What was Marketing all about before tech stacks?

  • By Phyron
  • Aug 1, 2023
  •  – 3 min read

Before today’s intense tech focus, Marketing was mainly about communication. Human Communication, or ”Promotion”, the word used in Kotler’s original 4P definition. Marketing managers have always tended to spend less time managing the other three Ps: Product, Price, and Place (Distribution).

That’s a no-brainer. Human communication is the fundamental glue enabling people to organise ANYTHING. Coordinating individual knowledge and skills, cooperating to take on more complex challenges, together. The stuff you study in behavioural sciences like sociology, psychology, pedagogics, demographics, and economics. Yep, we tend to forget that economics is behavioural science, too.

Re-visiting a bunch of 40 year old editions of the Industrial Marketing Digest on a lazy summer afternoon, I recognised that there was so much about human communication and behaviour. And so little about martech. Which shouldn't surprise anyone; that evolution had barely started.

Several articles featured qualified consumer research, multicultural marketing planning, and other qualified but oh so time-consuming disciplines. Getting the facts right. Disciplines requiring time and afterthought, and thus not in easy synch with today’s fast-paced marketing realities. That's one reason why they may get less management and media attention today. "Take the lead, you can always go back and correct the mistakes later."

Talking about the 4 Ps, one article was actually about Pricing too. 40 years ago. You're in Marketing, right? When did you last read a qualified article about that "P"?

Martech is fantastic in many ways, and has certainly helped to make marketing more accountable and more visible to top management. Having said that ... One potential downside of this operational efficiency and focus may be the issue mentioned above, that we give less attention, and allow less time to explore the underlying human realities. What do you think?

It takes all kinds of skills and knowledge to make the most of Marketing, inside and outside the marketing department. People with different focus and experience, within the industry, and elsewhere.

Experience to be understand and be understood by their target audiences. Working with b2b clients in various industries I have come across marketing managers with solid but wildly varied experience. In a b2b setting you often need to know something about the customers' customers, too. No wonder so many marketing people come with such diverse backgrounds.

Others are, first and foremost, marketing and communication people. Striving to understand people, relations, and buying decisions better. And taking the time to learn something new from 40 year old booklets.

Phyron helps dealers communicate with car buyers in the most lifelike and therefore most effective way. AI Video. On all digital platforms. All the way from the world’s social media to the dealer’s digital showroom. 24/7. Always on.

Rolf Andersson
Phyron Writer and Editor

*photo credit to Rolf Andersson