The evolution of marketing

Compared to many other industries, marketing is relatively new. Of course, it’s always existed to a certain extent – as long as people have had goods to sell, they’ve found ways to market them. However as an industry, it arguably only really developed in more recent times, having emerged as a discipline in the early 1900s.
Nonetheless, in this short period of time the industry has evolved a lot, so we’ve given an overview of the development of marketing. 
The marketing industry is considered to have gone through three main eras:

  • The production orientation era: this era occurred in the late 19th century and early 20th century, where the prevailing belief was that if a good was produced, someone would buy it, with little to no promotion necessary. The emphasis was on the creation of good products rather than advertisement.
  • The sales orientation era: as competition grew, so did aggressive salesmanship as people realised that producing the goods was not enough. This period saw the use of high pressure tactics such as door-to-door sales. The belief was that people wouldn’t buy products if they were left alone, so buys had to be sought out.
  • The marketing orientation era: companies saw the need to become more strategic in their marketing approach, so rather than using pressure and aggression, they began to develop marketing tactics to become more effective than their competitors without putting consumers off by being aggressive. For example, rather than trying to get everyone to buy their goods, companies would identify their target audience and focus on them.

Marketing continues to evolve, with new eras in development as new options for marketing appear. For example, with the rise of social media, a whole new approach has emerged that allows interaction with consumers and a more social connection between brands and customers.
By knowing what has come before, it is easier to predict what will come next, as there has been a trend of making marketing less aggressive and invasive, and more friendly and considerate. Since the start of the marketing industry, marketers have been trying to make friends with their customers rather than just throw goods at them and hope something sticks. 
So with this in mind, it is important to make sure you are moving forwards and not backwards! Make sure your marketing techniques aren’t going to alienate your target audience and make them feel like they are back in the aggressive sales era – instead, interact with them, listen to them, and offer them your goods or services rather than throwing them in your customer’s face.