It’s very easy to take marketing for granted. After all, we’re faced with it almost constantly throughout our daily lives, whether it’s ads on TV, direct mail through our letterboxes, or via the internet. However, have you ever stopped to wonder about how all these different marketing methods have developed? In this series, we’ll be taking a look at how marketing has evolved over the years, and how the world of marketing has always been quick to adopt new approaches and technologies to help savvy businesses stay ahead of the game.
You might think that spam is something that only originated with email, but in fact it goes back a lot further. In fact, in 1864 a group of British politicians were sent an “urgent” message by telegram that turned out to be an advertisement for a local dental practice. From this simple example of a company trying its luck in getting a little extra publicity, a whole new approach to marketing was born!
Another important development in marketing during the nineteenth century was the use of trademarks as a marketing tool. Unlike patents, which protect inventors from having their creations stolen, trademarks deal specifically with marketing- usually with logos, product names, and so on. The creation of trademark law was a huge step forward for marketing, as it encourages businesses to do something to mark themselves out from the competition. Now, as well as advertisements, the product or company itself could be made a key part of marketing. The first ever trademark in the UK was issued to the Bass Brewery in 1876, for their distinctive triangle logo.
By the turn of the twentieth century, it became clear that marketing was a hugely powerful tool in the business world, and one that no company could afford to miss out on. “Business” now took on a whole new meaning, as companies competed with each other to capture the hearts and minds of their customers. To help train up a new generation of marketing gurus, the University of Pennsylvania was the first institution to offer a dedicated marketing course in 1905, entitled “The Marketing of Products”. The concept caught on, and within just three years the Harvard Business School opened in 1908. Now it was official- marketing was an integral part of business, and those who couldn’t keep up were doomed to failure.
Marketing has always been quick to adopt new technology, from the earliest radio ads in 1922 to TV advertising in 1941. That also included telemarketing, which started to crop up in the 1950s as more people started to get their own phone lines. While they might be annoying, there’s no doubt that telemarketing calls generate a huge amount of revenue every day- and the fact that it’s still going strong after over 60 years shows that older forms of marketing still have a place in an increasingly digital world.
Up until the middle of the twentieth century, marketing still used the same old tried and tested approaches, albeit using the latest technology available to deliver their message. By the tail-end of the 1980’s, though, it was clear that a change had to come, as the public started to get tired of the way they were exposed to marketing. Next time, we’ll look at how the 80’s gave businesses big and small some brand new ways of reaching out to the public- and making advertising a bit more fun!
I have over 11 years of experience in marketing and have had experience working across the ever-changing marketing approaches. If you would like to discuss your marketing CLICK HERE to arrange a meeting (if you sign up with us mentioning this article you will get a FREE blog article every month for the duration of your campaign)