Trends of Marketing Past, Present, and Future

Merriam-Webster’s definition of a trend is: to extend in a general direction or follow a general course. When it comes to business trends come and go. Some take time to build up, while others happen seemingly overnight and then disappear quickly. This is particularly prevalent when it comes to marketing strategies. A good marketing strategy depends on messaging, forum, and relevance with the general public. The history of marketing strategies is an interesting one. By taking a look at what marketing strategies worked and didn’t work previously and currently, we have the ability to evaluate and plan for what the next cutting edge way to reach a potential customer will be.


Trends of Marketing Past: Pre-Digital Age, The Digital Age, The Dotcom Bubble


Marketing strategies have a history that dates back to as early as the mid 1400’s with printed advertising utilizing moveable type. Though strategic marketing practices have evolved quite a bit since then, there are several trends that are still prevalent in today’s society. Some of the most relevant trends in marketing in the “Pre-Digital Age” included:

  • Basic Printed Works (like flyers, newspapers, posters, phonebooks, etc.)
  • Billboards
  • Radio Advertisements
  • Telemarketing
  • Early Television Advertisements

During the Digital Age new technologies such as rudimentary mobile phones, first generation computers, and user friendly printers were emerging. There is a direct correlation in the type of technology available and the forum in which marketing is best communicated. The top marketing trends in the Digital Age included:

  • Expanded Print Advertising
  • Expanded use of Television Advertisements
  • Introduction of Spam Emails

The Dotcom Bubble occurred roughly from 1995-2002. This era is centered around the internet, search engines, and mobile device improvements. Some marketing trends during this time included:

  • Early Search Engine Optimization Improvements
  • AdWords and PageRank
  • Early Blogging


Trends of Marketing Present


The marketing present in today’s society is a combination of previous trends that have been improved upon, such as TV ads and print, with new strategies focused on inbound practices. Some of the most common marketing tactics utilized today are:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Retargeting Campaigns
  • Text Message Advertisements
  • Targeted Emails
  • Internet Video Advertisments


Trends of Marketing Future


Though no one truly knows what new exciting marketing trends are waiting just around the corner, based on what we have seen work in the past we can get a general idea of what to expect so that we are prepared. We can conclude that as technology becomes increasingly available to the general public, that people are more receptive to marketing tactics when the material is formatted directly for them. In an age where nearly everything is customized for the user, marketing should be no different. This trend is already prevalent in inbound marketing efforts where a targeted audience is established and then a strategy is formulated specifically for that group of individuals. I would imagine that this trend would continue to grow as technology and easy access to products and services increases. Additionally, it’s safe to say that many of the rudimentary marketing practices could fizzle out. Items such as AM/FM radio advertisements, cable TV advertisements, and telemarketing will continue to decrease in effectiveness as forum alternatives continue to become commonplace. 

By understanding what the past, present, and (potential) future marketing strategies may be you can rest easy knowing that your marketing team is fully informed of what methods are available for you to use. By formulating a marketing strategy that keeps up with the ever-changing scope of today’s society, your business is set up for success. If you are interested in assistance putting in place your own marketing strategy, feel free to reach out to us!


Alexa Williams
Alexa Williams