Evolution Of Marketing- How Marketing Changed Over Time

Marketing evolved over the years as mentioned below:

  1. Production Era
  2. Selling Era
  3. Marketing Era
  4. Relationship Era

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Production Era of Marketing (1860-1920s):

At this stage companies believed that customers will pay for the products which are superior in quality, has innovative features and give good performance. Hence companies concentrated more on product innovation i.e R&D. This behaviour led to “marketing myopia” as told by Levitt. Companies remained delusional to the needs to the customers and refused to adapt. According to him a customer buys a solution to their problem and not the product. Hence here comes the need of the marketer who should know the need of the consumers and try solve it, rather than selling a product to him.

This era lasted till 1920s where more concentration was on developing the product. The aim of the businesses were to produce product to meet the demand and not try understand the need of the customer.

Mass Production of Ford

Selling Concept/ Sales-Orientation Stage (1920s to 1940s):

At this stage it was believed that consumers will buy product if they are persuaded with large scale promotional activities. The companies believed that promotional activities could act as stimulator to buy more product. The firms aimed at selling what they made by bombarding customers with promotional activities rather than concentrating on what market wants. In this period the aim of the companies were to beat its competition and earn profit. Price played a major role in the marketing strategy while customer needs and quality of products took and back seat.

Here you see how price is used as a motivator for purchase
Ford advertised on the HP and differentiated the products on the same.

Modern Marketing Era (1960s to 1990s):

In this approach where the companies started understanding the needs of the customers and developing the products to meet the same. Target audience was defined and products were designed accordingly.

It is that era which said “consumer is the king”. A marketer should listen to it’s consumers and develop the product accordingly.

Marketers focused on solving the customer needs, which was addressed be their ad campaigns.

Relationship Marketing (1990s- Present)

Since 1990s companies focused in developing long term relationship with their customers and developing a loyalty model. With the introduction of digital marketing and the customer brand relationship becoming more transparent due to social media relationship marketing was the need of the hour. Coca cola, Apple are few of the brands who has been able to retain their customers and keep on adding to their loyal customer base.

With the introduction of digital media, the future of marketing is majorly dominated by data & technology. Knowing your customers and developing a long term relationship with them is the key to successful marketing in the coming years.

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