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History of Marketing: Mass Marketing Begins

The Gutenberg Printing Press (Photo via Flickr Creative Commons)

Marketing took a huge leap forward around the year 1440 when the modern printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg. We wouldn’t recognize marketing in its modern form in 1440, but that’s where it started.

When Guttenberg invented the printing press, he not only changed marketing, he changed human communications. For the first time in history, you only needed to make ONE copy of your materials. You could then simply make multiple copies. This allowed business owners to spread their messages far beyond the neighborhood or village. The era of mass marketing had arrived. Now that the tool was in place, the creativity to put that tool to use wasn’t far behind.

How do you think the printing press changed marketing? Was it a light-year type advancement as we think or are we making too big a deal out of this as far as marketing is concerned? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.