Flanke 7 Bildmarke
Back to overview

The evolution of marketing

Share on:

From 1.0 to 5.0 - the development of marketing.

Marketing has been around for a long time - so it's no surprise that just as a society has evolved, so has marketing. In this article, we'll take a look at marketing starting in the 20th century, how it has evolved up to today, and a little preview of what's to come in the next few years (or decades).

Marketing 1.0 Product

The first version of marketing pursued the primary goal of selling products. Therefore, this is also referred to as product orientation, because companies pursued the marketing policy of product specification and the overriding concept was to develop products further. The customer was seen as a mass buyer and reduced to his physical needs. Since the goal was not just to sell products, but to sell as many products as possible, customers were perceived as superior groups who were going to buy anyway. The mindset stemmed from the historical phase of industrialization or the industrial revolution. 

Marketing 2.0 Customer 

This one-sided way of thinking changed over time and now the customer became the focus of companies' actions. Interaction no longer took place with superordinate groups; the customer was viewed as an individual who is on the move in the market with different needs. The customer is perceived as a smart consumer who acts with heart and mind. The marketing policy fully focused on differentiation from other companies with the aim of satisfying consumers and the retention of a customer. In addition to the purposeful relationship between people and companies, feelings were now taken into account for the first time. 

This form of marketing is still widespread, even though its origins date back somewhat. Putting the customer at the center of action is not wrong even today. 

Marketing 3.0 Values 

Marketing 3.0 also looks at people, but as a holistic approach with a value orientation that focuses on people with their needs, expectations, feelings and values. The acting consumer is therefore not only considered with heart and mind, but also with soul. The overarching goal of Marketing 3.0 is to make the world a better place. Therefore, marketing policy relies on a clear mission, vision, and embodiment and communication of unambiguous values. Companies answer the following questions to consumers: What are my beliefs? What do I stand for as a company? What is our mission statement? What values do we represent and how?

However, it is not just a matter of communicating these aspects in a credible way. A company's conduct and overall actions must be consistent with them. Otherwise, this leads to a loss of trust. 

Marketing 4.0 Digitization

The fourth stage of development is derived from Industry 4.0, which characterizes the progress and the effects of digitization gained with it. Marketing 4.0 focuses on digitization, especially from the perspective of the Internet, and thus also on the importance of social media. Marketing 4.0 serves the purpose of creating a good image, more than selling. Because the hypothesis is: If you are perceived positively as a company and customers have built up trust, then this can have a positive effect on the sales process and bind more customers in the long term. For this reason, content marketing is also becoming increasingly important. Content should offer added value and thus turns its back on pure sales orientation.  Marketing 4.0 also has the effect of enabling online-offline integration, in which a customer can learn more about a product that can be viewed in stationary retail. 

Personalization is also very important in Marketing 4.0, because content with added value cannot be generated for masses, but only for communities or smaller groups. 

Marketing 5.0 New Technologies 

Marketing will always continue to evolve, because there are external influencing factors such as technological developments or market developments that also affect marketing. Therefore, in addition to Marketing 4.0, there are already initial indications that it will develop into Marketing 5.0 in the coming years. There are already initial publications and papers on this, which describe Marketing 5.0 as an application of technologies designed to mimic humans in order to create and communicate added value for customers. 5.0 is a combination of Marketing 3.0 and 4.0: a value-based, human orientation meets a 4.0 technological orientation.

In marketing 5.0, new technologies such as artificial intelligence, sensor technology, mixed reality, Internet-of-Things (IoT) blockchain will play a crucial role for marketing.

This new orientation will also create a new form of customer experience - if you want to get to grips with this, you can take a look at our article on the customer journey. 


Even after Marketing 5.0, there will be further development steps and marketing will always evolve with societies and the economy. Just as external influencing factors change, so do people, circumstances and opportunities. Marketing is continuously adapting to these in order to be able to address customers in a targeted manner tomorrow as well. 

In our blog you will find further exciting content - prepared in a bite-sized format. Feel free to take a look. 

Do you have an exciting project?

Philip Vögele Emoji

Feel free to contact us,
we look forward to exchanging ideas with you.

More Posts

  1. | Marketing

    Leaving the comfort zone, improving learning effects, winning customers, testing applicants' qualifications - all this is made pos..

  2. | Marketing

    Just put your feet up and let your target group do the marketing? Is that possible? Of course, it's not quite that simple, but the..

  3. | Marketing

    Drawing attention to one's own products and services, winning new customers or winning customers at all, retaining customers, incr..