History and Evolution of Digital Marketing

The History and Evolution of Digital Marketing – You Must Know!

I know you’re all hungry for the complete history and evolution of digital marketing. Have you ever wondered how digital marketing worked before the internet was popular? Who invented digital marketing, and when did it happen? In this article, we'll walk through the entire history and evolution of digital marketing.

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In today’s article, we will learn the truth about the History And Evolution Of Digital Marketing in the next 180 seconds.

In today’s time, it gets very difficult to fathom a universe without the Internet. And since the inception of the Internet, various things like marketing, interconnection, and communication have eased and have now become very easy. The world would struggle tremendously if the Internet stopped for a day! Phew, that’s true!

Nowadays, due to the benefits that the internet and digital marketing offer, companies are now focused on gaining and retaining clients by developing a relevant and effective digital marketing strategy rather than focusing on the traditional and old ways. Marketing departments are working hard enough to stand apart from their rivals and adapt to all the technological changes and advancements.

In this article, we will get to know about the History and Evolution of Digital Marketing! Keep reading to know about it in detailed.

Marketing departments and digital marketers have been staying up in the game of technological advancements for the past three decades. Salespeople and marketers now understand and accept that the advent of the Internet came with its own pros and cons. It made it easier to market goods and services and provide customer satisfaction and customer support. On the other hand,  it also created a cut-throat competitive market for newly established businesses to survive.

It is not only salespeople or digital marketers we are talking about here. On a daily basis, a huge number of people (over 4.5 billion) also use digital materials and content. With the digital sector advancing year by year, it is expected that traditional marketing platforms will soon be phased out, and everything is soon going to be digital. Furthermore, digital advertising and marketing, in comparison to traditional marketing, is far less expensive. 

Let us understand more about digital marketing and its benefits before learning the history and evolution of digital marketing!

Let’s go!

What Is Digital Marketing?

The term “digital marketing” refers to the practice of advertising products and services through digital channels in order to reach a larger and more targeted audience in the digital market. Using search engines, social media, websites, mobile devices, and other digital channels to promote your business in the digital market is always a good idea.

Companies used to market their products through newspapers, television, and radio. These options, however, are still accessible and are used by a number of retailers and business owners today. Changes in how businesses connect with their consumers have resulted in the advent of the Internet. However, this is where digital marketing comes into play. This sort of marketing is exemplified by websites, social media, search engines, apps, and many more.

8 Benefits of Digital Marketing in Upcoming Years

Let’s see what are the benefits of digital marketing in the upcoming years;

Benefits of Digital Marketing

1. Provides Variety

The Internet is a global ecosystem of networked devices that incorporates smartphones, tablets, and a variety of communication technologies. Individuals can use these to help them communicate with others on the Internet. Day by day, the technologies are seeing changes and advancements. Digital marketing plays a significant role in assisting firms in embracing change. It creates an access window via which the audience may be reached.

2. Simple to Share

Several digital marketing platforms emphasize sharing capabilities, which allow material and articles to be sent to a large number of people.   After the advent of the Internet, many businesses have started advertising and promoting on digital channels, at the very same time, a lot of customers and shoppers prefer buying online rather than walking down to the shops. It helps to create a multiplier effect and can significantly boost transaction outcomes and conversions.

3. Conversion Rate Increases

People are more receptive to the company’s product/services as a result of such personalization and customization. Digital marketing has reached the entire globe, accessing people from a variety of countries and with their own preferences and needs. It generates a lot of leads and converts them well.

4. Easily Measurable

Because digital marketing produces real-time outcomes, it results in high-end brand publicity. Digital marketing assists digital marketers and brand owners in understanding more about their sales and engagement rates. With digital marketing, more sales are generated, and the financial landscape of the organization as a whole improves.

5. High Engagement Rate

Digital marketing includes analytical tools such as Google Analytics and Google Planner, which offer information on the Ad campaign. Any issue can be fixed on the spot, and modifications may be implemented quickly. One may track the campaign’s inbound traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate, impressions and a lot more.

