History Of Digital Marketing: The Evolution That Started In The 1980s (2022)

At the time when Digital Marketing is all-over, if you go in retrospect, you would find that the History of Digital Marketing jumps off in the early 80s.

Moreover, this journey has been equally revolutionizing and fascinating as well.

The world is now in the digital space. We have reached a time where 170 million active users are log in to social media every day. Technology and the market were always linked to each other. Today when most of the potential consumers are present in the cyberspace, companies are also reaching there and devising marketing campaigns to target them.

Such widespread presence and absolute dominance of the Digital Marketing landscape compel the curious lot to know when it all started. – In this post, we will deep dive into the roots of Digital Marketing and understand everything.

AnUruguayanjournalist, writer and novelist, Eduardo Galeano once said-

History never really says goodbye.

History says, ‘See you later’.

So, let us say a hello to the History of Digital Marketing and start deciphering its evolution-

History of Digital Marketing: 1980s

Table of Contents

  • History of Digital Marketing: 1980s
  • History of Digital Marketing Landscape: 1990s
      • Free Digital Marketing Webinar
  • History of Digital Marketing: 2000s
  • History of Digital Marketing: 2010s
    • Get ready for the Future of Digital Marketing!
(Video) THE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF DIGITAL MARKETING
  • 1981- First personal computer was launched by IBM
  • 1986- American National Standard Institute (ANSI)adoptedSQL as a standard
  • 1989- Storage capacity of the computers was100mb

The advent of digital marketing can be traced back to the days of the 1980s.

This was the time when new innovations were taking place that made the computer system advanced enough to store information of the customers. It was in the year 1981 when IBM came out with the first personal computer and the storing capacity of the computers increased to 100 MB in the year 1989.

The 1980s was also the time when companies recognized the importance of harboring customer relationship rather than just implementing the practice of pushing products. The marketers now dropped limited practices that included list brokering to adopt the database marketing. This was the year when it started to become a practice of maintaining a database of prospects, customers, and commercial contracts.

Consequently, in the year 1986, the customer management company ACT was responsible for launching the database marketing software for the first time. This database marketing software was now allowing the storage of a huge volume of customer information.

Robert Kestenbaum and Robert Shaw who are known as the father of marketing automation together created several database-marketing models that helped BT and Barclays. These Database Marketing solutions contained many features that included sales channel automation, campaign management, contact strategy optimization, marketing analytics and marketing resource management.

The 1980s saw the emergence of Digital Databases that changed the dynamics of the buyer-seller relationship.

It enabled the companies to gain information, store and track their customers like never before. The only catch here was that the whole process was still manual. Further, in this period the launch of the personal computers and client architecture brought the revolution that changed the marketing technology in a decade. The Customer Relationship Management or CRM software brought this revolution in the 1990s.

History of Digital Marketing Landscape: 1990s

History Of Digital Marketing: The Evolution That Started In The 1980s (1)

Evolution of digital marketing since 1990s-source- simplilearn

(Video) History and evolution of digital marketing | digital marketing free course | by Deepak Roy

The development that took place in the 1990s:

  • In 1995 the worldwide internet users reached 16 million
  • In 1996 the Americans were reported to spend an average time of 30 minutes online
  • In 1998 41% of the users logged in to AOL.com regularly
  • In 1998, Google was officially launched

In the 90s, CRM tools became very popular. It can be defined as software that tracked the interactions, taking place between the current as well as future customers. Sales Force Automation (SFA) was the early form of the CRM and provided companies the important information regarding inventory control and interaction tracking.

CRM was massively upgraded in the late 1990s when vendors such as SAP, Oracle, Baan came in the market. Now, the increased competition led the vendors to also offer sales, marketing, and service applications. In 1998, Google appeared. It is now utilized as the most popular web-based search engine. It plays the most significant role in optimizing Digital Marketing Campaigns and Search Marketing.

Again, in 1999 the internet came into the picture which supported the emerging eCRM vendors and made possible to store huge volume of customer data online, further increasing the competition.

Now, the eCRM vendors made the customer information dynamic by allowing marketers to continuously update it, leading to an enhancement in the customer experience. But there was a challenge that companies had to face. They did have heaps of data on customers but didn’t know how to make some sense out of it. This was later changed in 1999 with Salesforce.com the first SaaS Company.

The business application first being delivered through a website was done by the Salesforce company, now it is known as ‘cloud computing’. This served as the central point for future marketing technology.

