Adapt or Perish: How Marketing Has Evolved Through The Years

Marketing Has Evolved Through The Years
Marketing has proved its resilience despite the changing times. From the time of mass production lines of the automobile industries to the adoption of mobile technology, marketing has consistently found a way to adapt. At first glance, one may think nothing has changed much, as the focus is still is on selling something.

However, if you trace the evolution of marketing, there were crucial and nuanced changes that altered the course of the entire industry. What lessons can we learn from them? And how will marketing continue its streak amid the emergence of new technologies?

The Classic Salesman

The concept of marketing first emerged during the early 20th century. This was the time when mass production was at the forefront and aggressive product selling ruled the day. The first ideas around the sales pitch also started to develop.

Marketers back in the 1920s thought that the best way to approach a sale was to talk exhaustively about a product and its features. The quicker you got to a yes, the more customers you'd be able to convert. And with more customers, revenues will shoot up and the company becomes profitable.

All you had to do was sharpen your sales talking strategy and never take no for an answer. This tactic definitely worked for a time, but it didn't last.

Rise Of The Consumer

By the 1950s, more companies started to realize that it isn't such a good idea to aggressively push products in people's faces. Marketers started to realize that a better strategy would be to put themselves in consumers' shoes.

By doing so, companies could get a sense of what consumers actually want or need. Instead of starting with what the product can do, starting with the customer's point of view increasingly become a core thrust. And it yielded great results.

Companies started getting more detailed information about buyer preferences and experiences. As a result, many more products and services became available to address a variety of customer needs and sales revenue increased across the board.

Today, the customer-centric doctrine still remains at the core of marketing. But it was about to get even better for consumers.

The Onset Of The Digital Age

As the consumer first concept continued to solidify among marketing professionals, the widespread adoption of the internet from the 1990s and onwards further empowered the average consumer. By this time, information becomes much more readily accessible through personal computers and search engines.

As a result, consumers became more knowledgeable about products and services. People could now verify and cross-reference what a salesman or marketer communicated. If things didn't match or if people thought they were being misled, there was no deal.

Consumers became more empowered with the advent of mobile technology, which put information literally at their fingertips. So marketers had to adapt once again.

Whether it's professional SEO or online advertising services, companies found a way to harness the data in search engines to learn more about what consumers were searching online. Digital information started being collected and analyzed to optimize companies' websites and online content to fit customer preferences.

With the emerging technologies of 5G and virtual reality just on the horizon, there is no doubt that marketing will continue to find new strategies to adapt. It's likely that marketers will rely on the progress made in digital marketing to make significant headway into new frontiers.
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