Curious to know about the history of sales and marketing? Here is a brief intro.

Curious to know about the history of sales and marketing? Here is a brief intro.

The world of business is truly fascinating. Businesses provide a livelihood to the majority of the human race. Even farmers also depend on businesses to sell their products and get inputs for farming.

However, to most of us, the world of business remains a mystery. In this series of blogs, we try to unravel the mysteries of the business.

In this blog, we will learn about the ‘History of sales and marketing.’

The practice of marketing has been known for millennia, but the term “marketing” used to describe commercial activities such as buying and selling of products or services came into popular use in the late nineteenth century. The study of the history of marketing as an academic field emerged in the early twentieth century.

The 4 Eras of marketing are

1. Production Orientation

A production orientation is often proposed as the first of the so-called orientations that dominated business thought. Kotler and Armstrong note that the production philosophy is “one of the oldest philosophies that guides sellers” and “is still useful in some situations”.

The production orientation is characterized by:

  1. Focus on production, manufacturing, and efficiency
  2. Attainment of economies of scale, economies of scope, experience effects, or all three
  3. Assumption that demand exceeds supply
  4. Mindset that is encapsulated by Say’s Law; “Supply creates its own demand” or “if somebody makes a product, somebody else will want to buy it”
  5. Limited research that is largely limited to technical-product research rather than customer research
  6. Rose to prominence in an environment which had a shortage of manufactured goods relative to demand, so goods sold easily.
  7. Minimal promotion and advertising, marketing communications limited to raising awareness of the product’s existence

2. Selling Orientation

The selling orientation is thought to have begun during the Great Depression and continued well into the 1950s although examples of this orientation can still be found today.

The selling orientation is characterized by:

  1. Aggressive selling to push products, often involving door-to-door selling
  2. Accepting every possible sale or booking, regardless of its suitability for the business
  3. Strong transactional focus (ignores potential relationships)

3. Marketing Orientation

The marketing orientation or the marketing concept emerged in the 1950s.Characteristics of the marketing orientation:

  1. Thorough understanding of the customer’s needs, wants and behaviors should be the focal point of all marketing decisions
  2. Marketing efforts (sales, advertising, product management, pricing) should be integrated and in tune with the customer
  3. New product concepts should flow from extensive market analysis and product testing

4. Societal Marketing Concept

The societal marketing concept adopts the position that marketers have a greater social responsibility than simply satisfying customers and providing them with superior value. Instead, marketing activities should strive to benefit society’s overall well-being.

Marketing organizations that have embraced the societal marketing concept typically identify key stakeholder groups including: employees, customers, local communities, the wider public and government and consider the impact of their activities on all stakeholders. They ensure that marketing activities do not damage the environment and are not hazardous to broader society. Societal marketing developed into sustainable marketing.

Characteristics of societal marketing:

  1. An attempt to balance corporate commitments to groups and individuals in its environment, including customers, other businesses, employees and investors.
  2. Companies must include social and ethical considerations into their marketing practices
  3. Consideration is given to the environment includes problems such as air, water, and land pollution
  4. Consideration is given to consumer rights, unfair pricing and ethics in advertising

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