Victor James

Posted on

The Evolution of Marketing: How Automation Has Changed the Game

From mass production to marketing teams using technology

In today’s world, where technology constantly shapes and reshapes industries, marketing evolution is the prime example of business moving forward. The journey from the days of printed ads in history to today’s digital landscape is truly incredible.

Now that I think about it, how did people discover products in the early 1900s? Well, for our generation led by digital marketing and search engine optimization, it’s probably really hard to imagine. But let’s try to capture and understand how this dramatic transformation happened.

Marketing started as a distinct discipline that went through different phases of refinement right to the point where companies realized they were competing for customers’ attention in order to lock their Return on Investment (ROI).

What I find most fascinating is the role of automation and how it has changed the marketing game forever. So let me share my insights into exploring the marketing evolution and its impact on today’s business strategies.

What Is the Evolution of Marketing?

The evolution of marketing refers to the process through which marketing strategies, practices, and tools have changed over time to adapt to customer behaviors, technological advancements, and market dynamics.

The journey shows how businesses have responded to the evolution of the needs of their customers while using the power of technology to reach more and more people.

According to many recognized marketing gurus, marketing evolution happened through five stages since the industrial revolution, and they’re the following:

  1. The Production Era
  2. The Sales Era
  3. The Marketing Era
  4. The Relationship Marketing Era
  5. The Digital Marketing Era

I’ll get to these later in order to give you a proper explanation, so hang on! Let’s focus on the beginning first.

When Did the Marketing Discipline Begin?

Marketing as a discipline began in the late 19th century when the industrial revolution triggered the need for more efficient distribution and communication of products.

One of the earliest forms of marketing was print advertising, where people would show off their products and services via illustrated posters. This was the initial attempt to target audiences which is also known as the initial form of traditional marketing.

Fast forward to today, and I can easily say that marketing has transitioned into a complex ecosystem for companies driven by digital technology and automation.

What Causes Marketing To Evolve?

The early days of marketing relied on limited communication channels like in-store merchandising, printed ads, and in-person interactions. Modern marketing has new approaches that leverage multiple technologies, including emails, multimedia text messages, social media platforms, and data analytics tools.

Moreover, automation tools have made it possible to streamline sales processes and target specific audiences based on criteria with campaign optimization like never before.

Understanding and meeting customer needs is actually the core of marketing evolution. Simply put, as customers demand change, businesses must adapt. Today’s customers seek personalized experiences and smooth interactions. They need to feel valued by businesses in order to give them brand loyalty.

Failing to keep up with their preferences would leave you falling behind the competition. And this is exactly where the digital era shines with the new marketing concept because it has made it much easier to reach new potential customers.

Through different communication channels and search engines, businesses can approach their customers with more customer-centric strategies and build strong relationships. Therefore the new marketing efforts have shown results.

What Are the Different Stages in the Evolution of Marketing?

As I mentioned earlier, marketing evolved in five different stages, which are all very interesting and important to understand. Why? Well, it’s not just marketing at stake; it shows the evolution of business as well.

It’s interesting because you get to see how people were thinking at the time and how those opinions changed as people changed through different periods of time. So this will explain how humanity evolved as well and what affected us the most.

So let’s get to the first stage or so-called the Production era.

The Production Era: Products Develop From the Primordial Soup

Massive Producing by factory workers

The Production era emerged during the late 19th century, and its main characteristic is the focus on mass production and manufacturing efficiency. And this is a very interesting view because businesses believed that mass-produced products would generate more demand.

Marketing during this period was very limited because businesses put their focus on producing goods rather than thinking about selling them. Communication with consumers was minimal, and the main goal was to produce as much as possible at lower costs.

The Sales Era: Species Diverge and Brands Emerge in Marketing

Salees era

The next era that followed the Production era was the Sales Era. It emerged around the 1920s, and during this period, businesses realized that mass production would not cut it in driving more sales.

Companies had to adapt to a more aggressive sales strategy as competition grew. Businesses started hiring sales teams to push their products to the customers. The techniques that were common were door-to-door selling and cold-calling. The angle of getting more purchases was mainly through discounts, promotions, and persuasive selling.

The Marketing Era: Intelligent Adaptations Focus on Meeting Customer Needs

Market reseach

The Marketing era marked a significant shift in the 1950s and 1960s. In this marketing era, businesses began to recognize the importance of understanding customer needs and started tailoring their products and marketing strategy toward customer needs.