6. Larger Audience

Due to its increased global presence in today’s times, digital marketing operates as a global village. In a short period of time, you may reach millions of individuals. Traditional marketing allows you to target a certain location, city, or nation at a time, but digital marketing does not have this limitation.

7. Visibility & Growth of the Brand

In constructing a brand image, the statistics of digital marketing vs. conventional marketing vary. Traditional marketing focuses on simple methods of promoting a brand that may or may not be effective. Digital marketing strategies such as SEO, PPC, and SMM, on the other hand, guarantee returns and have the ability to convert the company into a household name.

8. Low Cost

Traditional marketing methods such as newspapers, billboards, and television commercials are extremely expensive and time-consuming. Such costs are reduced and are no longer exorbitant with digital marketing. As a result, doling out millions for marketing and advertising is no problem with digital marketing. Through digital marketing, one may generate maximum interest with minimal cost.

Now that we have understood what digital marketing with its several benefits is, let us now dive into the history and evolution of digital marketing.

The History and Evolution of Digital Marketing

The phrase “digital marketing” was coined and first used in 1990. During the era, the Web 1.0 platform was built, which assisted users in finding the information they needed. However, they were unable to communicate this knowledge over the Internet. 

Source: simplilearn.com

These times, marketers and experts are oblivious to the benefits of digital marketing. They had no idea whether or not their techniques would succeed because the Internet had not yet gained widespread use.

From 1990 to 2000 – 

  • The first clickable web-ad banner went online in 1993. HotWired bought a few banner advertisements for marketing and advertising at the time. This was the start of the era of digital marketing. Several new technologies (the first internet-based e-commerce transaction) were developed and introduced to the market with a new goal. This year also saw the founding of Yahoo. It garnered 1 million hits within a year of its inception. Yahoo has altered the concept of digital marketing, and businesses have attempted to optimize their websites in order to improve their search engine rankings.
  • More search engines and tools, such as HotBot, LookSmart, and Alexa, were introduced in 1996. Sixdegrees.com was the first social networking site to be founded in 1997.
  • The year 1998 was a watershed moment for digital marketing since it was the year Google was created. In addition, Microsoft introduced MSN and Yahoo released Yahoo online search this year.

From 2000 to 2010 – 

  • The internet bubble burst two years later (in 2000), wiping out all of the smaller search engines. This frees up additional room and opportunity for the industry’s behemoths.
  • In 2002, LinkedIn, a professional social media network, was created. WordPress was released in 2003, while MySpace was launched the following year. Gmail was established in 2004. Facebook and Google both went public in the same year. After that, in 2005, YouTube was founded.
  • Another notable year was 2006, when search engine traffic was claimed to have increased by 6.4 billion in a single month. Microsoft debuted an MS live search this year, and Twitter was established at the same time. Simultaneously, Amazon’s e-commerce revenues have surpassed $10 billion.
  • Tumblr was founded in 2007. In addition, Hulu, an online streaming service, was created in this year. In the same year, Apple released the iPhone. In the year 2008, Spotify and Groupon were both launched.
  • Google Instant was introduced in 2009 to provide real-time search engine results. AdWords, which are three-line ads that appear at the top or to the right of search engine results, and AdSense, a cost-per-click advertising program, were first developed by Google. With time, Google began to target advertising based on client interests, and as a result, it became a major participant in the digital business sector.

From 2010 till now – 

  • Whatsapp and Google Buzz were both released in 2010. Google+ and Google Panda were introduced in 2011. People have already begun to devote time to various mediums, and their viewership has overtaken that of television.
  • The year 2012 will be remembered as the year of social media. The corporations’ social media budgets have been boosted by 64%, and Google Knowledge Graph has been established. The most widely used social networking platforms are Myspace and Facebook. Companies knew that these sites would help them extend their enterprises over the Internet, therefore, they were frantically attempting to advertise their products and brands on various social media platforms. They’ve also attempted to use social media to promote their enterprises.
  • Tumblr was purchased by Yahoo in 2013.
  • In 2014, the number of mobile and smartphone users outnumbered PC users for the first time. The Facebook Messenger app, as well as LinkedIn and iWatch targeted adverts, were released. Facebook bought Whatsapp earlier this year.
  • Snapchat released its Discover feature in 2015. Several new technologies, such as analytics, wearable technology, and content marketing, were also created this year. 
  • Another key milestone in the world of digital marketing was the cookie. The first cookie was created to keep track of user preferences. The cookie’s purpose has evolved over time, and today’s cookies are coded to provide advertisers with a number of ways to gather literal user data.
  • Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and other popular social networking sites in 2017 include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit. Facebook has 2.01 billion active users.

