By Srinidhi R
“That very first step was the beginning of my present”. Year 2015 the best foot forward. But, before you begin the race let’s turn back for 30 minutes. Once upon a time man gave what he had to get what he wanted and trade was born. But, what man wanted was never same on two different days. He kept asking “what can be given?” And market began answering this. Information turned into persuasion. Since then commerce had never been the same again.
Twenty years ago the marketing department was a protocol in paper. Today, businesses go in for the kill, playing along the rules of branding game. More than a decade into the 21st century has witnessed marketing at its glory that began from the modest hand written brochures of 1450, leading its trail all the way up to “the mobile marketing era” in 2015.
To put it simply, as industrial revolution donned the history books during 1950s and economy suddenly decided a growth spurt, changing its label from merely an art to “the science of economics” and exploring the global phenomenon of commerce, marketing became its wingman. Roughly 70 years ago a decent product would have been your entry ticket into the market. But the “standardization business” brought along with it the need for the best players to stand out. Can you believe that it was a mere need for differentiation that brought about the ideas of “brands” which is ruling the market today?
So, what was started by companies like a Procter and Gamble(PNG) and Unilever, unrolled into a competitive strategy that sung out the core values of a product, like oral B promising “brighter teeth” and life boy flaunting “100% protection”. Though the, “mad men” era of 1960s does claim its share of advertising, everything from whisky and cigarettes to bottle water and coffee, using the old black and white newspapers, bill boards and life size posters, a few years later, mass communication got electrocuted and telemarketing with radio advertisements, successfully turned unidirectional selling into marketing as it is today.
Product became less important and customer satisfaction took a front seat as marketing became a discipline than a mere protocol in paper. Traditions of trade have changed so much that it’s hard to even trace back the footsteps, they are fading. Buying and selling will never be as simple as it used to be earlier.
The deep roots have given rise to something we all become a part of, every day. Commerce is you, me and our desires driven by money, and its past holds such rich roots that now “the society” is becoming the new customer. Nations are dissolving boundaries, turning the world into single “Global Market”. In 2015, if the market asks you to “go green” or “eat healthy”, don’t get surprised at how far commerce has come and understand that,
“Past is the best place to begin your future”
Edited by Anandita Malhotra, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist