History of Marketing Crash Course

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history of marketing

Marketing today is a very exciting industry, but it can also be very overwhelming. Especially if you wouldn’t consider yourself social media savvy or a tech wizard. In some ways, the current state of marketing is very new, but what’s rarely discussed is that humans have been at the marketing game for centuries. Historians have even traced marketing back to Ancient Babylonia — who knew?

 So, even though we’re constantly improving and changing the marketing platforms we’re utilizing, the goal has remained the same. Promoting and increasing exposure for products, companies, and people.  

Media Circulation in Ancient Babylonia

Kicking it back quite a few centuries to Ancient Babylonia, current day Iraq, the Babylonians painted figures on clay pots that would be displayed in order to promote notable families, or what certain politicians had to offer the city. Newspapers hadn’t been invented, so the ancient Greeks wrote on clay tablets to communicate important information with each other. This of course, limited media circulation to the elite, as only the upper class could afford to learn how to read and write. 

The Rise of Mass Communication in The History of Marketing

Mass communication is another concept that seems relatively new with the rise of the internet and social media, but we actually began the race towards mass communication in the 1400s, when Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press. Known as “The Father of Printing”, his invention catapulted the idea of mass communication during the renaissance era, and is the basis for the mass production of newspapers we see today. This invention was key in the history of marketing because it gave small companies the ability to communicate with potential customers on a larger scale at an affordable price. The printing press quickly led to mass production of posters and flyers, increasing mass communication that much before. 

Who would’ve guessed that we’ be at the level we’re at today? 

Marketing Platforms Multiply

When you look at 1900 in the history of marketing and on, This is arguably where things get crazy. After hundreds of years of slow development in marketing, media circulation, and mass communication, technology and innovation begins to move at lightning speed. Can you believe televisions were only invented 100 years ago? And Google has only been around for 22 years? In just over 100 years humans went from listening to an advertisement on a radio show in their living room, to being able to refresh their Facebook feed and have new relevant ads in seconds. Between smartphones and social media, we are moving at lightning speed, and we’re only getting faster. Who knows where the future will take us, but we’ll be here to help you navigate it.

Want to learn more? Book some time with our team here

About the Author

Annie Marshall

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