Now, let us take a look at a few digital marketing statistics which shows the profound growth digital marketing has seen after its evolution.

Digital Marketing Statistics [2022]

  • At least once a month, 85.4 percent of internet users look for information online.
  • On average, Google handles around 40,000 search inquiries each second. Every day, that’s nearly 3.5 billion searches!
  • Google controls a little more than 92 percent of the worldwide search engine market. Bing (2.75 per cent) and Baidu (2.75 per cent) are the next two most popular worldwide search engines (1.9 per cent).
  • Mobile devices account for more than 60 per cent of all Google searches.
  • 92.3 per cent of smartphone users use their devices to do online searches.
  • According to research, mobile devices accounted for 70 per cent of sponsored search impressions and clicks in the United States.
  • 70 per cent of smartphone owners use their devices to conduct more research before making a purchase in a shop.
  • Amazon is the starting point for 49 per cent of product searches, whereas Google is the starting point for 36 per cent.
  • Google Shopping advertisements account for 76 per cent of all retail search ad expenditure and 85.3 percent of all clicks, according to data from Google.
  • If they can check inventory online, internet customers are 80 percent more inclined to visit a brick-and-mortar business.
  • Within a week, 88 percent of mobile users who use Google Maps to find a retailer visit a linked store – and 76 per cent visit within a week.
  • According to 86 percent of B2C marketers, content marketing is an important part of their strategy.
  • A content strategy isn’t documented in 63 percent of firms.
  • Content marketing, according to 72 per cent of marketers, enhances engagement and leads.
  • One of the top five content channels, according to 70 per cent of firms, is blog material.
  • Thought leadership blog entries appear in 41 percent of nurturing efforts.
  • At least once a month, 82.8 percent of internet users watch digital videos.
  • In nurturing programs, 31 percent of marketers employ video messaging.
  • Experts predict that by 2022, over 1 million videos will have been posted to the Internet.
  • At least once a month, 71.1 per cent of internet users listen to digital audio material.
  • In 48 per cent of nurturing marketing, webinars are employed.
  • At least once a month, 90.9 per cent of all internet users send an email.
  • When compared to Facebook and Twitter, emails have a 50 to 100 times greater click-through rate.
  • Emails reach 85 per cent of those who get them, with a 22.86 per cent open rate and a 3.71 per cent click-through rate.
  • With 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform.
  • Users of TikTok engage 15 per cent more frequently than users of other social media sites.
  • In 2022, TikTok is predicted to have 1.5 billion users.
  • Social media is used in 50 per cent of nurturing marketing.
  • Facebook is used by 97 per cent of businesses for content marketing.
  • 75 per cent of B2B buyers and 84 per cent of C-suite executives believe social media influences their purchase decisions.
  • In 2021, over 3.6 billion individuals utilized social media globally, with that figure expected to rise to about 4.41 billion by 2025.


Considering the above-given statistic, digital marketing has grown profoundly and will keep growing more and more, year after year. We hope you benefited from the above comprehensive article on the history and evolution of digital marketing! Do comment your thoughts below.

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Digital Scholar

Digital Scholar is a premier agency-styled digital marketing institute in India. Which offers an online digital marketing course and a free digital marketing course worldwide to elevate their digital skills and become industry experts. Digital Scholar is headed by Sorav Jain and co-founder Rishi Jain, who are pioneers in the field of digital marketing. Digital Scholar’s blogs touch upon numerous aspects of digital marketing and help you get intensive ideas of different domains of digital marketing.

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