History of marketing

The study of the history of marketing , as a discipline, is useful because it helps to define the subject of change. [1] The practice of marketing has been widely known, but the term “marketing” is used to describe and describe the business of selling and selling products in the United States. [2] The study of the history of marketing as an academic field emerged in the early twentieth century. [3]

Marketers tend to distinguish between the history of marketing practice and the history of marketing thought:

(a) the history of marketing practice refers to an investigation into the ways that marketing has been practiced; and how these practices have evolved over time as they respond to changing socio-economic conditions
(b) the history of marketing thought refers to an examination of the ways that marketing has been studied and taught

Although the history of marketing and the study of different fields of study, they intersect at different junctures. [4] Marketing practitioners engage in innovative practices that capture the attention of marketing scholars who codify and disseminate such practices. At the same time, marketing academics often develop new research methods or theories that are eventually adopted by practitioners. Thus developments in marketing theory inform marketing practice and vice versa. The history of marketing will remain incomplete if one disassociates academia of practitioners. [4]

The publication, in 1960, of Robert Keith’s article, “The Marketing Revolution,” was a pioneering work in the study of the history of marketing practice. [5] And, in 1976, the publication of Robert Bartel’s book, The History of Marketing Thought, marked a turning-point in the understanding of how marketing theory evolved since it first emerged as a separate discipline around the turn of the last century. [6]


According to etymologists, the term ‘marketing’ first appeared in dictionaries in the sixteenth century where it referred to the process of buying and selling at a market. [7] The contemporary definition of ‘marketing’ as a process of moving goods from producer to consumer with an emphasis on sales and advertising first Appeared in dictionaries in 1897. [8] The term, marketing, is a derivation of the Latin word, mercatus meaning market-place gold merchant. [9]

Marketing history: an overview

In pre-literate societies, the distinctive shape of an amphora served by the functions of a label, communicating information about the region of origin, the name of the producer

Historians of marketing tend to fall into two separate branches of marketing history – the history of marketing practice and the history of marketing thought. These branches are often divided and have very different roots. The history of marketing is based on management and marketing studies, while the history of marketing is based on economic and cultural history. This means that the two branches ask very different types of research and employ different research tools and frameworks. [10]

Historians of marketing have undertaken considerable investigation into the emergence of marketing, yet there is little agreement about when marketing first began. [11] Some scholars argue that marketing practices can be found in antiquity [12] [13] [14] while others suggest that marketing, in its modern form, emerged in the context of the culture of seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe [ 15] while yet other researchers suggest that modern marketing is only fully developed in the following decades. [16]Hollander and others have suggested that the definition of marketing has been defined. product differentiation, positioning and marketing communications versus ‘marketing’ as a simple form distribution and exchange. [17]

Marketing in antiquity

Mosaic showing garum container, from the house of Umbricius Scaurus of Pompeii. The inscription which reads “G (ari) F (los) SCO (mbri) SCAURI EX OFFI (CI) NA SCAURI” has been translated as “The flower of garum, made of the mackerel, a product of Scaurus, from the shop of Scaurus “

A number of studies have found evidence of advertising, branding, packaging and labeling in antiquity. [18] [19] Umbricius Scauras, for example, Was a manufacturer of fish sauce (Also Known As garum ) in Pompeii, circa 35 CE Mosaic patterns in the atrium de son house Were decorated with pictures of amphora bearing His personal brand and quality claims. The mosaic included different oven amphora, one at Each corner of the atrium, and bearing labels as follows: [20]

1. G (ari) F (los) SCO [m] / SCAURI / EX OFFI [ci] / NA SCAU / RI Translated as “The flower of garm, made of the mackerel, a product of Scaurus, from the shop of Scaurus “
2. LIQU [minis] / FLOS Translated as: “The flower of Liquamen”
3. G [ari] F [los] SCOM [bri] / SCAURI Translated as: “The flower of garum, a product of the mackerel, a product of Scaurus”
4. LIQUAMEN / OPTIMUM / EX OFFICI [n] / A SCAURI Translated as: “The best liquor from the shop of Scaurus”

The reputation of Scauras’ fish sauce is known throughout the Mediterranean and its reputation traveled as far away as modern France. [21] Curtis has described this mosaic as “an advertisement … and a rare, unequivocal example of a pattern inspired by a patron, rather than by the artist.” [22] In Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum, archaeological evidence also points to evidence of branding and labeling in relatively common use. Wine jars, for example, were stamped with names, such as “Lassius” and “L. Eumachius;” probably references to the name of the producer. Carbonized loaves of bread, found at Herculaneum, indicate that some bakers stamped their bread with the producer’s name. [23]

