Perhaps the most important ingredient in growing a business is marketing. Any entrepreneur seeking to grow the business would allocate a portion of the budget to marketing. Marketing has evolved over several years and has taken many forms.
In this blog, I attempt to provide a brief overview of the evolution of marketing and various benefits of digital marketing.
Let’s start by going way back when one of the most widespread mass media communication devices was invented.
The radio was invented in the late 19th century. It saw a huge rise in popularity and widespread use in the 1920s and 1930s. As radio offered the business companies a way to have near real-time communication with the audience, the marketers sought to make use of this medium to promote their products.
In the early 1920s, the WEAF organization offered companies airtime in exchange for a fee. They found their first sponsors in Queensboro Corporation, a real estate company. Radios found themselves to be deeply entrenched in the American household by the early 1940s.
Some of the various advertisements on radio include live-reads, the creative and catchy jingle ads, and the subtle sponsorship ads.
The first-ever television commercial aired was for Bulova Clocks in 1941 and reached about 4000 people. The ads found various application in the ’50s, including commercials for selling toys, sponsorship from big brands like Colgate and Coca-Cola, and presidential campaigns. Television emerged as the clear winner when it came to the preferred medium for marketing as other media experienced a decrease in ad revenues. TV ads continued to dominate the marketing scenario for the rest of the 20th century. While television commercials did play a major role in increasing brand awareness, the key approach of companies was essentially the same, which was to ensure that their brand got as much coverage as possible. But there was little regard to identifying the target audience and their problems.
But eventually, new technologies emerged which would plant the seeds for total disruption in the marketing domain.
The Emergence Of New Technologies – Dawn Of The Digital Era
The invention of mobile in the early ’70s and personal computers in the early ’80s paved the way for the rise in digital marketing. In 1985, the print media, after having seen in a dip in the ad revenues, experienced an explosive growth. Tim Berners-Lee conceived and developed the World Wide Web at CERN, which was made public in 1991. This led to rapid advancements in Web technologies including browsers and dynamic web pages.
The early ’90s was also marked by the rise in popularity of cell phones, which was because of improvement in mobile network technologies. The mid and late ’90s were marked by the emergence of search engine technologies and the launch of several search engines like Yahoo, MSN, and Google and so on. Blogger.com was created in 1998, which was later acquired by Google in 1999.
Social Networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook emerged in the years 2003 and 2004.
A rise in e-commerce was observed in the late 2000s as websites like Amazon saw a huge increase in sales which generated billions in revenue. This was also accompanied by further advancements in mobile technology and widespread use of mobiles.
Inbound Marketing Becomes The Norm
With the surge in popularity of social media and rapid advancements in the internet, the marketers, instead of merely advertising their products and hoping to increase the sales, sought to add value to the customers.
Interaction with customers and forging a trust-based relationship became paramount. They would identify customer problems and provide efficient solutions, thereby enhancing their brand image. Inbound marketing cost companies 60% less than conventional marketing tactics. An increase of about 60% was observed in the digital marketing budget in the year 2012.
And that brings us to today. No missing links in this evolution process!
So, it’s a wrap. Feel free to share us your thoughts in comments