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A history of content marketing

A history of content marketing Contemporary practitioners of content marketing (CM) often suggest their discipline is an ancient one, yet mainly limit its origins to the custom-published magazines of the late 1800s. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize some of the many definitions of CM and to report the first scholarly history of its development and practice.Design/methodology/approachThis study’s purposes led to the following research questions: To what extent were CM strategies and tactics used before the 20th century? How have the uses and characteristics of CM changed or remained the same over time? Sources included general histories focusing on the earliest uses of advertising and promotions and edited book chapters and journal articles on the histories of branding and early print advertising, marketing and advertising practices in ancient and medieval periods and the development of consumer cultures around the world.FindingsResearch findings support three conclusions: CM existed much earlier than often acknowledged; has emerged as a unique marketing discipline, strategically and tactically distinguishable from the others (e.g. advertising and sales promotion); and possesses objectives, strategies and tactics that have remained remarkably consistent in practice across the millennia.Originality/valueThe research supports several insights to the history of marketing and the practice of CM. Some of the CM strategies and tactics identified in this paper, for instance, have previously been concluded to be part of advertising’s history. Findings also reveal that many of advertising’s American pioneers actually used CM to persuade 19th-century businessmen to adopt widespread advertising. In addition, the emphasis on interactive, digital media in CM definitions offers a likely explanation for the recent enthusiasm behind CM as a response to global trends in consumer preferences and global competition, as well as why contemporary CM practitioners have often failed to recognize they are practicing a “new” discipline that has actually been in use for thousands of years. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Historical Research in Marketing Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1755-750X
DOI
10.1108/jhrm-10-2020-0052
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary practitioners of content marketing (CM) often suggest their discipline is an ancient one, yet mainly limit its origins to the custom-published magazines of the late 1800s. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize some of the many definitions of CM and to report the first scholarly history of its development and practice.Design/methodology/approachThis study’s purposes led to the following research questions: To what extent were CM strategies and tactics used before the 20th century? How have the uses and characteristics of CM changed or remained the same over time? Sources included general histories focusing on the earliest uses of advertising and promotions and edited book chapters and journal articles on the histories of branding and early print advertising, marketing and advertising practices in ancient and medieval periods and the development of consumer cultures around the world.FindingsResearch findings support three conclusions: CM existed much earlier than often acknowledged; has emerged as a unique marketing discipline, strategically and tactically distinguishable from the others (e.g. advertising and sales promotion); and possesses objectives, strategies and tactics that have remained remarkably consistent in practice across the millennia.Originality/valueThe research supports several insights to the history of marketing and the practice of CM. Some of the CM strategies and tactics identified in this paper, for instance, have previously been concluded to be part of advertising’s history. Findings also reveal that many of advertising’s American pioneers actually used CM to persuade 19th-century businessmen to adopt widespread advertising. In addition, the emphasis on interactive, digital media in CM definitions offers a likely explanation for the recent enthusiasm behind CM as a response to global trends in consumer preferences and global competition, as well as why contemporary CM practitioners have often failed to recognize they are practicing a “new” discipline that has actually been in use for thousands of years.

Journal

Journal of Historical Research in MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 10, 2021

Keywords: Marketing history; Advertising history; Branding history; Brands; Content marketing

References