David Wengrow, President of the ECB, said that when it began to grow in the market, it was necessary to promote it. These ancient societies imposed strict quality of life, and also needed to convey value to the consumer through branding. Producers began by attaching simple stone seals to the products of the market. [24]

Diana Twede has argued that the “consumer packaging functions of protection, utility and communication have been necessary when the objects of transactions” (p. It has shown that amphorae used in Mediterranean trade between 1500 and 500 BCE, which provided information for transactions. Systematic use of stamped labels dates from around the fourth century BCE. In a largely pre-literate society, the shape of the amphora and its pictorial markings conveys information about the contents, the region of origin and the identity of the producer. [25]Not all historians agree that these markings can be compared with modern brands or labels. Moore and Reid, for example, have argued that the distinctive shapes and markings in ancient containers should be termed proto-brands rather than modern brands. [26]

Marketing in the Middle Age

In England and Europe during the Middle Ages, market towns sprang up. Some analysts have suggested that the term, ‘marketing,’ may have been used in the context of marketing markets may have been used by producers to describe the process of carteling and selling their produce in markets . Blintiff has investigated the early Medieval networks of market towns and suggests that the 12th century there is an upsurge in the number of market towns and the emergence of marketers as traders bulked up surpluses from smaller regional, different day markets and resold them at the larger centralized market towns. [27]

Braudel and Reynold have made a systematic study of these European market towns between the thirteenth and fifteenth century. Their investigation shows that they were held once or twice a week, while they were more common in towns and cities. Over time, permanent shops began to open daily and gradually supplanted the periodic markets. Peddlers filled in the gaps in the distribution of door-to-door The physical market was characterized by transactional exchange, bartering systems were commonplace and the economy was characterized by local trading. Braudel reports that, in 1600, goods traveled relatively short distances – grain 5-10 miles; cattle 40-70 miles; wool and wollen cloth 20-40 miles. However, following the European age of discovery,[28]

Bronze plate for printing an advertisement for Liu family needle shop at Jinan , Song dynasty China. It is considered the world’s earliest identified printed advertising medium.

Although the growth of consumer culture and marketing in Britain and Europe have been extensively studied, it is known about developments elsewhere. [29] Nevertheless, recent research suggests that China exhibited a rich history of early marketing practices; including branding, packaging, advertising and retail signage. [30] From as early as 200 BCE, Chinese packaging and branding has been used, and the use of product branding has been used between 600 and 900 AD. [31]Eckhart and Bengtsson have argued that during the Song Dynasty (960-1127), Chinese society developed a consumerist culture, where a high level of consumption was available for a wide variety of ordinary consumers rather than just the elite (212). The image of a retail brand, a brand name, a brand name, a brand name, a brand name, a brand name, a brand name, a brand name, a brand name or a brand name. status, quality grading, and upholding traditional Chinese values ​​(p.219). Eckhardt and Bengtsson’s analysis suggests that they have emerged in China as a result of the social needs and tensions implicit in consumer culture, in which they provide social status and stratification. THUS,

Marketing in seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe

Josiah Wedgewood’s 18th century techniques exhibited many of the characteristics of modern marketing

Scholars have identified specific instances of marketing practices in England and Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As trade between countries or regions grew, companies required information on which to base business decisions. Individuals and companies conducted on formal and informal research on trade conditions. In 1380, Johann Fugger traveled from Augsburg to Graben in order to gather information on the international textile industry. He exchanged detailed letters on trade conditions. [32] In the early 1700s British industrialists were demanding information, which could be used for business decisions. During this period, Daniel DefoeLondon merchant, published information on trade and economic resources of England and Scotland. [33] [34] Defoe was a prolific publisher and among his many publications are titles devoted to trade; Trade of Britain Stated,1707; Trade of Scotland with France, 1713 and The Trade in India Critically and Calmly Considered, 1720; all books that were highly popular with merchants and business houses of the period. [35] While such activities may be recognizable as marketing research, they have been known as ‘commercial research’ or ‘commercial intelligence’ and not seen as part of the repertoire of activities that make up contemporary marketing practice.

