Evolution of Digital Marketing

Evolution of Digital Marketing

The article talks about how Digital Marketing began. How the concept and digital marketing practice did came into existence. From the first search engine Archie to Google the article talks of the journey.

If you’re reading this blog, I’m sure you’ve got an idea about whatDigital Marketing is. Here’s an easy break down for you before you go ahead and find out how it evolved.

Digital Marketing: –

What? > A form of marketing.

Where? > Online medium, internet or wireless.

Why? > For promoting products online! Because that’s where huge amount of audience is today!

How? > Through it’s various components like, SEO, SMM, Email Marketing, Web Content Marketing, Paid Ads etc.

If we sum this up, Digital Marketing is a form of marketing which is performed online or on the internet/wireless for promoting products, services, information. A huge amount of audiences/users are available online. It has various components like web content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization etc.

How did it start?

The 50s!

Back in between 1950 to 1960, marketers had really few choices in marketing channels. The main marketing channels included : –

  • Direct Mail
  • Telephone Marketing
  • Print publications
  • Outdoor billboards/hoardings
  • And very few television networks
  • Handful of local radio stations

The 80s!

The next 30 years saw the growth of “cable television”

24 hour cable televisons provided the marketers an opportunity and few more channles to spread marketing information. However, many of paid cable television were not supported by paid advertising.

The choices for for marketing channles did not grow significantly. Even after all this time, print publication remained dominant forms of advertising and marketing communication.

The 90s!

In 1990, the term “Digital Marketing” was first used! Digital information technology exploded overnight! The number of websites went from a handful to millions just in matter of few years. Now, the media space for marketing and advertising was no longer a scarce resource. Instead of a dozen of traditional media outlets marketers now had to make a direct reach to millions of consumers through world wide web. Since then, the technological development has accelerated and grown exponentially in last two decades.


Marketers today, can reach billions of consumers via social media, applications, online video stream services. Thousands of online publishers offer virtual spaces for displaying advertising.

Search engines now can target individual consumers based on their behaviour and needs. To stay relevant and competitive in this marketing environment marketers must re-examine, re-define and re-evaluate the media landscape.

But is this it?

The answer is, NO!

There’s so much more to the HISTORY of, search engines, world wide web and marketing!

1990 saw the launch of very first search engine “ARCHIE” around, September 10, 1990, that is 29 years ago! It had begun as a project for students and volunteer staff at McGill University School of Computer Science in 1987.

The very first ads that appeared were banner ads in 1993. It’s widespread use began in 1994. At first, people loved them, people clicked and viewed them. All of this gave opportunity and made marketers excited. But soon the market for banner ads collapsed! Why? Because too much ad inventory was available compared to it’s value to marketers for a couple of years, digital advertising went through a lean period, both in terms of innovation and profits.


What did it seem like? A simple page with a logo and a search box. Other search engines already existed but what was so different about Google?

Google search engine was the only one that displayed “short text ads” related to the search term! The accuracy of Google search engines allowed advertisers to target their messages and bid for “keywords” and measure their ROI more effectively. Search gave a reincarnation to new techniques. Such as search engine optimization became a key for marketers to reach audiences.

MSN was also launched by Microsoft in that period. Portals like MSN, AOL, Yahoo that aggregated information were bypassed in favour of searching directly for a given topic such as “insurance” or “cell phones”

In 2000s the first mobile marketing campaign happened. (Universal Music). By the mid of 2000s any traditional media buying agency could buy inventory on few websites and not just that, there were different formats available too for online display ads.

There was and is no stopping

The new millennium has given the actual recognition to the term Digital Marketing and by the end of 2005 the real significance was pointed out by the majority of the users. MarkZuckerberg started Facebook in February 2004, Google launched Gmail in April 2004, and Twitter was launched in March 2006. Growth of Digital Marketing in 2010 was estimated approximately 48%.

There was no stopping after this, there were major launches like YouTube, MS Live search, and Amazon crossed its e-commerce sales with $10 billion.

We witnessed various aids to digital marketing such as Google analytics, SEO, Affiliate marketing, Marketplace selling and what not!


Digital Marketing grew dramatically in recent years.

  • There is access to Real Time Data
  • There is ability to engage in multi-channel relationships with consumers
  • Increasing flexibility and speed from digital

Companies can now tailor and personalise messages to meet consumer demands the speed of digital marketing also allows companies to test and learn everything and continuously optimize to meet consumer expectations. With increasing knowledge of their consumer companies can build and nurture long term relationships across multiple touchpoints.

In new world of digital marketing companies will need to change how they operate and pull up their socks to match up with the pace at which digital marketing is growing and changing.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Digital Marketing Blog

we want to
hear from you!