The Evolution of Marketing

It cannot be denied that businesses have evolved an incredible amount over the past 200 years. We’re going to dive deep into the evolution of marketing with this two-part series, from pre-computers to the digital era, we're going to see what has stood the test of time.

For the first part of this series, let's take a look at what marketing without the internet was like. It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? But it was once done!

Want to hear a fun fact? "Of course" we hear you say. Think about influencers today and how they are paid to wear and flaunt certain items from brands… well, this was happening even in Roman times, where gladiators were paid to wear products. Can we get a #spon on that, please?

1. The Mass Production Era - 1860s-1920s:

Did you know that we have the Industrial Revolution to thank for marketing? Between the 1860s and 1920s, the main focus was on mass production whereby mass-produced goods were the core driver of sales. During this time businesses could produce in huge quantities and at low-costs, with the mindset of "if produced, someone will buy".

Industrial Revolution

Image from Pexels.com

2. The Start Of Printed Advertising - 1911-1950s:

From 1911, the world of printed advertising grew to new heights with magazines and posters. Some fo these posters rocked the world - think back to your history lessons and seeing the 1914 'Lord Kitchener Wants You' poster used to call young men into the army. Posters played a huge roll in printed media worldwide during both World War I and World War II, mainly being used to communicate propaganda.

From the 1950s brands started to establish connections with their audiences by using popular characters to advertise their products. Using celebrities and famous people alike worked wonders for big brands, such as Marlboro, as it gave their audiences a sense of desire to buy the product. 

Retro Poster

Image from Pixabay.com

3. The Golden Age Of Radio Advertising - 1922-1940s:

The first recognised form of radio advertising started in 1922 with the first paid-for radio commercial on 28th August on the New York station WEAF. Not only was 1922 a big year for digital marketing in the US, but this was the year that the BBC was born. By 1930 almost 90% of radio stations in the US were broadcasting commercials, this was the start of the 'Golden Era of Radio' in the United State. 

Vintage Radio

Image from Pexels.com

4. The First TV Ad - 1955:

When was the first advert aired on British TV? Well the answer: 22nd September 1955. The first marketing advert to hit the UK's screens was a commercial made by AB-Pathe, it was over a minute long and promoted Gibbs SR Toothpaste. The evolution is television adverts speaks for itself, you just have to press the on button on your remote and chances are there will an advert playing. 

Retro TV

Image from Pixabay.com

Marketing has evolved massively from the industrial era in the 19th century to what we see today. With an ever-growing market of products and services on the market, businesses have been forced to stay competitive and with that began marketing. From the 1990s, marketing became an integral part of any business' strategy.

Next week we’ll be going into detail about how the marketing world has changed from the digital era and beyond, where brands began to realise that long-term customer relationships are the key to drive sales and company growth. 

Written by

Katie Reed | Product Team Supervisor

With 10 years' experience in the promotional merchandise industry, Katie speaks with true authority about all matters related to promotional products. Her attention to detail and creative flair ensure that product details, prices, imagery and descriptions are accurate and answer all our customers' questions. Her articles and other product-related content have become truly trusted sources of both information and inspiration for anyone deciding on their next promotional product order. In another life, she would have been a star Quidditch player.

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