Other scholars have found evidence of advertising and promotion in France and Italy as well as Britain. Far from being primitive efforts, early advertising showed a high level of sophistication in its execution and abilility to reach mass audiences. [36] In a major review of consumer society, McKendrick, Brewer and Plumb found extensive evidence of eighteenth century English entrepreneurs using ‘modern’ marketing techniques, including product differentiation, sales promotion and loss leader pricing. [37]

English industrialists, Josiah Wedgewood and Matthew Boulton , are often portrayed as pioneers of modern mass marketing methods. [38] Wedgewood was known to have used such direct mail marketing techniques, traveling salesmen and catalogs in the eighteenth century. [39] Josiah Wedgewood’s marketing was highly sophisticated and recognisably ‘modern.’ He carried out serious investigations into the fixed and variable costs of production. He inferred aussi That selling at lower prices Would Lead to Higher demand and Recognized the value of Achieving scale economiesin production. Wedgewood was able to generate higher overall profits. [40] Similarly, one of Wedgewood’s contemporaries, Matthew Boulton , pioneered early mass production techniques and product differentiation at his Soho Manufactory in the 1760s. He also practiced planned obsolescence and understood the importance of ‘celebrity marketing’ – that is supplying the nobility, often at the cost of royal patronage, for the sake of the publicity and cudos generated. [41]

Fullerton argues that the practice of market segmentation is well before marketers used the notion formally. [42] Certain strands of evidence suggest that simple examples of market segmentation were evident prior to the 1880s. The business historian, Richard S. Tedlow , argues that it is highly fragmented since the beginning of the year. [43]When retail shops began to appear in the 15th century, retailers needed to separate the “riff raff” from the wealthier customers. Outside the major metropolitan cities, there are many types of customers. However, it is slowly becoming more and more important that we would allow them to separate customers from the lower classes and peasants. One technique was able to be used. This allowed the sale of goods to the common people, without encouraging them to come inside. Another solution, that came into vogue from the late sixteenth century was to invite customers to a back-room of the store, where goods were permanently on display. Yet another technique that has emerged around the same time as a showcase of goods in the shopkeeper’s private home for the benefit of wealthier customers. Samuel Pepys, for example, writing in 1660, describing an invitation to the home of a wooden jack.[44] The eighteenth century English entrepreneurs, Josiah Wedgewood and Matthew Boulton , both staged expansive showcases of their wares in their private residences or in rented halls. [45]Evidence of early marketing segmentation has been noted across Europe. A study of the German book trade market and market segmentation differentiation and market segmentation in the 1820s. [46]

Marketing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Henry Ford began manufacturing the mass-produced Model T in 1908. Ford famously said that it might be as long as it was black.

Until the nineteenth century, Western economies have been characterized by small regional suppliers. However, as in the United States, the economy has become more standardized, and has become more standardized. This gives rise to a much larger mass marketing mindset. Manufacturers tend to insist on strict standardization in order to achieve scale economies and to achieve market penetration in the early stages of a product’s life cycle. [47] The Model T Ford was an example of a product being manufactured at a price that was affordable for the burgeoning middle classes.

In the early twentieth century, it became more commonplace to produce different types of products and services. and product differentation. [48]Between 1902-1910 George B Waldron, working at Mahin’s advertising agency, used tax registers, city directories and census data to educate the public about illiterate consumers and the earning capacity of different occupations first example of demographic segmentation of a population. [49]Within a decade, Paul Cherington had developed the ‘ABCD’ household typology – the first socio-demographic segmentation tool. [50]

When Wendell R. Smith published his article, Product Differentiation and Market Segmentation as Alternative Marketing Strategies in 1956, he noted that it was simply described as a “natural force”. [51] Other theorists agree that Smith was simply codifying implicit knowledge that had been used in marketing and brand management by the early twentieth century. [52] [53]

As industry grew, the demand for skilled business professionals also grew. To meet this demand, in commerce, economics and marketing. Marketing, as a discipline, was first taught in universities in the early twentieth century. [54] However, researchers only became interested in investigating the history of marketing in the mid twentieth century. From the outset, searchers to identify two strands of historical research; the history of marketing practice [55] and the history of marketing which has been fundamentally concerned with the development of marketing and dissection. [6] [56] Early historical studies were primarily descriptive.

