The development of marketing in India over time has been almost directly proportional to the development of the business and economic environment. We can understand the marketing timeline and how marketing developed over time with the below examples. As the time progressed, different types of marketing strategies started gaining importance. This does not mean that the initial marketing strategies were ignored. Consumer goods marketing is as important today as it was before. However, more and more weapons were added to the marketing arsenal over time.
As India gained independence, the first importance was given to the consumer goods industry as it is an absolute necessity for any country. At that point, India was mainly dependent on foreign imports for everything and did not have the proper setup to keep consumers happy. Thus the consumer goods industry received a lot of importance.
As consumer goods involved setting up of lot of industries, by 1960’s the focus shifted from B2C marketing to B2B marketing and industrial marketing came into effect. A concept which came to be established over here was selling to OEM’s which is original equipment manufacturer. A simple example would include selling raw rubber to a tyre manufacturing factory. Or selling motor parts to a car manufacturing company. Thus B2B received a lot of attention.
Now, as the market was rising in terms of both – companies as well as customers, several businesses realised that the primary focus should be profit making but the secondary focus should be contribution to society. This was the golden era which was led by companies such as the Tata group which started giving back to the society. As a result a lot of Non profit and societal marketing agencies came into being which exist till date and act as “middle men” between corporate’s and the society.
Because of all the above mentioned reasons, the standards of living generally increased. This paved in the way for the services industry which included banks, medical, healthcare and most importantly Education. This industry is rising till date due to sectors such as IT, Consultancies, Hospitality and travel and tourism services. In fact from 1980’s to date, services have become a very high contributor to the countries economy.
With so many industries being established, and competition coming into play, industries realised that the power of decision making had now gone on to the customer. The customer had choices. On the other had, saturation too was slowly setting in which was affecting the market. Thus in a proactive measure, many companies went multinational. Other companies started to focus more on customer satisfaction and more still started using direct marketing effectively. This was an era which saw a shift from focus on industries to focus on customers. This trent is continuing till date with companies trying to reach their target customers wherever they are present.
The dotcom bubble which started by the end of 1995 and got bust by 2000 saw many companies going bankrupt because of wrong sales forecasting and improper business models. But a few internet companies such as Amazon and others are going strong till date. But no one could deny the power of the internet. It was a 24×7 sales front for all companies and gave a one to one interaction with their customers. At the same time, mobile marketing too came into effect though it was short lived as the internet craze soon overtook mobile marketing.
But now with the advent of social media marketing as well as the increasing usage of Smartphones, one thing is for sure. Mobile marketing has again comeback strongly. And the internet community is not ignoring mobiles anymore. Operating systems like Android, Tablets like Ipad and Samsung galaxy are just the start. The combination of mobile and internet marketing will be lethal in the coming year.
Whatever be the type of marketing being used, There is one common trend which can be observed. The focus has strongly shifted to customers and will remain so. The future of marketing will be decided on the basis of what the customer needs. Slowly but surely, the services industry is gaining importance all across the world and the future of marketing too will depend on the optimum utilization of these services as a marketing medium.