A Brief History Of Marketing

Marketing has a long and rich history, a modern online marketing company or SEO agency is the latest development in an art that has been in progression since the beginning of time; finding persuasive reasons for someone to make a purchase. This art gradually became a science in the 20th century until the media explosion of the last 20 years turned everything on its head.

Many historians would agree that the early days of marketing where inspired by the famous psychological experiments of Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov was able to engineer a conditioned response in dogs by ringing a bell shortly before feeding them. Pretty soon the dogs began to associate the prospect of dinner with the ringing of the bell and would begin to salivate at the sound of the bell alone.

These experiments and others based on human subjects gave early marketing executives the idea that building a brand was simply a case of finding the right bell to ring and ringing it the appropriate number of times. However this conditioned response model does not take into account the effect emerging media has had on consumers and the world of marketing and business/brand interaction.

In the heyday of mass marketing, consumer’s media choices were limited and it was easy for businesses to build their brand based on the repetition of their message and control of the presentation medium. Television was limited to a few channels, as was radio, whilst newspapers and magazines were far fewer and less specialised in their readership. This provided companies a captive audience with little room for dissenting voices or small niche operations to blossom.

The expansion of media outlets that began in the 1980’s with cable T.V. and FM radio offering increased commercial broadcasting seemed like the answer to the mass marketer’s prayers, providing more opportunities to repeat the same messages to an increasing population.

However this was not to be the case, the proliferation of emerging media has grown to provide consumers with an unparalleled amount of information that is beyond the control of businesses and advertising executives. For the first time ever the company message has been watered down to an extent where customer experience has become more important than brand.

The flood gates are now wide open and consumers are more worldly wise, they can tune out the traditional branding messages, personalise their media experience online and turn up the thoughts and views of other consumers.  Interactivity has enabled consumers to broadcast their views about their personal experience with a product or service.  This can be fantastic for a company if it is positive, these experiences can be used to enhance the brand. However negative experiences will carry more weight and can quickly roll out of control if left unaddressed.

The future of marketing is not lost; it has just been made more complicated. A successful product still needs to satisfy the consumer’s needs and desires. It is up to an online marketing company to understand these needs and desires but it is no longer acceptable to just raise awareness of a product, the whole experience must be managed including sales and customer relations. Carefully crafted persuasive marketing combined with an eye on social media are the future, enabling customer needs to be satisfied and their product experience enhanced.

James Harper About the author

James Harper was a Digital Client Marketing Manager here at Boom Online Marketing. He's now one of our alumni.

Learn more about James Harper

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