Evolution of Marketing

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. 

Radio Advertisements 

The radio was invented in the late 19th century and 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.

Marketing with Television

The first-ever television commercial aired for Bulova Clocks in the year 1941  and reached about 4000 people.

Television advertisements found various application in the ’50s, including commercials for selling toys, sponsorship from big brands like Colgate and Coca-Cola, and presidential campaigns. Meanwhile, in the UK, the first TV commercial aired for Gibbs SR toothpaste in the year 1955.

Television emerged as the clear winner when it came to the preferred medium for marketing as other media experienced a decrease in ad revenues. 

Television advertisements would continue 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, with little regard to identifying the target audience and their problems.

 But eventually,  new technologies would emerge which would plant the seeds for total disruption in the marketing domain.

The emergence of New Technologies – Dawn of the Digital Era

The inventions 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 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 phone, which was the result of advancements in mobile network technologies. 

The mid and late ’90s were marked by the emergence of search engines technologies and saw the launch of several search engines like Yahoo, MSN, 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. Marketers sought to interact with customers, identify their problems, and provide efficient solutions, thereby enhancing their brand.

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.

Advantages of Digital Marketing

Highly cost-effective

Digital marketing methods are very efficient in generating leads and customers. This results in a better Return On Investment (ROI). Conventional marketing methods like TV commercials, on the other hand, are very expensive and very less efficient.

Enhanced Audience Targeting

Businesses can make use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which helps the target audience find them easily. This is far more effective than broadcasting advertisements and hoping the audience finds it.

Real-Time Results

Tools like Google Analytics help businesses keep track of metrics like conversion rate, bounce rate, and profits real-time. These results are also quantifiable, as they give you a clear indication of what your reach is, who your target audience is, and how much more effort is required to achieve the desired results.

Establishing trust with customers

Social media platforms and e-mails enable the customers to send feedbacks regarding the services offered by companies. Responding to feedback and incorporating the required changes helps build trust with the target audience. This also results in a better word of mouth, which is essential for the growth of the business.

I would like to conclude by saying that embracing digital marketing is the best thing one can do to fully realize the potential of their business. I hope this blog helped you find what you’re looking for. 


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