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History of Digital Marketing: 2000s

  • The internet users in 2002 increased to 558 million
  • 2007 saw the birth of iPhone
  • In 2004 Google goes public

While discussing history and evolution of the Digital Marketinglandscape, when we delve into the 2000s, we see the big names like Dell and Cisco selling off their stocks after the burst of the dotcom bubble. However, this led to prominent SaaS companies like Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel, and SAP transform their business model and give the internet a more central aspect of their services.

The mid-2000s saw a change in the behavior of the customers as people began to research their product online using Google and other search engines before the actual purchase. This behavior left the marketers perplexed as they found it hard to understand the buying behavior of the customers.

Marketo, Act and Pardot companies were the ones to solve this challenge through marketing automation. Marketing automation allowed marketers to segment the market, start multi-channel campaigns and deliver personalized content. This was the first marketing technology devised by marketers for marketers.

Marketing automation was fast enough to adapt to ever-evolving consumer behavior and also faced a challenge as it didn’t anticipate the social media as a marketing outlet. However, Social Media comprises a history dating back to 1970s withARPANET; it got a little prevalence in the early 1990s. But in the 2000s, it was just all over and since then, it has been playing the very important role in the history of Digital Marketing. Let us go through a brief history of Social Media Channels-

  • GeoCities in November 1994
  • Classmates in December 1995
  • Six Degrees in May 1997
  • Open Diary in October 1998
  • LiveJournal in April 1999
  • Ryze in October 2001
  • Friendster in March 2002
  • LinkedIn in May 2003
  • hi5 in June 2003
  • MySpace in August 2003
  • Orkut in January 2004
  • Facebook in February 2004
  • Yahoo! 360° in March 2005
  • Bebo in July 2005
  • Twitter in July 2006
  • Tumblr in February 2007
  • Google+ in July 2011

Prevalence of Social Media created a new dilemma for marketers that was solved through many new software companies that devised solutions for social, search, mobile and analytics but this explosion of solutions wasn’t stranger to other challenges.

History of Digital Marketing: 2010s

Now consumers are no longer tech savvy but have become tech-dependent. Consider the following facts:

  • Americans spend an average of 11 hours online every day
  • Expected loading time has reduced to 250 milliseconds
  • Even without a notification 67%, people check their phones

This tech-dependence has diversified the marketing technology scenario and has raised the digital expectations of the consumers.

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Young companies are emerging every day in a bid to provide digital marketing solutions to upgraded consumers, and big companies like IBM, Oracle, and Google are acquiring new companies to remain ahead in the race to provide the best digital solution. The marketers today are faced with a variety of options and this in itself is proving a big challenge for them to decide on which option to invest in. In midst of this confusion, Integration has become the most attractive trait of marketing technology.

But, even with integration, marketers are facing the following problem:

  • How to make use of all these technologies for their business goals
  • How to keep the customer and not the technology or tool in the focus

Change is happening fast and organizations are lagging behind in adopting the change. But, yes, changes are taking place that too in executive level. Now, a new position Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT) has been set up who will be responsible for identifying as well as devising strategies around the technologies to enhance user experience.

Marketers have to up their Digital Marketing games as today’s consumers expect a smooth experience over all the channels as well as devices. Further, for meeting these expectations marketers need to invest in omnichannel technologies to provide an omnichannel experience.

New channels like Neuro-marketing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) are slowly coming into the picture and they are going to be the future of Digital Marketing landscape. Technologies like digital currency (crypto-currency) and Blockchain have come into the arsenal of new-age marketers. –That will for sure take the rich and empowering history of Digital Marketing to the new heights.

Get ready for the Future of Digital Marketing!

Now, we have come to a point where I will be concluding this journey of the evolution of Digital Marketing landscape.

I know it was quite a brief history of Digital Marketing, but I hope it was intriguing, interesting and inspired you to be the part of this revolution.

The world of Digital Marketing is not confined to the world of marketing & technology only, but it has been deciding our pasts, and for sure, it will shape up the future of human civilization. Digital Marketing has not only benefitted businesses but has also emerged as a promising career opportunity. As a result of this more and more people are inclined towards building a career in Digital Marketing & the demand for Digital Marketing Institutes is rising continuously.

Opting for Digital Marketing Training will empower you to be ready for a future, where innovation, construction, and positivity will be the driving force for the channelization of human civilization.

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Then, there will be no any dilemma that if Science & Technology are a Boon or Bane!

Share your views in comments about the ‘History of Digital Marketing’ & how it has been shaping our behavioral preferences- And where we all are headed!

