The Evolution of Marketing

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Ever wondered about where and how marketing ever started? Fascinatingly, the first thing that might have triggered the whole concept of marketing are cave paintings. Basically, cave paintings were the drawings that our ancestors drew on the walls. They then probably called their friends and showed them their master pieces. Billions of years later, we’ve evolved to the stage we post stuff on Facebook and share it with our friends. In simple terms, the whole concept of raising awareness of a particular product or service with the aim of monetization can be defined as marketing.

There are many, many different forms of marketing. Social media marketing, Ambush marketing, Guerilla marketing are just some of the different forms of marketing techniques that major companies use today.
Marketing doesn’t have to be necessarily restricted to companies. Even the film industry relies on marketing to gain attention for any movie release. In fact, you market yourself-without even realizing it. When you talk to a prospective employer, university or even the cigarette wala, you are projecting an image of yourself. An image that you want them to perceive you as to be.
Marketing has had a pretty fascinating evolution.
Modern marketing can be traced back to the late 18th century to the early 19th century. The primary aim of any company then was to lower the production costs of producing the product. This was because great depression had just hit, which was just after the world war. The economy was struggling and people were finding it extremely difficult to find work, start new businesses and basically trying to make ends meet. Companies then had been following only a single strategy: If our products are good, they’ll be really successful. The only method that was probably in place was word of mouth marketing- If people liked it, they’ll talk about it and recommend it to their friends and neighbors. That was the only way that any company could grow and succeed.

However, this changed towards the late 1930s. Many companies realized that just being good wasn’t good enough. They wanted to be the best. This paved a way for salesmanship. Salesmen had adopted aggressive techniques to convince people that what they were holding in their hands was the best product that you could ever own. High-pressure techniques were used to convince people to buy the product. If you observe really carefully, the entire marketing era believed in primarily a product- oriented approach. For example, Lucky Strike (cigarettes) had print advertisements convincing people that they were the least harsh cigarettes around, and people wouldn’t have the irritating smoker’s cough that they would have if they had used other brands. This approach was used to convince that the product was the best, and were better than the other brands that were available.

The 1950 to about 1970s onwards was probably the start of marketing revolution. This was the phase that many companies realized that having a short term profit wasn’t exactly the best thing that one could have. They started aiming for long term marketing strategies that not only did get the company revenue, but built a solid customer relationship that could last a lifetime. The starting point for any company was customer oriented, not product oriented. Tide’s advertisements were not only talking about the features, but had centered on the fact that it was designed for the ease and use of the homemakers, who were women. The only drawback then was that many of the advertisements were incredibly sexist, and would definitely piss off many feminists today. The point is however, that companies realized that it was vital for them to design products for the needs of the customer in mind.

The 1980s onward had marketing evolving in leaps and bounds. This was the start of the digital era, and also of social welfare awareness. Basically, social welfare awareness is the realization that not all products are as great as they seemed to be. People realized cigarettes aren’t good for health if you’ve been smoking for a long time, neither was binge drinking. The digital era had changed the perceptions and paradigms that people had of many things. Let’s take a look at Apple’s print advertisements. “The computer system that goes straight down to business” was one of the print advertisements they had released. Catchy and simple, it was visually as well as mentally appealing for everyone who was dealing with technology. Marketing campaigns were designed to reach out to the consumers and motivate them to buy the product, instead of directly and aggressively trying to convince them that their products were the best.

Now, we’re at the 21st century. The era of digital marketing. Digital marketing is basically the promotion of any product or service via the digital platform. Organizations realized that people are looking for the perfect blend of wit, humor and promotion of a product-all on a digital medium. People would rather prefer digital mobility then to physically look at any product. McDonald’s campaigns have some really interesting ideas, and one of the campaigns to get people to come to McDonald’s in China was to have a limited edition of angry birds. This particular game that could only be played inside the store. Users could also vote their favourite outlet and have the outlet that won a huge slingshot attached to it. That’s the thing about digital marketing: It keeps people engaged in this fast- paced world. Time is a precious luxury, and people aren’t as patient as they were then. They want things to happen instantaneously, and for things to be much faster, if it could.

Marketing is constantly evolving, as we’ve seen over the years. From word of mouth to digital marketing, there has been a huge evolution of the way organizations, as well as potential consumers view a product. Infinity Reach is a digital marketing agency that not specializes in digital marketing, but a lot more things too. We believe that marketing is constantly evolving-and we’d like to stay a step ahead.

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