The 21st century is categorized as a century for disruption. Like many industries, marketing to has undergone a revolution, and a lot has changed in the last 50 years. This article will briefly summarize how marketing has evolved over time and discuss some of the principles that remained the same throughout this time.
How marketing changed over time: An in-depth analysis
The core purpose
Marketing has been around since the earliest of times when people used different strategies to maximize their profitability through marketing. But modern marketing can be traced back to Philip Kotler, a prominent writer who published the widely popular textbook on Marketing Management, which later became the most influential textbook in modern marketing. The book recently published its 16th edition, and in an interview, the author Kotler stated how the core principle that was presented in the first edition of the book, which stated that “customers must drive company actions and their needs,” still remained relevant to this day. Even with the advancement of big data, social media, and sophisticated e-commerce, the core idea for a company to create value for customers remained the same. You can learn more about the fundamentals of marketing and a summary of the Marketing Management book from this document.
During the 70s, the primary purpose of marketing was to sell as many products as they possibly could. However, today things have changed; a company’s focus now is to increase sales and address particular customer problems. Today brand awareness is valued more than the actual conversion rate of a marketing campaign. Take Unilever, for example; with the Dove soap, the primary purpose of the marketing campaign was not to sell products in bulk but to remind women that they are beautiful, just the way they are. This strong purpose serves well in the long run and helps create a connection between the brand and the customer.
How social media influenced marketing
Thanks to social media, consumers are more informed than ever; they can easily compare prices or read reviews which will give them an overall idea of the product. That is why many companies who used to invest heavily in marketing have shifted their focus on improving product quality rather than investing heavily in advertisement. In today’s day and age, word-of-mouth marketing is far more impactful than traditional marketing, as demonstrated by smartphone manufacturer Oneplus. A smartphone is a highly competitive market with big players like Apple and Samsung, and while companies like Microsoft failed to make a dent in the market, Oneplus was successful just by focusing on their product and with word-of-mouth marketing.
How marketing roles changed over time
In the past, marketing and the product team worked separately; in fact, the marketing team was only summoned after the product was ready, and it was the responsibility of the marketers to sell the final product. But now, marketing roles have evolved, and they are responsible for giving their input on what the customer really wants. Marketers can offer design ideas and features, and it is up to the product team to verify and see if it’s possible to implement.
Marketing has evolved significantly in the last few decades, and it will continue to change in the coming years as well. However, the core principles remained the same, and it will be interesting to see whether it changes in the foreseeable future or not.