70 years of Marketing
As many of us know, this 2022, Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II will become the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, after 70 years of service. Since ascending to the throne on February 6 1952, the past 70 years have been a period of exponential learning and growth, not just in the UK but the rest of the globe too. In 1952, the world had only recently emerged from one of the most detrimental and pivotal periods in recent history, the Second World War, and was facing a very different kind of future.
Since the new monarch was crowned, the world has changed considerably; there have been huge leaps forward in human rights, an increased rate of globalisation and the incorporation of technology into our daily lives. Marketing has been no exception to that evolution – from its humble beginnings in print between 1450 and 1900, to personalised ads, cookies and immersive experiential campaigns in recent years.
So, to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, we thought we’d take a look back over the history of marketing and how much it’s changed over the past 70 years.
The history of marketing
Ever since people have had something to sell, we’ve been marketing. From word of mouth to verbal promotions outside of stores, or at markets and trading points, marketing has always been at the forefront of business.
Printed advertising was the most popular form of marketing between 1450-1900, and throughout this time period, it took many forms. For example, in 1730, magazines were some of the most popular media across the globe. However, by 1876, billboards were used to grab people’s attention in public spaces and marketed everything from local services to products like medicines or household cleaning supplies.
But by the 1900s everything changed, thanks to technology.
From 1922, radio was used to promote products and services and suddenly, marketers were able to reach people in public spaces and their own homes. Then, just three years after the coronation, following the introduction of the television set in 1936, advertising moved to televisions across the country, too.
In the 70s, telemarketing started to emerge as a common sales tactic. At the start of the decade, the number of businesses opting for TV advertisements grew, and direct mailers were used to reach people at home. However, further change was on the horizon, thanks to the technological revolution.
By the 80s, personal computers also joined the marketing mix. In fact, some of you may remember that in 1984, Apple ran a $900,000 ad during the Super Bowl that reached almost half of American households.
With computers more accessible, online advertisements were born. Followed by a revival of print marketing! Computers gave businesses the chance to edit documents and create designs online and print them systematically, making it even easier to create magazines, newspapers and flyers.
Fast forward to the 90s, and mobile phones were gradually increasing in popularity. Technological advancements, like the invention of 2G, made SMS messaging possible and mobile phones even more appealing.
Meanwhile, TV advertising displaced newspapers as the largest ad medium, and other new technologies made their way into the limelight. In 1994, the first large-scale automated email was sent to several thousand people and started the domino effect for the growth of email marketing.
Another catalyst to change the marketing landscape during the 90s was the introduction of the search engine; services like Yahoo, Alta Vista and Ask.com launched and offered internet users an easy way to find and compare products and services.
By the late 90s, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) entered the world of marketing. At the time, it was largely influenced by webmaster-provided on-page information like meta descriptions and keyword density. Also around this time, in 1998, MSN and Google were launched, with the latter introducing ‘PageRank’ – a method to decide how pages should rank in their search results.
By the time, the new millennium had arrived, millions of blogs existed, and there was an exponential growth in technology. It’s only then that the idea of offering value to customers through marketing really took off. Social media platforms like Linkedin, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter were launched, and the Google Analytics service started to take shape.
By 2010, E-commerce started to take the centre stage , and Amazon was already turning over $10 billion in profits. Shopping online brought flexibility for businesses, who did not necessarily need physical media, and targeted advertisement campaigns began to influence purchasing decisions.
Over 90% of emails sent were spam, and more than 90% of households owned a mobile phone. It’s only in this decade that internet usage surpasses the time spent watching television for younger generations.
More than 80% of internet users are shopping online – making online advertisements, SEO, and inbound marketing campaigns even more important.
Because of this, social media and blogs have become successful at driving leads and bringing in sales, so much so, that many marketers direct large proportions of their budgets toward these platforms.
Today, consumers are seeing targeted campaigns, tailored to provide meaningful interactions online and in-person. With such a saturated market of different campaigns and adverts, marketers have their work cut out to stay relevant and offer value to their audience. Consumer experience continues to be a hot topic, and after all the change the sector has experienced in the past 70 years, we’re very excited to see where it will lead next.