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History Timeline of Business Marketing Since 1400


A Lesson On Business Marketing’s History

So you’re probably thinking that business marketing has been one of the more recent “inventions” in man’s history. Well you would be wrong. Just about as long as there have been businesses there has been a need to market them.

The Printing Press

If you want to get real technical you could say that it all really took off when the printing press was invented in 1450. This really was a big help in the field of business marketing for its time. The printing press made it so that things could be more easily sent out to the greater populace, without it being extremely expensive. Help you advertise by something other than word of mouth.

1600’s Business Card

Now if you want to jump forward by about 150 years or so to the early 1600’s then we get into some even smarter advances by the human race to advertise your business. Believe it or not the first business cards appeared around this time. Bet you didn’t know business cards were that old of a business tactic, did you?

American Magazine

Jump forward about another 150 years, give or take a few and you have the next major innovation in business marketing, or at least something that is related to a big chunk of business marketing today. In about 1741 or so the first American magazine was produced. Not sure if people caught on right away that they could advertise their businesses in a magazine, but it eventually catch on and come to the point of today’s magazines where they are just chock full of all different types of advertisements for an array of products.

Direct Marketing

The 1830’s lends itself to the immersion of direct mail campaigns and ad posters becoming popular. Ad posters became so popular at this time that they became a nuisance and an eye sore in London and were effectively banned at the time. The last bit of breaking ground in the advertising world that happened in the 1800’s happened in the 1860’s. This is about the time that they have the first billboard rental on record. It seems crazy as many as there are now that there was a time with very few or one or two around.

Radio Ads

From around 1920 to 1941 is when the media started to be used as an effective tool in business marketing. They first started with radio advertisements since this was the popular form of entertainment. By 1941 they had entered into marketing in the world of television. From here business marketing has really hit its stride and has taken off.

During the 1950’s perspective college students saw the field of marketing as an opportunity to get in on something that could only improve and go up. Therefore there was an increase in the studying of marketing during this time at the universities. And in the mid 1950’s TV advertisements started to surpass radio advertisements as the population shifted from listening to the radio as their main source of entertainment to the TV.


In the 1970’s the dreaded telemarketers began to emerge. Who could have thought that they would become as big a nuisance as they are today, 30 something years later!? There was also a sharp decline in the 1970’s for print ads being used. So much so that Life Magazine had to shut down for the time.

Print Ads

In the 1980’s print ads would be revived by the desktop computer (ironic right?) and the infamous company, Apple, would begin the tradition of paying crazy amounts of money to have an advertisement appear in the super bowl (which for better or worse still happens to this day).

In the lovely 1990’s the internet would start to get heavily involved in this business marketing game. During this time the first spam emails were sent (by a law firm no less) and the ever important term “search engine optimization” was coined and is still used to this day.

21st Century

In the ever progressive 2000’s the biggest area of business marketing by far has become the internet and technology. Things such as push-notifications have been invented and used, as well as social media becoming a big part of any marketing plan. There have also been laws that were put to use in this time because of the ever increasing abuse of advertising techniques like limiting commercial email spam and the “no-call list” for telemarketers.

With the way business marketing has gone over the years it is no surprise that the future of it is the internet. With more and more smartphones and new technology out there this is the way to get a hold of your biggest audience. Social media has become an even bigger component of marketing than ever thought. This industry will continue to make more and more money as long as there are products to sell and they are sold successfully.

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