Many people will be wondering when marketing really started, as people have been trading goods for need and for want almost since the dawn of time. And at what point did the structures and strategies we know and use today become marketing? Here is a brief look at how marketing started out, and the main stages of its development over time:

Stage 1 – The Birth of Marketing: Mass production and efficiency reigned during the early 20th century, and shifting the goods fast and in bulk was priority, so marketing came into effect to move things along.

Stage 2 – The Sales Era: In the 1920s ‘Salesmen’ and the ‘sales pitch’ were both born, as men would actively pursue sales and talk the consumer into purchasing the item, even if they didn’t really need it!

Stage 3 – The Marketing Era: The 1950s onwards saw the beginning of market research, something we still value today, allowing companies to sell what the consumer actually wanted to buy rather than trying to talk them into buying pointless items.

Stage 4 – The Relationship Marketing Era: During the 1990s salesmen took some values from the sales era and now altered their sales pitch to not push one sale only, but to build a relationship between the company and the customer. This was where return custom and recommendations first began to be valued.

Stage 5 – The Societal Marketing Era: Shortly after relationship marketing became a hit, so did the strategy of putting the consumer at the centre of the company and its campaigns, mixing the market research values of the 50s and the relationship building of the 90s to create the ultimate customer focused strategies.

Stage 6 – The Digital Marketing Era: This era is one that we are living in now, and it formed due to society’s dependence on technology and the internet. Using this technology to reach markets has paved the way for smaller companies to rise up, and although traditional marketing values should not be replaced, digital marketing is becoming ever more valuable to companies large and small.

For a more detailed insight into how marketing has evolved through the six main stages of its history so far, take a look at our blog article: How Marketing Has Evolved.