Evolution of Marketing

Marketing is as old as human civilization. Even in the earliest stage of human civilization exchange was taking place, though, without any consideration. The evidence of this could be noted from the anthropological studies. The number of excavations that have taken place around the world has also confirmed this. However in those days, the exchange was not so well organized or structured. This was because, there was very little surplus and efforts to create surplus was not even realized. When groups of human beings started living in batches, there arose the need for exchange within the group or among the groups. Historical evidence indicated that this took place in a very crude barter term. This was the earliest seed for modern marketing. 

Another convincing evidence is the number of ancient literatures of Indian origin. All of them referred to the classification of the society in to four groups viz., Brahmins, shathriyas, vysyas and sudras. Of these four groups, was mainly indulging in exchange activities. They were governed by ethical practices and considered it as sin to violate such practices. 

As years rolled, the approach to marketing also changed. From a stage of household exchange of goods and services, exchange started taking place between families and households. Such an exchange always took place through barter system. But when exchange took place between different groups in the society, the need for a medium of exchange was felt. Originally stones were used which was replaced by anything which commanded social respect was accepted. But in due course, precious metals like gold and silver were used as a medium. It is interesting to note that till very recently, the value of many was linked to the value of gold. When man invented money, exchange became very smooth devoid of all the problems associated with the barter exchange system. While exchange was getting perfected, the world stated looking at marketing in different ways. 

Till the mid 1940‟s it was thought that the producers should produce what is possible and then make efforts to sell what is produced. In this approach, marketing was viewed from producers/sellers side. But this was proved to be a fatal mistake by Levitt through his historic article. Levitt brought sense to the world of marketing. He proved that market should be facing customer rather than the customer facing the market. In other words, manufacturers should contently look at the market to capture signals and translate that into acceptable products or services. Hence, marketing became customer focused and 6 

Customer centered. So the approach now turned out to be “Produce what the consumers want”. This automatically made every producer to identify his consumer and study his requirements so that what is produced is what is wanted.


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