Marketing is a relatively young discipline. Some, however, argue that it has been around for a long time.

Trade and payment in money, goods and services has been around for many thousands of years.

Barter or counter trade is becoming popular in business again. Counter trade is more common than you think. Have a look at this barter example: Some chemical companies often accept non-monetary payment such as other chemicals, as payment from their customers.

Some argue that marketing has been in existence whenever and wherever there have been buyers and sellers i.e. – a market.

Some marketing tools such as advertising have been around for hundreds and even thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks used advertising for commercial purposes. The traders hired ‘criers’ to promote their products. Their advertising propositions were sometimes surprisingly similar to today’s television advertisements. But none of the ancient brands lasted the test of time. Few brands last a century let alone a millennium or two.

There are, however, a few select brands which have been around for a few hundred years for example: Guinness since 1759 and Pears since 1789

There were many famous brands created during the 19th century. Some have survived. But in reality few brands succeed in the long term. Fewer still survive two centuries of change.

The great marketing graveyard in the sky is littered with once famous brands which were regularly bought by legions of ‘loyal’ customers. Where are they now? Why have they gone? What caused their demise? Why do you think these once famous and successful brands eventually failed?

There are many underlying change factors such as fashion or technology, which if ignored, can affect a market or even, kill off a brand. Everything changes – including lifestyles, values and attitudes.

Do you think that society reflects advertising or advertising reflects society?

Advertisements can give an insight – particularly into how fashions, values and attitudes change. Whichever way you look at it ‘change’ affects markets. The management of change makes new demands on marketing managers.

Constant Change in Marketing

Change has been constant throughout the history of marketing. Markets change constantly. The only certainty is change. Everything changes – customers grow old, develop new tastes, new values, earn different amounts , prioritise ‘new’ needs, competitors emerge, laws and regulations change, and technology sends out shock waves of change. Nothing stays the same.

The world and marketing are changing. They will continue to change. Today’s winners may be tomorrow’s losers.

Guess what percentage of the world’s 500 most successful companies in 1957 still exist today ? 33%25 or one third of the companies who were at the top of the business league table in 1957 still survive today. Success is momentary. There is no time to rest on one’s laurels. Continual success requires continual monitoring and responses to change – often before the change actually occurs.

The rate of change accelerated when television burst onto the scene in the 1950s. Today’s computers, satellite, cable, multimedia, and virtual reality networks are also changing markets, and the way we buy, the way we sell, the products and services we want, the way we communicate and deliver and even pay for tomorrow’s brands.

Have a look at the UK’s first commercial advertisement ever shown on TV: A lot has changed since that advertisement was made.

The discipline of marketing involves much more than just advertising or selling. Today’s marketing requires constant research into customers, competition, communications, distribution, channels, product development, pricing etc. In addition to continual improvement in customer care, customer retention and product design, today’s marketers look towards long term changes and future market trends, lifetime customer relationships, as well as addressing the short term promotional campaigns.

So marketers are surrounded by change. We all are. Back in 500 AD, Heraclitus the Greek philosopher, spotted it and commented, ‘You cannot step twice into the same river for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.’ Change is constant.

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