Marketing History

Marketing History

People have been engaged in marketing since the beginning of time, long before anyone ever conceived of degrees in marketing. Whenever people exchange goods or services, there is some level of marketing involved. Although they did not realize it, the earliest inhabitants used marketing to barter goods and services. Say Person A was a great weaver and Person B was a terrific hunter. They had to talk up their services up in order to exchange goods. In essence, the activity they engaged in was marketing.

Businesses did not always put an emphasis on marketing the way they do today. Although marketing was a function of business during the nineteenth century, businesses really did not embrace today's version until the latter part of the twentieth century. The history of marketing can be divided into three eras: production, sales, and marketing.

The production era occurred from the late nineteenth century until the mid-1920's. During this era, companies focused on producing quality products that would basically sell themselves. Henry Ford's statement about the Model T illustrates this era's view of marketing. Ford famously said, "the customers can have any color they want, as long as it's black." Companies were focused on producing better products and hoped that customers would embrace them. Keep in mind, technological advances were just beginning.

. The sales era began in the mid-1920's and ended in the mid-1950's. Technology advances allowed companies to produce a wide variety of products in different shapes, sizes, and colors. People who visited a Ford showroom now had the option of choosing different car models in different colors. With all the choices available, products would no longer sell themselves. Variety in the marketplace forced companies to change their attitude towards marketing. Companies began using advertising and sales representatives to convince people to buy their goods and services.

. The marketing era began in the mid-1950's and has been moving at warp speed ever since. Companies now see marketing as an essential part of their overall success. Marketing is involved in researching, pricing, distribution, and promotion of a company's products or services. Companies have become expert in converting needs into wants. Let's go back to our Ford example. People have a need for transportation. Ford takes that need and creates the Ford Mustang. The marketing department then creates a campaign that not only fulfills the consumer's need but creates a strong desire for a stylish, fast, great-looking sports car.

. The marketing era has also been strongly influenced by advances in communications. Today, information is at your fingertips. Consumers no longer rely on daily newspapers or weekly magazines. They can just log onto the Internet and learn the latest. All this means that consumers are very savvy. They know exactly when they are being sold to, and they may not like it. Companies are constantly challenged to come up with new ways to create marketing messages that capture a consumer's attention, but do not sell too hard.

. The importance of marketing to a company's success has led many people to pursue a marketing degree. Each year, thousands of people will graduate with a bachelor's or master's degree in marketing. The United States Department of Labor estimates that over 700,000 people will work as a marketing, advertising, promotion, sales, or public relations manager by 2018. It also predicts that the largest job increases will be seen in the marketing manager and sales manager roles. These trends show just how important marketing will continue to be for companies across the country.

Hundreds of colleges and universities offer marketing degree programs. Many students will choose to attend state universities that offer strong programs, while others will have the high grades and college entrance exam scores needed to attend some of the nation's top-ranked marketing schools. America's top marketing schools for undergraduate and graduate studies include Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke, the University of Michigan, and Harvard. Over 60 percent of graduate students from these top schools will have a marketing job lined up by the time they graduate.

Marketing is one of the most dynamic fields in business. Here are some events that helped shaped the industry.

. In 1895, one of America's most iconic brands, Coca- Cola, published its first print advertisement. An elegantly dressed woman sips the product while conveying the message, "Drink Coca-Cola." . Proctor & Gamble decided in 1927 to appoint its first product manager. One individual became responsible for Camay soap's marketing strategies.
. On July 1, 1941, the face of advertising changed forever. The watch manufacturer Bulova, paid $4 for a television ad shown during a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. A 30-second television ad for the 2010 World Series is reported to cost $450,000!
. The year 1985 marks one of the biggest marketing fiascos in history: New Coke. Never was the importance of market research, specifically consumer-driven market research, more on display. The public shunned the new product. Coke was forced to bring back Coca- Cola Classic. Some claim the whole episode was a hoax. Did the company design this strategy to put original Coke back in the spotlight? Whatever the true story may be, the Coca- Cola Company was in the headlines for months.