Marketing has become a big part of how businesses expose themselves to their audiences. But what many people don’t realise is that even before the use of mobile phones, tablets, computers, and the internet it was used to expose businesses. Marketing has evolved just as much as the world has evolved.

Which is what this blog is going to explain…

Marketing before the Internet.

Marketing existed even before the internet did. In China and India, people use to market their products using their communication skills, with some people in China and India still using this marketing technique now. And in Rome, people got paid to market the products by wearing them.

Up until this millennial marketing has been inbound, now it has changed to outbound. It’s the techniques, mediums and the relations that have developed and made such an impact on everything, this includes marketing.

Mediums used as Marketing Tools Over Time:

  • 15 ct – 1900: Magazines, Posters, Billboards.
  • 1900 – 1973: Radio, TV, Telephones.
  • 1973 – 1994: Mobile Phones, Computers.
  • 1995 – Today: Desktop, Mobile Smart Devices, Social Media.

During the 60s direct marketing, marketing management and strategic marketing planning become an essential part of businesses Marketing Plan.

The next important change was in the 90s when businesses realised that building a brand was the way to increase market shares.

It is said that there are 5 stages of evolution for marketing:

  1. Simple Trade Era (Pre Industrial Revolution)
  2. The Production Era (1860s – 1920s)
  3. The Sales Era (1920s – 1940s)
  4. The Marketing Department Era (1940s – 1960s)
  5. The Marketing Company Era (1960s – 1990s)

It was then said that two more stages were added. As in Today’s world everything has evolved at a quicker pace:

  1. The Relationship Marketing Era (1990s – 2010)
  2. The Social/Mobile Marketing Era (2010 – Present)

It is clear to see that after The Production era marketing has been evolving every 20 years.

However, we can argue now that it is not taking as long for marketing to evolve, so it’s important for businesses to keep up with this evolution to stay competitive in their market.

Now, you are probably wondering how everything has evolved so quickly for marketing in the last 3 decades? Well, let’s take a look…

Digital Marketing – The Beginning.

This term was first used in the 1990s when the Internet came to light in a commercial sense. The World Wide Web Project was launched in 1991 but everything triggered 3 years later when browser platform Netscape was released.

Two years after the release of Netscape the number of people using the Web skyrocketed to 70 million.

As the number was constantly growing, the Internet evolved through to today’s biggest names like Google (1997), Amazon (1994) and Ebay (1995).

Yahoo (1994) was among the few companies with the ability to generate big profits from online marketing.

In its first year, Yahoo got 1 million hits, which was a signal for companies to modify their websites in order to reach higher rankings.

More Search Engines then started to appear, including HotBot, LookSmart, MSN and Google. All these made Emails, Search Engines and Websites priceless tools for outbound marketing.

The internet continues to develop and the possibility to watch and search for something every day is becoming bigger and bigger.

This is what has changed marketing forever, it was a transition from outbound to inbound marketing.

New Era – Inbound Marketing.

There are many differences between inbound and outbound marketing:

Inbound Marketing:

  • Communication is Interactive and Two-Way
  • Customers come to you (via Search Engines, Referrals, Social Media, etc)
  • Marketers provide value
  • Marketers seek to entertain and/or educate

Outbound Marketing:

  • Communication is One-Way
  • Customers are sought out (via Print, TV, Radio, Cold Calls, etc)
  • Marketers provide little to no added value
  • Marketers rarely seek to entertain or educate

Nowadays to successfully keep with the progress, all businesses, this means whether you are B2B or B2C, should invest in SEO, content, social media and email marketing as essential parts or your marketing plan.

All these are and will continue to develop and strongly affect marketing evolution in years to come, let’s see how…

SEO

From the dawn of commercial use of the Internet, in the 90s, reaching high rankings in Search Engines was the main goal of internet marketing.

However, one moment can me marked as pivotal in the history of search engine technology and digital marketing. This was the birth of Google.

Google really kicked off in 1998. It’s algorithms have really evolved SEO and how businesses should be using SEO to market their business online.

Google changes is algorithms 500 – 600 times a year. Most of these changes are very minor but a few will be major updates.

It is estimated that there are more than 200 SEO Factors. However, some are considered much more important than the others and these include:

  • Relevance
  • Page Speed
  • Bounce Rate
  • Internal Links
  • Backlinks
  • URL’s
  • User Experience

The purpose of these factors is to ensure that users are able to find exactly what they are looking for when searching on Google.

For example, slow page speed will be a factor that Google will decide not to rank you for because it isn’t interested in delivering slow websites to its users.

Google wants its users to have the best user experience possible.

Content Marketing.

There has always been a lot of competition to show up on the first page, this means showing in the first 10 results.

So, this competition has made it increasingly harder to achieve this, content marketing came as an answer to this. Thanks to its evolution every business has the chance to drive users to their website.

The more content you produce the bigger your presence is online. This includes valuable content because, without quality, quantity means nothing on the internet.

Content Marketing has become such an important part of your business’s marketing plan that without it there is no SEO, so it’s important to marry those both together well.

Social Media.

After emails and search engines, social networks became the next big thing on the Internet.

Facebook made targeting more precise than ever before.

It started to segment its users into different attributes like age, gender, location, personal interests, etc.

From a marketing perspective Facebook and Instagram are better for marketing to B2C. While Twitter and LinkedIn are better for marketing to B2B.

Either way these Social networks should all be considering in your marketing plan. But you should always discuss the Pros and Cons of each for your business market as you want to make sure you are reaching the right types of people.

Email Marketing.

Unlike Social Networks, emails have been around since the beginning. And have always been a strong marketing strategy in most business marketing plans.

However, some things have evolved…

As the Internet was growing the techniques used for email marketing also developed.

You now have to think about the Subject Lines and the content within the body of the email. Especially if you want email marketing to be successful for your business.

For example, you have to remember that most users will now pick their emails up on their smartphones, so you’ve got to make sure the Subject Line is clear to read and that the first sentence in the body of the email is also eye catching and intriguing.

Overall, after seeing all this, it’s easy to conclude that inbound marketing means you don’t force yourself onto the customer.

Instead, you present yourself through your work so that the customer can recognise you as someone they want to work with.

All this is probably why outbound to inbound has been the biggest evolution of marketing so far.