Evolution of Marketing
Marketing has changed over the centuries, decades and years. The production centered system systematically changed into relationship era of today and over the period; the specializations have emerged such as sales versus marketing and advertising versus retailing. The overall evolution of marketing has given rise to the concept of business development. Marketing has taken the modern shape after going through various stages since last the end of 19th century. The Production oriented practice of marketing prior to the twentieth century was conservative and hidebound by rules-of-thumb and lack of information. Science & technology developments and specially the development of information technology have now changed the way people live, the way people do business and the way people sell and purchase. Following is a short summary of the various stages of evolution of marketing.
Production Orientation Era: The prevailing attitude and approach of the production orientation era was -“consumers favor products that are available and highly affordable” . The mantra for marketing success was to “Improve production and distribution”. The rule was “availability and affordability is what the customer wants”. The era was marked by narrow product-lines; pricing system based on the costs of production and distribution, limited research, primary aim of the packaging was to protect the product, minimum promotion. Advertising meant, “Promoting products with a lesser quality”.
Product Orientation Era: The attitude changed slowly and approach shifted from production to product and from the quantity to quality. The prevailing attitude of this period was that consumers favor products that offer the most quality, performance and innovative features and the mantra for marketers was ‘A good product will sell itself’, so does not need promotion.
Sales Orientation Era: The increased competition and variety of choices / options available to customers changed the marketing approach and now the attitude was “Consumers will buy products only if the company promotes/ sells these products”. This era indicates rise of advertising and the mantra for marketers was “Creative advertising and selling will overcome consumers’ resistance and convince them to buy”.
Marketing Orientation Era: The shift from production to product and from product to customers later manifested in the Marketing Era which focused on the “needs and wants of the customers” and the mantra of marketers was ” ‘The consumer is king! Find a need and fill it’. The approach is shifted to delivering satisfaction better than competitors are.
Relationship Marketing Orientation Era: This is the modern approach of marketing. Today’s marketer focuses on needs/ wants of target markets and aims at delivering superior value. The mantra of a successful marketer is ‘Long-term relationships with customers and other partners lead to successes
The following sentences summarize the above evolution of marketing.
1. Production era: ‘Cut costs. Profits will take care of themselves’
2. Product era: ‘A good product will sell itself’
3. Sales era: ‘Selling is laying the bait for the customer’
4. Marketing era: ‘The customer is King!’
5. Relationship marketing era: ‘Relationship with customers determine our firm’s future’
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