Marketing research became a key component that allowed companies to gather insights into customer preferences and their behavior. With a greater emphasis on understanding the target audience, the marketing strategies became more customer-centric, and the idea of the “four Ps” (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) became well-known.

The Relationship Marketing Era: Customers and Businesses Coevolve To Create Cooperative Societies

Dedicated customer service

The Relationship Marketing era emerged in the late 20th century and extended into the early 21st century. In this era, companies focused on building and nurturing long-lasting customer relationships.

Moreover, in this era, businesses realized that customer loyalty and retention were crucial for lasting success. Furthermore, personalization, exceptional customer service, and customer satisfaction were put on top.

Technology played a big role here because it enabled businesses to maintain communication with their consumers, which led to loyalty because of the personalized experience and ongoing engagement.

The Digital Marketing Era: Rapid Use of Technology and Adoption of Digital Platforms

Digital marketing through various ad templates

The Digital Marketing era is the current phase of marketing evolution that is entirely driven by modern technology and the widespread adoption of digital platforms. In today’s world, it has really dominated traditional marketing since the period it began, which was the late 20th century.

With the rise of the Internet, businesses shifted to online channels, including websites, social media platforms, email marketing, and numerous digital advertising platforms. And from this came the term Digital marketing.

In addition, automation, data analytics, and personalization became vital components of a successful marketing strategy.

What Are the 5 Ds of Digital Marketing?

With the evolution of digital marketing, companies have changed the way they connect with their consumers. The traditional marketing has freed the way for a dynamic digital landscape that demands new approaches that heavily rely on technology and connectivity.

At the core of this transformation lie the 5 Ds of Digital marketing that represent a strategic framework for successful marketing in the digital era. So let me get into each “D” and explain how they collectively shape the way companies engage, resonate, and succeed in marketing.

Digital Devices

Digital devices as a main way to approach your consumers

First, we have Digital devices which refer to the range of electronic gadgets that people use to access digital content and interact with the online world. The devices include smart mobile phones, laptops, desktop PCs, tablets, smart TVs, and even smartwatches.

Digital marketing ensures that the content and the advertising are optimized for all screen sizes and device types to reach their target audience wherever they are and whatever they’re using at the moment.

Digital Content Platforms

Contenent Platforms on which companies publish content to their audiance

Digital content platforms are the online spaces where companies create and publish content to engage with their audience. Usually, this happens through websites, blogs, social media platforms, video-sharing platforms, podcasts, and more.

Using these platforms, companies connect with their audience and kinda contribute to content marketing because it establishes their brand identity.

Digital Media

Digital marketing refers to the channels through which businesses can promote their products or services online. Here I’ll put online advertising, social media marketing, partnering with influencers, email marketing campaigns, etc.

Using digital media, companies can reach a global audience and target specific demographics with custom messages making their marketing efforts more effective.

Digital Data

Data as the most important role in digital marketing

Digital data plays a vital role in digital marketing. It involves gathering, analyzing, and acting on consumer data from their online interactions. This data provides valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and purchasing patterns.

Having this information, companies can make more informed decisions and deliver personalized experiences to their consumers. Data-driven marketing has most definitely had an impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Digital Technology

Digital technology is the tools and advancements that have transformed the marketing landscape entirely. Automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and even virtual reality are all parts of digital technology in marketing.

When they’re combined, they make a marketing strategy that cannot go wrong.

How Is SEO Affecting the Marketing Concept?

Search engine optimization has altered modern marketing by enhancing online engagement and visibility. This transformation shifts marketing orientation towards consumer intent and quality content.

SEO’s alignment with customer needs and personalized experiences redefines the marketing concept. As companies adapt, they create a synergy between SEO principles and marketing strategies, leading to improved customer interactions and strategic success.


What is the evolution of marketing?

The evolution of marketing refers to the ongoing transformation of marketing techniques, strategies, and technologies in response to changing consumer behaviors, marketing dynamics, and technological advancements.

What are the five stages of marketing evolution?

The five stages of marketing evolution are the Production era, Sales Era, Marketing Era, Relationship Marketing era, and Digital Marketing era.

What is the marketing evolution process?

The evolution of the marketing process involves the adaption of marketing practices and techniques that match the changing needs of consumers and the advancements in technology. This results in continuous improvement and transformation of marketing methods.

our newsletter

Stay ahead of the tech curve with our cutting-edge software and technology newsletter