Posted on: July 14th, 2017 by Staci Langel

What’s interesting about the marketing and advertising industry is the negative reaction to it. Everyone, myself included, complains about the commercials interrupting our TV shows or radio stations or the ads that show up in your Facebook feed. Yet as the history of marketing shows us, it’s a necessary evil.

So grab your pencils and notebooks, everyone. We’re taking a quick trip to history class – marketing history that is!

The Early Years

Advertising increased in the late 1800’s because of a huge industrial expansion in the US with the advertisements being most frequently announcement of goods available. It was looked at as a vital force in the nation’s economy – encouraging people to buy meant continued production. The first types of marketing were entirely print – magazines, posters, billboards, etc. – with radio to follow.

The Era of the Unique Selling Proposition

As production grew, so did the number of companies creating those products. Suddenly there was a need to prove why Company A’s soft drink was better than Company B’s. Every product needed its own unique selling proposition, something that made it different. With hundreds of products and brands lining the shelves of grocery stores, begging to be bought, it was only a matter of time before the marketing world became cluttered and consumers put up a wall to try to stop. Marketers had to think differently to be heard.

Enter the “Mad Men” Phase

If you’re familiar with the AMC original series “Mad Men,” you’ll understand the next era we’re entering. For those of you that aren’t, this TV series follows the life of 1960’s Madison Avenue advertisers. While the show mainly focuses on the dramatics of the character’s lives, the advertisements created in the show are real examples of the true creative genius that was developed during this time, from the iconic Volkswagen “Lemon” ad to Heinz, Jaguar, and Kodak.

Then a tightening economy changed the marketing landscape once again, and strategy became king and creativity followed at its heels, a battle that still rages on.

The Age of Inbound Marketing

While online and digital advertising had been happening years prior, when the dot-com bubble burst on March 10, 2000, the Internet entered a new age. From this point on, there has been an emphasis on information sharing, user-centered design, and collaboration. Instead of simply pushing advertising at consumers online, the benefits of creating value for customers and earning their business begins to take hold.

Since then, the world of marketing and advertising has evolved and changed as quickly as new technologies and platforms have been created. Social media, SEO, e-commerce, all are changing faster than ever before, making this the most exciting time in marketing since its creation.

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