How Businesses Marketed Themselves in The Past
Business is something that has existed almost since the beginning of the age of human beings. 3,000 years ago, the inhabitants of the earth where already very active in business. During the 8BC early organizations in India, called shreni, were the very first businesses of the world. They were essentially proprietors who could independently enter into contracts or own property. These shrenis could even penalize, sue and be sued. The concept of penalizing others is just a form of capitalism then. It has always been deeply embedded in human beings to require monetary compensation for the damage of their goods.
By 960 AD, the Chinese Song dynasty witnessed the birth of gunpowder’s, printing presses, the first paper money, and the first partnerships and joint stock companies to resemble our own modern shareholding structures. Meanwhile back to India government-backed firms, including the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company, began building global trading empires as their goods floated off to lands afar. Business was surely booming but how did these early businesses market themselves or their products.
A business without marketing is like a fish out of water. It just won’t survive. It will cease to function as it should. Marketing is promoting for the product or service that you have to offer. It’s telling the world in a glimpse why your service/ product is better, why your business is better at providing it and why they should get it from your business only. Marketing is not something that can be avoided for long. You may get a few clients coming to you as referrals, but you will not get the constant stream of ‘hot leads’ or customers who are ready to spend on you because they believe or trust in what you have marketed.
In the days of old products were marketed my word of mouth. What someone had experienced and how they spoke of it lead others to desire that exact object. This was especially the case for special goods such as spices and chocolate which were acquired during global conquests by colonizers. The item would firstly be obtained as a favor from someone who went on the conquest to someone who they owed a solid to before. The receiving person may exhibit and allow their close kin to taste the foreign foods or use the foreign goods. Of course, humans like to talk-talk-talk and so in no time the product then gains a demand. In this case it can be either the colonizers who will continue supplying the product or they wink become wholesalers to many who will need to re-market themselves and add value to their product.
Word of mouth is still a powerful mode of marketing in digitized marketing world. Even the word of mouth ‘marketing tool’ has been digitized and is called affiliate marketing involving affiliate links, discount codes and commissions for the referrer. The world of business has not changed but the world of promoting your business has.