History of marketing practice

The practice of marketing has been developed for the world, but the concept of marketing has emerged from the post-industrial world. [57] In addition to the studies of specific cultures or time periods, discussed in the preceding section, some historians of marketing have sought to generalize theories of marketing in the modern era. To do this, historians often turn to a method known as periodization. [58] periodization Refers to the process of study or Categorizing the Past into discrete, quantified named units for the purpose of analysis or study. [59]

A key question that has some specific concerns or mindsets that may be identified. Marketers disagree about the precise terms that outline marketing practice and describe the way that marketing practice has evolved over time. [60]

Orientations or philosophies that inform marketing practice

In the marketing literature, continuing debate surrounds the orientations or philosophies that might have informed marketing practice at different periods of time. An orientation may be defindled “the type of activity or subject that an organization seems most interested in and gives most attention to.” [61] In relation to marketing orientations, the term has been defined as a “philosophy of business management.” [62] or “a corporate state of mind” [63] or as an “organization [al] culture” [64]

Hollander et al. APPROBATION-have fourteen different training theories gold shorts periodizations as well as a total of nineteen long periodizations That-have-been the carried out since 1957. Of these, the contributions of Robert Keith (1960) and Ronald Fullerton (1988) are The Most Cited frequently. [65]

Keith’s periodization

Robert Keith’s marketing eras (production → selling → marketing) was based entirely on his experience at the Pillsbury Company

In 1960, Robert Keith, then Vice President of Pillsbury , [66] set the stage for controversy when he published an article entitled “Marketing Revolution” in which he set the Pillsbury Company had shifted from a focus on production in the 1860s through a consumer focus in the 1950s. He traced three distinct eras in Pillsbury’s evolution: [67]

  • The production oriented era from 1869 -1930s – characterized by a ‘focus on production processes’
  • The sales oriented era of the 1930s to the 1950s – market research and innovation
  • The marketing oriented era from the beginning of the 1950s – Characterized by a focus on the customer’s latent and existing needs

In addition, Keith hypothesizes that a marketing control has been about to emerge. Although Pillsbury’s evolution, the article appears to suggest that the courses observed at Pillsbury constitute a normal or normal evolutionary path (production → sales → marketing) for most large organizations.

Keith’s notion of distinctness in the evolution of marketing practice has been widely criticized and described as “hopelessly flawed”. [68] [69] Specific criticisms of Keith’s tripartite periodization include that:

  • It ignores historical facts about business conditions [70]
  • It mis-states the nature of supply and demand [70]
  • It slights the growth of marketing institutions [71]

The article, which is entirely based on Keith’s personal recollections and is not a single reference, is best described as anecdotal. Systematic studies carried out since Keith’s work has failed to replicate Keith’s periodization. Marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing. [72] Jones and Richardson also investigated historical accounts of marketing practice and found evidence for marketing during the so-called production era and concluded that there was no ‘marketing revolution.’ [73]A detailed study of the chocolate manufacturer, Rowntree, found that this company had shifted from production to orientation through a marketing orientation by the 1930s, without having transitioned through so-called sales guidance. [74] Other criticisms of Keith’s work have pointed out that the so-called production is likely to align with historical facts that it is a myth. [75] Keith’s eras have become known, somewhat cynically, as the standard chronology . [76]

Fullerton’s periodization

In 1988, Fullerton developed more subtle periodization for the so-called marketing eras. [77] [78] Fullerton’s eras were: [75]
  • The era of antecedents 1500 -1750 – a long gestational period in which people were largely self-sufficient and rural; economy characterized by low levels of consumption; trade was seen as suspicious
  • The era of origins 1750-1870 – precipitated by the dislocations of the English industrial revolution and the rise of the population.
  • The era of institutional development 1850-1929 – many of the large institutions and modern marketing practices during this period
  • The era of refinement and formalization 1930-present [1988] – Further development and refinement of principles and practices

In spite of the intense criticism of Keith’s eras of marketing practice, his periodization is the most frequently cited in text-books [58] and has become accepted wisdom. [1] Keith’s eras have been reproduced in all but four. [79] [72] Another study, which examined 15 of the top selling marketing texts, found that the effect of repeating Keith’s eras was waning, it had not been replaced by any other meaningful framework. [80]

Other periodisations

For all the controversies surrounding the so-called marketing stages or periods, Keith and others appear to have contributed to a lasting legacy. [81] A study by Grundey (2010) suggests that many contemporary text-books with Keith’s eras and expand on it by including newer concepts such as the societal marketing concept , the relationship marketing concept and the interfunctional concept , as shown in the table below. [82] More recently, Kotler and Keller added the holistic marketing concept to the list of eras in marketing. [83]Marketing theorists continues to debate whether or not it is an extension of the marketing concept. [84] Grundey summarize five different periodisations in the history of marketing, as shown in the following table, as a way of highlighting the general lack of agreement among scholars. [85]

