1) In the beginning marketing was a simple exchange between two or more people. Beaver pelts for salt and nails. Wild berries for a bolt of calico cloth. It took place in a physical market: the big rock over by Joe’s cave or, later, the bazaar at Samarkand or, later still, the
Traditional marketing is about generating and protecting profits
Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.
2) Once humans learned to produce excess stuff for trade, marketing came to include luxury goods for the elite. The place of exchange was the known world, reached via the Silk Road or the sea routes to ancient Britain.
3) Marx came along and said those who owned the means of production (capital) had all of this extra stuff that they had to sucker the masses into both creating (the workers) and, eventually, consuming (See Henry Ford).
4) Having to sell excess stuff begat advertising. Don Draper created clever ads that seduced us into consuming more and more stuff. Some countries got rich and consumed even more stuff. Eventually, even poor nations became consumers.
5) Philip Kotler made marketing seem scientific with his 4 Ps. More marketers with more stuff to sell used the Ps to create more demand and bigger markets.
6) Mass media fueled a lust for stuff by many rather than just a few. More stuff was produced and consumed by more people. Everything was growing except Earth’s ability to support all of us and our stuff.
Sustainable marketing keeps plastic out of tree tops.
7) Now, with our backs to the climate change wall, anyone with any sense (that’s us, folks) needs to figure out a kinder, gentler, more sustainable marketing system that is focused on only 3 Ps — people, planet, and yes, profits. But profits can’t come first any longer.