01 Feb The History of Marketing
Marketing is a buzzword for today’s marketplace. Nearly every business engages in marketing in one form or another. Businesses want to evolve and find different ways to stand apart from the competition. But what is the history of marketing, and what can it teach us about marketing in the contemporary marketplace?
Marketing has its roots in the physical marketplace. Traders wanted to make their goods appeal to potential customers as they were surrounded by competition. Goods were presented in provocative arrangements to increase sales. As mercantilism and trade networks grew there would be a demand for people solely dedicated to the art of marketing.
Print and Radio
In 1517, a disgruntled Professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg – Martin Luther – hammered his Ninety-Five Theses onto the door of the All-Saints Church in what would kick off the Protestant Reformation. The invention and development of the printing press allowed Luther’s Theses, along with other religious texts, to be distributed to the masses in their native German language rather than niche Latin. The printing press also allowed merchants to increase awareness of their products among the population in different areas more quickly. The printing press expanded the reach of a message across borders previously thought insurmountable, and merchants pounced on the opportunity. Today, this is still seen through direct-mail campaigns and newspaper advertisements.
With just under 400 years for marketing experts to perfect the craft through written communication, the invention of the radio once again expanded the horizons of marketing. Hundreds of marketing firms were established during the 20th century in the United States. These firms focused on how to capitalize on the new medium of communication. What was previously relegated to people grabbing a flier or looking at a billboard was now expanded to anyone that had a radio anywhere they happened to be. Advertising once again broke boundaries that allowed sellers to communicate information on how to purchase their products and services.
Television and Computers
Radio advertising was shortly followed by the invention and popularization of the television set. Universally popular in the United States in the 1980s, television became a method of delivering news, entertainment, and advertising in a much more complex format. Audio and Visuals teams were added to film crews to produce the most appealing advertisements possible. A lot of the ads were for products, used around the house. The term “soap opera” came about during this period because cleaning product companies bought ad time during TV drama serials.
The next frontier to be broken in the marketing sphere was during the tech revolution of the 1990s and 2000s. As personal computers became more of a household item, advertising spots could be bought on specific websites that people would frequent. Companies would use the information gathered from sales to make highly targeted advertising campaigns that appealed more directly to consumers. This method of advertising is perhaps the most frequent and has aided huge corporations that many people use on a daily basis – like Amazon and Facebook. This form of advertising is closely linked with the rise of email as a method of communication. Direct email marketing campaigns have largely phased-out direct-mail marketing campaigns.
In recent years, the newest wave of marketing is via social media. Through a myriad of platforms that vary in reach and use, social media marketing has been shown to be effective. Especially for generations that have grown up during and after the invention of the internet. This brings us to the present day, where what occurs is a mixed bag of all these methods of marketing. It can be difficult as a business owner to know what to spend your time and money on. An effective marketing campaign that works for one company may not be as effective for another. This is where firms like Magic Marketing come in. We analyze your target demographic and formulate the best way to connect your product with that population, reaching more people than ever before.