How did marketing come about? Know a little of this history – WAU

The origin of marketing does not have a definite date, but around the 1940s articles were published that already dealt with the bases of this concept, such as the study by the American Walter Scott on the influence of psychology in advertising and the article on “laws of gravitation retail ”, by William J. Reilly.

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Those who study or work in the Marketing area are often used to think of it as something extremely current. Marketing is a science – or art – of our times, of the 21st century, of the Y and Z generations.

But have you ever stopped to think (or research) about the emergence and evolution of Marketing?

It may be surprising to discover that Marketing is not that current. It appeared more than 550 years ago!

In reality, therefore, his greatest achievement was to have changed and adapted to the times so effectively.

Thanks to this characteristic, even after almost six centuries, it remains essential for any business.

In this article, we will see in more detail the history of the emergence and evolution of Marketing. You are curious? So, good reading!

How Marketing came about

You may remember learning at school that Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450.

origin and evolution of marketing
Types used in printing presses, such as the one invented by Gutenberg

This invention revolutionized human communication, since, for the first time, it was possible to mass produce texts and distribute them to more people. After all, before that, all texts had to be written by hand.

It is worth mentioning that, before the press, even knowing how to read was a privilege of a few. As the circulation of books was very limited, most people never had contact with written language.

This limitation also affected education and access to information. In this way, the press has deeply affected society!

It was Gutenberg’s press, therefore, that propelled the emergence of the first print ads, which was the most elaborate form of Marketing in that period.

It is worth remembering that, before the computer and the internet, Marketing followed the model we call outbound.

In other words, he tried to sell the product before creating any link with customers.

Today, with inbound marketing, we have created a bond before – educating customers about the problem, presenting solutions, generating value through information.

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Marketing and the evolution of the press: newspapers and magazines

Despite Gutenberg’s invention, it was only in the 17th century that newspapers and magazines started to be published en masse.

Many recognize the German newspaper Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien, from 1605, as the first newspaper.

origin and evolution of marketing
The world’s first newspaper

Meanwhile, the first American magazine was published in 1741, in Philadelphia.

origin and evolution of marketing
The Gentleman’s Magazine, the world’s first magazine

Newspapers and magazines, then, became an interesting way for companies and marketers of the period to publish their ads.

This was a win-win relationship for both sides. Any business could advertise its products and services to more people.

Meanwhile, publishers were able to sell space and obtain resources to keep their publication running. And to this day this is a form of outbound marketing that still works.

Marketing and public spaces: posters and billboards

It is true that, with the possibility of printing pamphlets, the dissemination became easier. But there was still a problem: it was necessary to distribute these pamphlets, one by one, to people.

Soon, however, someone realized that it would be much easier to post a single poster on a public street. Thus, all passersby would see the message, and the effort required was much less.

What about posters? We don’t know how the practice of posting posters started – it is possible that it already existed even before the press was invented. After all, it is possible to make a poster, even by hand.

However, a curious fact is that this strategy became so popular that it was even banned from London! In the year 1839, it became illegal to post posters on properties in the capital of England.

But marketing professionals at the time soon found a way around this ban, using a similar means, but with much more impact: billboards.

Through the billboard, the ads could be seen from afar, having a better reach than the posters. In addition, a billboard is much more durable. In terms of cost-effectiveness, it is an interesting bet.

origin and evolution of marketing: Coca-Cola billboard in 1922
Coca-Cola billboard in 1922

The oldest record for renting a billboard is from 1867. The greatest proof that this idea has its value is that the practice continues today.

Marketing and sound: Radio, TV and telephone

With the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century new means of communication came, through inventions as significant and revolutionary as the Gutenberg press. We are talking, of course, about radio, television and telephone.

Although the telephone was first invented in 1876, it developed slowly. Thus, it was only in 1946 – almost a hundred years later – that the penetration of this equipment in American homes reached 50%. And, of course, it came to be used for the famous telemarketing.

origin and evolution of marketing

The term “telemarketing” started to be used in the late 1970s and, since then, it has been associated with one of the most problematic marketing practices – both for the results and for the reception of the public to this approach.

One of the current forms of telemarketing uses automatic calls and recorded messages to offer products and services.

After the phone, it was the radio’s turn to occupy the novelty position. The development of this technology was accelerated by World War I, for military purposes.

However, in the early 1920s, it came to be used for open broadcasts, entertainment and news. In just 22 years – from 1921 to 1933 – radio entered more than 55% of American households.

origin and evolution of marketing

To sponsor the broadcasts, verbal announcements of products and services were made. But, if these ads brought an extra element to Marketing, it didn’t compare to the magic of television.

The first public demonstration of televised moving silhouettes was made on March 25, 1925. In 1941, the first TV advertisement of which we are registered was made.

In 1954, less than fifteen years later, TV ads had already exceeded the revenue obtained from Marketing via magazines and radio.

Television advertising remains part of the scope of Marketing’s activities, of course. But, as you may know, this is not a very affordable alternative.

As companies of the time were quick to notice, a TV ad is expensive.

Therefore, Marketing has continued to evolve, to incorporate alternatives that could help any business – even those that do not have a millionaire budget.

Another interesting point is to observe that, with each new invention, the time necessary for the technology to spread has been decreasing.

This shows that society itself has become hungry for new means of communication and new tools to interact with the world around it.

And Marketing sought to find a way to take advantage of the potential of each one of them.

Marketing and the digital age: Mobile phones, computers, printers and the internet

After the invention of television, it was necessary to wait a few more decades for a new revolution.

Finally, on April 3, 1973, the first call was made by cell phone. Then, in 1981, IBM introduced the personal computer, and in 1984, Apple launched its iconic Macintosh.

origin and evolution of marketing
The first Macintosh

And in the 1990s, the internet boom took place – not just for military and industrial purposes, as it was in the beginning, but for ordinary people as well.

Four major milestones over a 10-year period that would completely change the future of Marketing!

With the personal computer, came the personal printers. This allowed print advertising to be done much more easily and, again, raised the importance of newspaper ads.

The results were visible. In 1972, Life magazine had been canceled (after 36 years of publication) due to competition from TV. Then, in 1985, this media was reborn, reaching revenue of $ 25 billion.

Another consequence of the personal computer was making access to the internet and e-mail possible. In 1994 the first large-scale automated message was sent – the first spam, which reached thousands of users.

This was a demonstration of the reach power of email marketing, for better or worse. As a result, today, it is part of any successful Marketing strategy.

And since the 1990s, innovations have continued to emerge and have always been incorporated into Marketing.

  • From search engines, the concern with SEO arose;
  • Content Marketing emerged from blogs;
  • From the Facebook phenomenon, Social Network Marketing emerged;
  • From the popularity of YouTube, the incorporation of video into Marketing emerged;
  • From the mobile communication networks, the need to seek responsiveness in web design.

Today, the great trend of Digtal Marketing is Inbound Marketing, which responds to the profile and demands of the 21st century consumer.

Inbound Marketing is aligned with the reality of this individual who is born and grows immersed in information, seeking to learn and understand before making any purchase decision.

And it uses all the technological resources, obtained through the historical evolution that you just followed, to establish a link, a consistent communication.

Now, what will be the next milestones in the evolution of Marketing? What will be the future of Inbound? Check it out in the Inbound Marketing 2.0 ebook!

Definitive Inbound Marketing Guide