How the Marketing Industry Has Changes Over Time

Narc Executive
5 min readApr 4, 2022


The concept of marketing has been there since people compete to sell things. Marketing itself is a fundamental theorem of economic efficiency, that is, how to attract as many people as possible with the least number of resources. Both sales and marketing interact with changes in society and advances in technology over time. Keep on reading this article about the evolution from the dawn times to modern times, so you can get a better outlook on what has been trending and what will be in the future!

It all started when products were still produced in small homemade batches before 1900, and the marketing effort was done mostly by word of mouth and recommendations. With this model, satisfied customers gave verbal or written reviews of the product/service, convincing audiences to give it a try. In fact, the term “marketing” was officially born when the University of Pennsylvania offered a marketing course. Being important for businesses, the advertising curriculum was developed under the journalism major. Furthermore, the wide use of radio, print, and television beginning in 1920 made marketers employ these media to increase customer awareness of their products. In addition, door-to-door selling also became prevalent at that time. However, when the Great Depression hit in 1930, consumers’ spending fell and lavish goods became under-consumed. Subsequently, the marketing concept was born, in which companies aim to cater to the needs and wants of consumers, rather than selling what it has made.

Figure 1. Marketing Mix

Source: Bridgerev

Time flies to the year 1990 when the Internet revolutionized the world. One digital advertising strategy popular at that time was spam. Another is SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is a tool that tries to rank products based on the search to give an edge to sellers. To this day, even though some old marketing techniques are still evident and effective on some occasions, the digital marketing landscape has continually grown to better suit the up-to-date trends. As a result, it is essential to change the approach to how businesses market their products/services.

The development of social media marketing peaked after Google+ and Facebook were launched in 2011. This breakthrough eased brands to target audiences based on their preferences digitally. Moreover, for the first time, the statistics of web usage by youngsters outperformed their level of TV viewership, triggering brands to entice audiences through digital marketing. The following year, the use of automated email newsletters increased, such as welcoming campaigns or event reminders to potential customers. This phenomenon happened as prices of email subscriptions lowered from the previous years.

Then in 2013, Yahoo purchased Tumblr because Tumblr was one of the most highly trafficked social sites. That year, Instagram Ads was also created. In addition, growth marketing, in other words, the use of digital marketing to grow businesses, picked up a significant stream too. This strategy was based on CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) which involved various business models, product offerings, and pricing models.

However, a major change took place in 2014, when the usage of mobile phones surpassed the desktop to engage in social media. Consequently, advertising platforms shifted to smartphone products, and mobile text-messaging platforms also rose in prominence. Facebook launched Messenger in the same year as acquiring WhatsApp, making its channel stronger. Google also began to prioritize its encryption technology which promises data integrity and protects confidential information from users. This suggests that a safer website leads to better SEO. By 2015, predictive analytics (analyzing past statistics to predict future outcomes) has gained higher exposure and had become an integral part of the digital advertising landscape.

As of 2016, social media influencers have risen massively due to influencing the public on a growing scale. Arguably, influencers have a great impact on affecting the sales of brands as their followers tend to trust them. Such a trend caught the attention of companies to promote their products and grow their audiences. Thus, paid advertising has become more crucial since and no longer acts as a supplementary strategy, rather as a core campaign. Then in 2018, there was a surge of popularity for long-form content (detailed content on a topic), as it racked up higher user session durations, affecting positively on their SEO. Soon Instagram TV and Tiktok were launched, allowing users to upload videos and increase user engagement. Nowadays, businesses opt for advertisements with video content, for it is more convenient compared to text-based content. Brands also begin to focus on niche content creators, expanding their promotion to specific markets and audiences.

Table 1. Past to Present Trend

To conclude, the marketing landscape will keep flourishing in the years ahead, whilst evolving to provide better customer experiences and tempting them to strike a purchase. Of course, when potential customers are awed with your advertisement and buy your product, the investment in your business’s marketing efforts is paid off!

Before you leave, would you like to upgrade your digital marketing skills? Lucky you have landed on the perfect page! We will be holding an event about digital marketing really soon, taught by passionate mentors who have had years of experience in the field. Stay tuned on our instagram page for more information!

Written By: Wennie & Calista


Quintana, Ashley (2016, June 14) How Marketing Ideas Have Changed Over the Last 100 years. Retrieved March 29, 2022 from

Llaguno, J. (2021, March 22). The Evolution of Marketing. Full Scale. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from

Applegate, E. (2008). The Development of Advertising and Marketing Education: The First 75 Years. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from

The State of Marketing Education 2017. (2020, August 29). Best Marketing Degrees. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from

The Evolution of Word of Mouth Marketing (And Why Your Business Needs It). (2017, May 16). Herosmyth. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from

Balogh, A. (2020, February 11). A Foolproof Guide to Long Form Content. MarketMuse Blog. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from,%2C%20intended%20aims%2C%20and%20audience.

The Great Depression, 1929–1933 — CCEA — GCSE History Revision — CCEA. (2022). BBC Bitesize. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from

Growth hacking. (2022). Optimizely. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from

Predictive Analytics | IBM. (2022). IBM. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from,to%20identify%20risks%20and%20opportunities.

Keelson, S.A. (2012). The Evolution of the Marketing Concepts: Theoretically Different Roads Leading to Practically Same Destination! Research Gate, 1(2), 37.,fashion%20over%20the%20last%20century.



Narc Executive

Empowering the aspiring goal-getters changemakers through business and economics based education!