FAQs

What is the history of digital marketing? ›

History of Digital Marketing. The term Digital Marketing was first used in the 1990s. The digital age took off with the coming of the internet and the development of the Web 1.0 platform. The Web 1.0 platform allowed users to find the information they wanted but did not allow them to share this information over the web ...

How is digital marketing an evolution in marketing practice? ›

With user-generated content, digital marketing has evolved to focus on the mutual relationship between the consumer and the brand. It displays to modern consumers that a brand cares about sharing their customers' stories and they value their experiences.

What are the different stages of evolution of digital marketing? ›

Early Evolution of Marketing Stages

According to the Evolution of Marketing Philip Kotler, marketing has progressed through five stages since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution: the production era, the product era, the selling era, the marketing era and the holistic era.

What factors affect the evolution of digital marketing? ›

Digital marketing, like every other industry, continues to evolve with the invention of new technologies.
...
The Evolution of Digital Marketing (5 Key Turning Points)
  • Search Engines Come Into Play. ...
  • The Social Media Revolution. ...
  • Mobile-First Marketing. ...
  • Consumer Data and Targeted Campaigns. ...
  • Voice Search and Interactive Content.
31 Aug 2020

What is the history of marketing? ›

The ideas of marketing as it is understood in the modern era began during the time of the Industrial Revolution. This period spanned the late 18th century and lasted long into the 19th century. It was a time of rapid social change motivated by innovations in the scientific and technological industries.

What is the evolution of marketing? ›

The marketing evolution is a process and stages through which the marketing concepts, philosophies, mechanisms, tools and techniques, and orientations of marketing are changing and has changed over the period of the history of marketing.

How important is digital marketing? ›

Digital marketing is important because it connects a business with its customers when they are online, & is effective in all industries. It connects businesses with ideal customers when they are on Google through SEO & PPC, on social media with social media marketing, & through email with email marketing.

What technology emerged in the 80s and signaled the beginning of modern marketing? ›

The 1980s saw the emergence of Digital Databases that changed the dynamics of the buyer-seller relationship. It enabled the companies to gain information, store and track their customers like never before.

What is digital marketing explain with examples? ›

Digital marketing is the marketing and advertising of a business, person, product, or service using online channels, electronic devices, and digital technologies. A few examples of digital marketing include social media, email, pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and more.

What is the purpose of the evolution of marketing? ›

What Is the Evolution of Marketing? Marketing evolution refers to the distinct phases that businesses have gone through as they continued to seek new and innovative ways to achieve, maintain and increase revenue through customer sales and partnerships.

What are the four evolution of marketing? ›

According to Keith, marketing evolved into its present-day prominence within firms during four distinct eras throughout American history. These eras include the production era, the sales era, the marketing era, and the marketing company era.

What is the first step in the evolution of marketing? ›

The evolution of marketing theory starts with production orientation. Production orientation is the view that the route to corporate success lies in production efficiency, getting production costs as low as possible (usually by manufacturing in very large volume) in order to reduce costs and prices.

Who was developed digital marketing? ›

The development of digital marketing is inseparable from technology development. One of the first key events happened in 1971, when Ray Tomlinson sent the first email, and his technology set the platform to allow people to send and receive files through different machines.

When was digital marketing used first time? ›

While there are some reports that the first e-commerce exchanged happened over 40 years ago, the first most legitimate online transaction was in 1994 – the sale of a Sting CD.

What is the importance of marketing? ›

The importance of marketing for your business is that it makes the customers aware of your products or services, engages them, and helps them make the buying decision. Furthermore, a marketing plan, a part of your business plan helps in creating and maintaining demand, relevance, reputation, competition, etc.

How did marketing change over time? ›

Marketing has changed over time because the access to greater audiences and larger target markets has increased and changed with new forms of media tools. The change in marketing has also gone from consumer-based specific to buying, to consumer-based-loyalty and brand desire.

How can marketing be used? ›

Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses. Some marketing is done by affiliates on behalf of a company. Professionals who work in a corporation's marketing and promotion departments seek to get the attention of key potential audiences through advertising.

Which one of the following is the last stage in the evolution of digital marketing? ›

Solution(By Examveda Team) Marketing company era is the most recent stage of marketing evolution.

Which stage of evolution of marketing special attention was given on quality? ›

Product Orientation Era

The attitude changed slowly and approach shifted from production to product and from the quantity to quality.

What is digital marketing plan? ›

What is a digital marketing plan? A digital marketing plan is a document that defines marketing goals to be accomplished within a given time frame so a company can meet a set of business objectives.