Marketing Philosophies or Guidelines Cited in Popular Texts
Dibb & Simkin, 2004 [86] Lancaster & Reynolds, 2005 [87] Blythe, 2005 [88] Drummmond & Ensor, 2005 [89] Morgan, 1996 [90]
1. Production guidance 1. Production guidance 1. Production guidance 1. Production guidance 1. Cost philosophy
2. Financial orientation 2. Sales orientation 2. Product orientation 2. Product orientation 2. Product philosophy
3. Sales orientation 3. Marketing orientation 3. Sales orientation 3. Sales orientation 3. Production philosophy
4. Marketing orientation 4. Customer orientation 4. Financial orientation 4. Sales philosophy
5. Customer orientation 5. Societal marketing 5. Marketing orientation 5. Erratic philosophy
6. Competitor orientation 6. Relationship orientation 6. Marketing philosophy
7. Interfunctional orientation 7. Social marketing philosophy

Source: Dainora Grundey, “The Marketing Philosophy and Challenges for the New Millennium,” Scientific Bulletin – Economic Sciences: Marketing, Trade and Tourism , Vol. 9, no. 15, 2010, p. 170

Brief description of the most commonly cited periods

The general lack of agreement is one of the most widely identifiable periods in the world. Space prevents an exhaustive description of all periods or eras. However, the salient features of the most commonly cited periods appear in the following section.

Production orientation

A production orientation is often proposed as the first of the so-called orientations that dominated business thought. Keith dated the production of the 1860s to the 1930s, but other theorists argue that evidence of production guidance can still be found in some companies or industries. Specifically Kotler and Armstrong notes that the production philosophy is “one of the oldest philosophies that guides sellers … [and] is still useful in some situations.” [91]

The production orientation is characterized by: [92]

  • a focus on production, manufacturing, and efficiency
  • attainment of economies of scale, economies of scope, experience
  • an assumption that demand exceeds supply
  • a 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”
  • limited research – and largely limited to technical product research rather than customer research
  • this orientation rose to prominence in an environment which had a shortage of
  • minimal promotion and advertising , marketing communications
Selling orientation
The sales orientation, often characterized by the door-to-door selling is thought to have been in place during the Great Depression of the 1890s and continues to this day. Pictured: A Rawleigh’s salesman in 1915

The selling orientation is thought to be in evidence during the Great Depression and continued well into the 1950s of this orientation can still be found today. [93] Kotler et al. note that the selling concept “is typically practiced with unsought goods.” [94]

The selling orientation is characterized by:

  • Aggressive selling to push products, often involving door-to-door selling
  • Accepting every possible sale or booking, regardless of its suitability for the business
  • Has a strongly transactional focus (ignores potential relationships)
The marketing orientation

The marketing orientation or the marketing concept emerged in the 1950s.

Characteristics of the marketing orientation: [95]

  • A thorough understanding of the customer’s needs, wants and behaviors should be the focal point of all marketing decisions
  • Marketing efforts (sales, advertising, product management, pricing) should be integrated and in tune with the customer
  • New product concepts should flow from extensive market analysis and product testing
The societal marketing concept
Main article: Societal marketing

Phillip Kotler is often credited with first proposing the societal marketing guidance (or societal marketing concept) in the 1970s’ article published in the Harvard Business Review. [96] [97] However, some marketing historians, notably Wilkie and Moore, have argued that societal perspective has been apparent in marketing theory and in marketing texts, since the discipline’s inception in the early 1900s. [98]

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

Characteristics of societal marketing: [99]

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

Starting in the 1990s, a new stage of marketing has emerged called relationship marketing. The focus of relationship marketing is a long-term relationship that benefits both the company and the customer. [100] The relationship is based on trust and commitment, and both companies tend to shift their operations to work more effectively. [101] One of the most prominent reasons for business marketing comes from Kotler’s idea that it’s about maintaining a relationship with an existing customer. [102] A relationship marketing approach seeks to maximize the value of all potential exchanges an organization could have into the future. [103]

The characteristics of relationship marketing include: [104]

