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From Ink to Inbound: A History of Marketing

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Marketing has invaded every part of our lives, but it developed relatively recently, not emerging until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A lot has changed since then, with strategies shifting from outbound marketing that “interrupts the consumer” to inbound marketing, which is focused on understanding them. The market speaks, and it’s up to professionals to identify the needs of consumers — and then sell to them.

From the very first radio ad in 1922 to the age of the Internet, marketing has responded to consumer behavior and moved deftly from trend to trend. Take a look to see where marketing is now, as well as just how far it has come.

Print: 1450 to 1920

  • 1450: Gutenberg invented movable type, enabling mass printing for the first time.
  • 1741: The first American magazine was printed in Philadelphia.
  • 1867: Posters were banned in London due to their rampant popularity and widespread libel.

Radio: 1920 to 1940

  • 1922: Radio advertisements become the best way to reach consumers.
  • 1933: 55.2% U.S. homes with a radio
  • 1937: Fame & Fortune: American Tobacco Co. made a deal with several U.S. senators for their endorsement of Lucky Strike cigarettes.

Television: 1940 to 1980

  • 1941: First recorded use of television advertising.
  • 1950: Fame & Fortune: Procter & Gamble was the largest American advertiser, with $33.5 million in ad spending. (That’s $305M today!)
  • 1954: TV ad revenue moved ahead of magazines and radio. Radio ad revenue dropped 9 percent.
  • Apple introduced Macintosh with its “1984” Super Bowl commercial. It cost $900,000 to make and was directed by Ridley Scott.
  • In 1995, Microsoft Corp. introduced Windows 95 with a memorable TV ad featuring the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up.”

Web: 1980 to 2005

  • 1991: Fame & Fortune: “Intel Inside” launched with a campaign that redefined a market and built on of the first global brands.
  • 1994: “The Year of the Internet.” – Ad Age
  • 1997: The FDA relaxed regulations for direct-to-consumer TV advertising. Pharma ad spending increased to $1.2 billion in 1998 as a result.
  • 2000: The dot-com bubble bursts and the Internet refocuses to engage consumers in new ways.
  • 2003: Apple was named Marketer of the Year by Ad Age, based largely on the success of the iPod.

Marketing Today: 2005 to Present

  • 2005: Fame & Fortune: Google analytics and personalized search results based on user history launched the rise of SEO Marketing.
  • 2007: 54%: Households with broadband Internet.
  • 2010: 90% of emails were spam.
  • 2012: Over 88% of Internet users browsed products online.
  • 2012: Mobile shoppers surpass 72 million, with almost 69 million consumers shopping from smartphones alone.

Interested in what the future of marketing holds? Become a part of it with Concordia University, St. Paul. We offer an online Bachelor of Science in Marketing degree that prepares you for careers on the cutting edge of this dynamic field. Learn more by visiting

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