How can digital marketing help your business? ›

Digital marketing helps to measure every click and helps in identifying user behavior and buying patterns. It also helps to give detail insights about your target audience so that you can make super targeted ads. The amount of data which you can gather with the help of Digital Marketing is invaluable.

What is digital marketing strategy? ›

What is digital marketing strategy? A digital marketing strategy is a plan for establishing an internet presence through online channels such as organic search, social media, paid ads, and other web-based mediums such as your website.

What is the impact of Digital Revolution in our society? ›

The Digital revolution has given considerable benefits to society at large, but it has also brought its fair share of concerns in the process. Powers of communication and information sharing have been greatly expanded and with it new technologies that can exploit the information concerned have also cropped up.

What is digital marketing introduction? ›

Digital marketing, also called online marketing, is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. This includes not only email, social media, and web-based advertising, but also text and multimedia messages as a marketing channel.

What are the types of digital marketing? ›

Digital marketing can be broadly broken into 8 main categories including: Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Marketing Analytics and Affiliate Marketing .

What are features of digital marketing? ›

8 Elements of a Successful Digital Marketing Plan
  • Online advertising.
  • Search Engine Optimisation.
  • Online Content and Blogging.
  • Web PR.
  • Social Media Management and Listening.
  • Mobile Marketing.
  • Web Analytics.

Which is best in digital marketing? ›

According to Smart Insights, the most effective strategy in 2018 was social media marketing, followed by content marketing, and the least was data management, with SEO being somewhere in the middle of it all.

Who started digital marketing? ›

Some argue that Gugliemo Marconi who invented the radio in 1896, was the world's first digital marketer. Others will say that computer engineer Ray Tomlinson should be credited with the birth of digital marketing because he sent the first-ever email in 1971.

Who is father of digital marketing? ›

Philip Kotler ... The “father of digital marketing,” Philip Kotler, is often referred to as such. He is an American professor who is credited with founding marketing as an academic discipline and has produced over 60 marketing books.

When was digital marketing used first time? ›

While there are some reports that the first e-commerce exchanged happened over 40 years ago, the first most legitimate online transaction was in 1994 – the sale of a Sting CD.

What is digital marketing introduction? ›

Digital marketing, also called online marketing, is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. This includes not only email, social media, and web-based advertising, but also text and multimedia messages as a marketing channel.

Why is digital marketing important? ›

Digital marketing is important because it connects a business with its customers when they are online, & is effective in all industries. It connects businesses with ideal customers when they are on Google through SEO & PPC, on social media with social media marketing, & through email with email marketing.

What is an example of digital marketing? ›

Digital marketing is the marketing and advertising of a business, person, product, or service using online channels, electronic devices, and digital technologies. A few examples of digital marketing include social media, email, pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and more.

What are digital marketing skills? ›

Good communication skills in a digital marketer includes variables such as spreading impactful messages, establishing trust, and building relationships. The motive here is to create an impactful message and deliver it to customers in a way that's clear, concise, interesting and relevant.

What are the types of digital marketing? ›

Digital marketing can be broadly broken into 8 main categories including: Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Marketing Analytics and Affiliate Marketing .

What are the main pillars of digital marketing? ›

There are three key digital marketing pillars available to digital marketers: data, technology, and people. By themselves, each serves a purpose, but they're often siloed and inefficient.

What technology emerged in the 80s and signaled the beginning of modern marketing? ›

The 1980s saw the emergence of Digital Databases that changed the dynamics of the buyer-seller relationship. It enabled the companies to gain information, store and track their customers like never before.

Which one of the following is the last stage in the evolution of digital marketing? ›

Solution(By Examveda Team) Marketing company era is the most recent stage of marketing evolution.

How was marketing in the past? ›

Past marketing concepts were generally to make a product that would influence the bottom line of the organization. Most organizations only had a few avenues to get their products ready and available for the target markets.

How does digital marketing help your business grow? ›

Digital marketing helps to measure every click and helps in identifying user behavior and buying patterns. It also helps to give detail insights about your target audience so that you can make super targeted ads. The amount of data which you can gather with the help of Digital Marketing is invaluable.

What is marketing and its importance? ›

Marketing is a term that covers a whole gamut of activities aiming to make people aware of your products and services and persuade them to buy the same. While advertising is the most common way of marketing, it also involves consumer research, product design, as well as other aspects.

What are digital marketing channels? ›

What is a Digital Marketing Channel? Digital marketing channels are platforms that you can use to reach your target audience with information about your brand, product, or service.

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