  • A focus on the relationship between seller and buyer
  • An investment in customer lifetime value rather than single transactions
  • An orientation on product benefits and / or customer value
  • High customer service; high customer commitment; high customer contact
  • Quality is the concern of all
  • All activities are coordinated with the customer interface, including the customer’s involvement in the firm’s processes
  • Customized offerings, where practical

Empirical support for relationship marketing has a distinct paradigm is very weak. One study suggests that relationship marketing is really a sub-component of large scale movements of the value-added process rather than a separate era or framework. [105] Some theorists suggest that marketing is moving towards a paradigm of paradigm and towards a social media paradigm. [100] [106]

History of marketing thought

The history of marketing, as an academic field, is just as problematic as the history of marketing practice. Marketing historians can not agree on how to date the beginnings of marketing thought. [107] Eric Shaw, for instance, suggests that a period of pre-academic marketing can be identified prior to 1900. [108] Other historians suggest that the theory of marketing only emerged in the 20th century when the discipline began to offer courses at universities. [109] Nevertheless, the birth of marketing as a discipline is usually referred to as the first decade of the twentieth century when “marketing races” appeared in universities. In 1902, the University of Michigan offered a high degree of success in marketing.[110] The University of Illinois also began offering marketing courses in 1902. [111] In the academic year, 1904-1905, the University of Pennsylvania began teaching marketing. Other universities soon followed, including the Harvard Business School. [112]

Prior to the emergence of marketing courses, marketing was not recognized as a discipline in its own right; it has been treated as a branch of economics and was often called applied economics. Subjects, which can be recognized as marketing-related, were embedded in economics courses. Early marketing theories have been described as modifications or adaptations of economic theories. [113]

The impetus for the separation of marketing and economics is due, at least in part, to the economic focus of the production of the creator of economic value and general failure to the distribution. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, as markets became more widespread, distribution began to assume increasing importance. Some economics professors discuss various aspects of the marketing system, including “distributive and regulative systems.” Other courses, such as “marketing of products” and “marketing of farm-products” followed. As the first decades of the 20th century progressed, books and articles concerning marketing topics began to emerge. [114] In 1936, the publication of the new Journal of MarketingGave marketing academics a forum for exchanging ideas and research methods and also gives the discipline a real sense of its own distinct identity as a maturing academic discipline. [115]

A periodization approach

Several scholars have attempted to describe the evolution of marketing thought and to connect with broader intellectual and academic trends. Bartels (1965), and Shah and Gardner (1982), briefly considered the development of the six dominant schools in contemporary marketing. [116] However, these initial attempts have been criticized as overly descriptive. [117] Robert Bartels, who in The History of Marketing Thought, (1965), is one of the first theorists to consider the stages in the development of marketing thought . He categorized the development of marketing theory by the beginning of the 20th century:

  • 1900s: discovery of basic concepts and their exploration
  • 1910s: conceptualization, classification and definition of terms
  • 1920s: integration on the basis of principles
  • 1930s: development of specialization and variation in theory
  • 1940s: reappraisal in the light of new demands and a more scientific approach
  • 1950s: reconceptualization in the light of managerialism , social development and quantitative approaches
  • 1960s: differentiation on bases such as managerialism, holism , environmentalism , systems , and internationalism
  • 1970s: socialization; the adaptation of marketing to social change

Bartels was the first historian to provide a “long view of marketing in the past”, and in so doing, he is interested in the history of marketing thought. [118]

A ‘schools of thought’ approach

Other marketing historians have a different approach to the study of different types of schools. These approaches tend to identify distinct schools of thought. A school of thought refers to an intellectual tradition or a group of scholars who share a common philosophy or set of ideas. [119] Marketing historians, Shaw and Jones, define a school of thought that has a substantial body of knowledge, and how it is described at least one aspect of the what, how, who, why, when and where of performing marketing activities. ” [120]

To be certain, there is some agreement that in early marketing thought, three so-called traditional schools, namely the commodity school, the functional school and the institutional school co-existed. [121] Marketing historians such as Eric Shaw and Barton A. Weitz point to the publication of Wroe Alderson’s book, Marketing Behavior and Executive Action (1957), as a break-point in the history of marketing thought, [122] moving from the macro functions-institutions-commodities approach to micromarketing management paradigm . Following on from Alderson, besides economics, especially behavioral scienceand psychology, becoming a multi-disciplinary field. For many scholars, Alderson’s book marks the beginning of Marketing Management Era. Of those historians who identify schools, there are no real agreements on which schools have been dominant at different stages in marketing’s development. Although the distinctive features of these schools can be identified and described, the following are some of the most the institutional and functional schools. [123]

In the following section, a brief overview of the contributions of key thinkers will be outlined with respect for the prevailing schools that have dominated marketing thought.

