The Evolution of Marketing

The Evolution of Marketing

The marketing industry is constantly evolving and is an intricate blend of both strategy and technology. Previously, marketing was simply about trying to sell goods and services. These sales attempts may be as old as civilisation itself but the concept of marketing as we know it derives from the developments of the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was during this time (the industrial revolution) that purchasing goods became easier for a consumer than make things themselves. The current definition of marketing is closer to “the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer.”

The Timeline of Marketing

The Evolution of Marketing timeline

[Image: Triangle Marketing Club] https://www.trianglemarketingclub.com/the-evolution-of-marketing/

The Simple Trade Era (pre-industrial revolution)

During the simple trade era, marketing focused solely on the trading of resources. Everything was handmade and in limited supply. Households produced their own basic commodities as these were highly sought after.

Production Era (1860’s – 1920’s)

The production era started during the industrial revolution and hailed the beginning of cost effective and mass-produced products. Previously, businesses produced one product at a time with the mindset of “if produced, someone will buy”.

Sales Era (1920’s – 1940’s)

As consumer demand grew and the market became more saturated, competition increased among businesses which prompted the use of sales techniques to promote products. Everything during the sales era revolved around profit (instead of quality) and businesses hoped that, by using persuasion techniques, customers will buy their products out of desire, not need.

Marketing department era (1940’s – 1960’s)

During this time, manufacturers determined that the new “baby boomer” generation won’t be influenced by their “hard sell” techniques. Middle class households enjoyed an increase in income and as a result, an increase in bargaining power. Anything market related including Advertising, sales, and promotions were grouped into one department.

Marketing company Era (1960’s – 1990’s)

This era saw an increase in the influence a marketing department has over a business in the sense that it could help guide the company’s direction. It was during this time that businesses shifted their focus away from mass production, prioritising customer satisfaction instead; the customer became king. Distribution channels and pricing strategy were also defined during this time.

Relationship Marketing Era (1990s-2010)

This era saw the beginning of relationship marketing which focused on both creating and maintaining customer relationships with the goal of creating customer loyalty.

Social/Mobile Marketing Era (2010-Present)

Presently, businesses focus communicating with customers in real time using social media. Thanks to the ongoing development in technology, customers can connect with a business 24/7. Considering the rate at which communication channels are developed, marketing will continue to change.

You can find a more detailed timeline infographic here: https://www.idealpositions.com/historical-timeline-of-marketing-and-advertising/

Some noteworthy milestones since 1990 include:

  • (1991) The beginning of the World Wide Web
  • (1994) Email becomes a mass communication tool
  • (1994) The E-commerce revolution
  • (1998) The creation of SEO
  • (2002) Social media gains traction

Marketing as we know it

The marketing industry has certainly come a long way and continues to evolve. Today, marketing professionals have a range of tools at their disposal to help them achieve their goals.

Marketers are no longer limited to print, television and radio advertising – the digital age brought new mediums such as Search Engine marketing, Email marketing, Social media marketing, and Mobile marketing to spread the word and reach consumers.

The top 5 online marketing tools are:

The marketing industry is fast paced and cutthroat. New strategies are popping up everywhere and current ones are ever-changing and evolving to stay ahead of the competition. If you think you’re cut out for the marketing field, take a look at IMM Graduate School’s wide range of marketing management qualifications here: https://imm.ac.za/study-units/marketing-advertising/

The scope of a Digital Marketing Career

Marketing is an integral part of any business, so it makes sense that only the best of the best would be tasked with the responsibility of creating awareness and promoting a brand. It’s a highly lucrative career, but only if you have the right skills and training. Of course, there’s no shortage of guides and how-to’s online that promise to make you an expert in the marketing world – but these only scratch the surface. Industry experts like Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin and Jeff Bullas have all dished out a lot of articles explaining key marketing techniques and trends, but we wanted to find out why digital marketing specifically is a good career path. Sruthi Veeraraghavan addresses the question

“Why Choose a Career in Digital Marketing?” – we have summarised it here for you: 

The digital marketing industry is always advancing

The marketing industry frequently adapts to new strategies and best practices which means that marketers need to stay up to date with the latest trends. Because digital marketing has so many moving parts that are always changing along with technological developments and changes in consumer needs and demands, it’s hard to list every aspect of the industry. Some of the key components of digital marketing include:

  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Copywriting
  • Design
  • Apps
  • Mobile marketing, including SMS
  • Content marketing
  • Web analytics
  • Growth hacking

Each of these can become a specialist area for a digital marketer to branch off into. However, a common trait of good digital marketers is the ability to communicate with people and get their online audiences to listen.

Digital Marketing Is the Future…

Digital marketing is here to stay, it’s the way things will be done from now on. One of the reasons for this is that digital marketing is more affordable than traditional marketing techniques. Another is that, instead of doing customer surveys and or research, marketers can track user response rates and measure campaign success in real time. This will ensure that your next campaign is planned effectively. Businesses that cannot adapt to the new marketing climate won’t make the cut. This highlights a need for digital marketers that have a feel for numbers and statistics. An essential requirement in any digital marketing role.

 Digital marketers are in high demand

With both large and small industries moving away from traditional marketing methods alone, digital marketers are becoming highly sought after. Digital marketers should find it easy to get employment and/or freelancing positions in their area of specialisation.

According to a report by Burning Glass Technologies (2017), four out of 10 jobs listed in marketing now call for digital marketing skills. In addition, the report states:

  • The demand for digital marketing skills almost doubled between 2011 and 2016.
  • Demand for content marketers rose 450 per cent during that time, while demand for digital analytics skills increased by 152 per cent.
  • Forrester Research predicts digital marketing will account for 35 per cent of all marketing spending by the end of 2019.
  • Digital marketing positions take 16 per cent longer to fill.

Digital marketing branches out into various categories, so take your pick – there is something for everyone.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a push messaging and outbound marketing tactic that consists of sending emails to customers as well as prospective customers (leads). The goal of these emails is to interact with the recipient of the email and advertise a product or service. Campaigns constantly need to be planned, conceptualised, developed, implemented and measured.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the practice of optimizing web pages to rank well on search engines. SEO professionals analyse, review, and implement changes to a website and its content so they are optimised for search engines. SEO specialists are tasked with generating traffic and increasing the number of organic visitors to a website.

Copywriting

A Copywriter writes promotional text with the purpose of advertising a product or service as well as other forms of marketing. Their responsibilities include writing advertising and marketing copy, public relations copy as well occasionally editing and ghost writing. Sometimes they also write taglines, direct mail pieces, web content, online ads and email and consider the use of keywords and keyphrases so as to improve SEO.

Content writing

Copywriting and content writing are two different things. Content writers are tasked with producing interesting, engaging content with the purpose of drawing readers to a website, turning them into loyal followers and keeping it that way. Professional content writers have extensive knowledge of the internet as well as different writing techniques and are well versed in writing various forms of web content.

These are just a few of the fields you can pursue with a marketing qualification from the IMM Graduate School or by upskilling yourself with an online short course. At the moment the IMM Graduate School offers five Digital Marketing specialisation courses online. In just 12 weeks you could be steering your marketing career in a whole new direction. Find out more information here: https://www.immsc.co.za/online_courses/marketing-advertising-short-courses/