has the same nutritional value that was about 10-15% more costly, you would probably take option two.
  4. Sugar Will be the next Tobacco. Smoking, in the past, was a daily event in the work place. That’s no longer acceptable. In the future advertisements saying “Sugar provokes diabetes” will appear


Beer, J. (2015). 25 predictions for what marketing will look like in 2020. Retrieved from fastcocreate:

KnowThis LLC. (1998). Know knowledge source for marketing since 1998. Retrieved from knowthis:

MarketResearchVideos (Dirección). (2009). The history of marketing research [Película].

Ng, V. (2010). MCNG MARKETING. Retrieved from mcngmarketing:

PyroMarketing (Dirección). (2010). 0002 The History of Marketing [Película].

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