Hunt and Goolsby, identified four schools of thought that have dominated marketing, namely; the school element, the institutional school, the functional school and the managerial school. [124]

  • The Commodity School : A focus on different types of goods in the marketplace and how they are marketed. [125]
  • The Institutional School : Emphasized the functions of middlemen (or intermediaries); similar to the functional school, but with a focus on channel flows. [126]
  • The Functional School : A focus on the characteristics of marketing, identifying the functions and systems of marketing; adopts a systems approach. [120]
  • The Managerial School : A focus on the problems faced by marketing managers; focus on the perspective of the seller. [127]

Some marketing historians like Jagdish Sheth have identified the modern “marketing schools” as: [128]

  • The managerial school was born during the late 1950s and became arguably the predominant and most influential school of thought in the field
  • The Consumer / Buyer Behavioral School , which dominates the academic field in the second half of the twentieth century (from the managerial school), features theories emerging from behavioral science
  • The Social exchange school , which focuses on the exchange of the fundamental concept of marketing

Yet other commentators identify a broader range of schools. O’Malley and Lichrou, for example, document the schools as: [129]

  • Functional : What activities does marketing perform? Focus on intermediaries and value adding.
  • Commodities : How are goods classified? Focus on classification of goods; trade flows
  • Marketing Institutions : Who does marketing functions on commodities? Focus on retailers, wholesalers, intermediaries, distribution channels
  • Marketing Management : How should marketers and managers market products and services to consumers? Business firm as seller
  • Marketing Systems : What is a marketing system and how does it work? Channels of distribution and aggregate systems,
  • Consumer behavior : How and why do consumers buy? Organizer Buyer and Consumer Buyer
  • Macro-marketing : How do marketing systems impact on society? Industries, channels, consumer movement, environmentalism
  • Exchange : What are the forms of exchange? Who are the parties to the exchange process? Aggregations of buyers and sellers
  • Marketing history : When did business marketing and ideas emerge and evolve? Marketing thought and marketing practice

Brief description of the dominant schools of thought

By the 1920s, the marketing discipline was organized into three schools of thought: the commodity school, the institutional school, and the functional school.The following sections briefly outlines the schools of thought as conceptualized by key thinkers in the discipline. Although these can be treated as separate schools of thought, there is considerable overlap between them. The three schools that preceded marketing management exhibited a highly descriptive approach and these are often called the classical schools. These schools are mainly concerned with the subject of a comprehensive study. [130]By the 1960s, all the former schools of thought had been approached by the managerial school because they often had a problem-solving approach and presented marketers with potential solutions. [131]

The commodity school

The commodity school is thought to have originated with an article by CC Parlin (1916) with a focus on the subject of exchange and was primarily concerned with classifying commodities. A different article published by Copeland, and published in the Harvard Business Review (1923), which is still available today. Other theorists developed a plethora of methods for classifying goods. [132]

The institutional school

The institutional school focuses its attention on the agents of market transactions, specifically those organizations active in the intermediary channel system, such as wholesalers and retailers. It was primarily concerned with documenting the channels of distribution, and the functions performed by the value-adding services they provided. In short, the institutional school is fundamentally concerned with the activities required to achieve efficiency within distribution systems. The institutional school was heavily influenced by economics, but in the 1970s, began to take on ideas of behavioral science. [133] A key work in the institutional school tradition is Weld’s The Marketing of Farm Products,(1916) while other important contributors included: Butler ‘s Marketing and Merchandising, (1923); Breyer’s Commodity and Marketing (1931); Converse’s Marketing: Methods and Policies (1921) and Duddy & Revzan’s Marketing: An Institutional Approach (1947). [134]

The functional school

The functional school was thought to have originated with the publication of Shaw’s article, Some Problems in Market Distribution, (1912) The functional school was primarily concerned with documenting the functions of marketing. In other words, what does marketing do? Different theorists within the functional school produced long lists of marketing’s functions. Though there was little agreement about what should be included in the list, much of it revolved around the value added by marketing intermediaries. In those early years, advertising and promotion was rarely seen as a marketing function. In addition to Shaw, Weld, Vanderblue and Ryan, key thinkers in the functional school. [135]

