Evolution of Web Marketing

Web Marketing – How it evolved in the last 3 decades!

Web Marketing OR Digital marketing is not different from traditional marketing. As defined by Dr.Philip Kotler (Northwestern University) who is widely regarded as the father of modern marketing defines marketing as “The science and art of exploring, creating and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.”

With the evolution of technology in the past 3 decades, the marketing landscape has also evolved dramatically.

Before understanding the science and art behind digital marketing it is better we see how digital marketing has evolved over the last 2 decades. Let’s peep into the history of the evolution of Digital Marketing.

Between the 1980s – 1990s :

During 1980s computers became sophisticated to store huge data. In 1986 ACT introduced the first customer database to the business world. First time ever customer contact was stored in large scale to use for marketing. The web was created in 1989.


Between the 1990s-2000s: By 1995 there were 16 million internet users. AOL was one of the early pioneers of the internet in the mid-1990s and the most recognized brand on the web in the United States. It provided a dial-up service to millions of Americans. It was a dominant player. The concept of customer relationship management exploded in the 1990s. Initial internet was more for information sharing, it was not commercial. In 1993 the first AD banner appeared and established one of the first milestones in the roadmap of Digital Marketing. Within else than a year, the first eCommerce transaction took place. By 1999 CRM products were launched and salesforce launched the concepts of software accessories.

Between the 2000s-2009s: By the year 2000, there were 558 million internet users. With the burst of dot com bubble in March 2010 the digital behaviour of customer changed dramatically. Users preferred checking a product online before calling a salesperson. Online presentation influenced their decision of buying the product. In 2004 Google became public and Facebook went live. Then its YouTube, Twitter and so on. Amazon sales increased to $10 million. The marketing ability and concepts improved, marketing automation from the sales force, split testing. With the launching of the iPhone in 2007, mobile marketing started accelerating.

Technology was built for marketers by marketers so that marketers can focus better on consumer needs, however marketers were not fast enough to catch up with the exponential evolution of consumer channels. For example Social Media Channels was in its infancy stage and marketers could not tap this channel.

Between 2010 – Till Date : By the beginning of this decade marketing technology companies dominated the entire marketing landscape. They had solutions to cater all channels – social, mobile, search and analytics. As a result of these dramatic change in technology and marketing strategy consumer now transformed from tech savvy to tech dependent. By 2011 , web usage crossed TV viewership. Today marketers are plagued with the number of marketing tools they have , however they are it has become extremely difficult for them to choose the right tool and right channel to deliver meaningful result  customers. Only 4 out of 10 Digital Marketing companies marketing is actually effective.

With the era of Big Data and evolution of predictive analytics, Machine learning and IoT  – Marketers should understand the technology stack to make the most of the tools and technologies that are available at their disposal.

Social Media has come a long way and has transformed the way we interact with each other and with brands.

Understanding the evolution of Digital Marketing will help you understand the latest concepts and trends