Marketing management

Wroe Alderson , Marketing Behavior and Executive Action (1957), which was primarily concerned with the problems and challenges faced by marketers and the types of solutions that had been found to be successful. This shifted the emphasis of the functions of marketing and towards a more problem-solving approach, thus paving the way for a more managerial approach within the discipline. [136] Some historians have claimed that Alderson’s article is paradigm shift in thinking, towards a new macromarketing approach. [137]

The marketing management school emerged as the dominant school in the 1960s following the publication of Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach, written by E. Jerome McCarthy and replaced the so-called functional school which had been the dominant school for the first part of the twentieth century. In the words of Hunt and Goolsby, the publication of McCarthy’s text, “The Beginning of the End for the Functional School.” [138] However, Hunt and Goolsby notes that the 1960s was a transitional period in which both the functional school and the managerial school co-existed. [139] Shaw and Jones have described the emergence of the managerial school in the mid-twentieth century as “paradigm shift.” [140]

Whereas the management of economics and psychology continues to be important in the field of sociology and psychology. Key words in the marketing management tradition include Wroe Alderson’s Behavior Marketing and Executive Action, (1957), Howard’s Marketing Management (1957), Lazer’s Managerial Marketing: Perspectives and Viewpoints, (1957) and McCarthy’s Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach (1960). [141]

The salient features of the managerial approach to marketing are:

  • “an overt marketing-as-management orientation, and
  • an overt reliance on the behavioral and quantitative sciences as means of knowing. ” [142]

Key innovations that influence marketing practice

  • 1450: Gutenberg’s metal movable type, leading eventually to mass-production of flyers and brochures [143]
  • 1600s: Paid advertising in Italy
  • 1600s: Use of handbills and posters is common practice in Elizabethan England
  • 1605: World’s first newspaper published in Germany [144]
  • 1600s and 1700s: Posters and handbills used for promotion in England [143]
  • 1665: The Oxford Gazette, first published in England (later renamed the London Gazette and still published today) [145]
  • 1700s: Widespread Emergence of Newspapers and Magazines in England and France; by the 1730s daily newspapers in London devoted more than half the space to advertising [146]
  • 1719: The Daily Post first published; early instance of a periodical dedicated to business, science and innovation
  • 1836: Paid advertising in a newspaper (in France) [143] [147]
  • 1839: Posters on private property banned in England [143]
  • 1864: Earliest recorded use of the telegraph for mass unsolicited spam
  • 1867: Earliest recorded billboard rentals
  • 1876: Films produced by French film makers, Auguste and Louis Lumiere , made at the request of a representative of Lever Brothers in France and feature Sunlight soap, are thought to be the first instance of paid product placement. [148]
  • 1880s: Early examples of trademarks as branding
  • 1902: The first marketing race, taught by Edward David Jones, was offered at the University of Michigan
  • 1905: The University of Pennsylvania offered a course in “The Marketing of Products” [149]
  • 1908: Harvard Business School opens – Harvard was an early influence on marketing thought [150]
  • 1920: The magazine, Variety , reports that 50% of cinemas show advertising programs [151]
  • 1920s: Radio advertising starts
  • 1940s: Electronic computers developed
  • 1941: First recorded use of television advertising
  • 1950s: Systematization of Telemarketing [152]
  • 1957: Three key scholarly texts published Wroe Alderson ‘s Marketing Behavior and Executive Action ; Howard’s Marketing Management and Lazer’s Marketing Manager: Perspectives and Viewpoints
  • 1960 E. Jerome McCarthy published his classic, Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach (1960).
  • 1970s: E-commerce developed
  • 1980s: Development of database marketing as precursor to CRM [153]
  • 1980s: Emergence of relationship marketing
  • 1980s: Emergence of computer-oriented spam
  • 1984: Introduction of guerrilla tactics
  • 1985: Desktop publishing democratizes the production of print-advertising (precursor to consumer-generated media and content)
  • 1991: BMI gains academic status [154]
  • Mid 1990s: Modern search engines started appearing in the mid-1990s, with Google making its debut in 1998 [143]
  • 1990s CRM and IMC (in various guises and names) gain dominance in promotions and marketing planning, [155] [156]
  • 1996: Identification of viral marketing
  • 2000s: Integrated marketing gains widespread acceptance with its first dedicated academic research center opened in 2002 [157] [158]
  • 2003 -2006: Emergence of social media. MySpace and LinkedIn emerged in 2003, Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. [143]