Today, let’s talk about the history of marketing in Nigeria. How did it develop over the years? We will talk about marketing since the pre-colonial age and all the way until today. Find out more about this from our article.
What is marketing?
Before we jump into the history of marketing, let’s quickly define what marketing actually is. According to its short definition, it is the management and study of exchange relationships. It is used in order to create, keep and satisfy customers. Consumer is actually the main focus of marketing, as everything revolves around them and their needs.
Even though the concept itself emerged in the 1950s, what we know today as marketing has existed since the first exchange of goods and services. So let’s look closer at history of marketing over the years with a special focus on Nigeria.
Brief history of marketing in Nigeria
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The whole history of marketing in the country can be divided into three main eras: the pre-colonial era, colonial era and the post-independence era.
The pre-colonial era, which lasted from the dawn of time until 1860, can be called the age of simple trade. What was available was mostly harvested by hand and had a very limited supply. Economic activity was focused around trade in resources and exploration.
The main form of money was usually cowries, although other forms were also available. Apart from regular trade, there was also barter, which was actually more prominent in the era. Exchange of goods for other goods prevailed over exchange of goods for money.
During colonial era (1860-1960), production era came to replace the simple trade era. Thanks to the emergence of mass production, product option availability in the market place has significantly increased. Several regions specialised in mass production of certain products, such as groundnut, palm oil and cocoa.
Consumer demand became more saturated. Businesses had strong competition, so they could not just easily sell their products to consumers. In order to do that, they had to work harder, and think of ways of making their products more attractive to the consumers if they wanted to win against the competition.
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With the arrival of the post-independence era after 1960, companies realised that they could no longer use the old marketing models to sell their products. During this era, businesses decided to consolidate their marketing-related activities, including public relations, sales promotion and advertising, and create a single department. They finally realised that marketing was the thing that kept business alive.
In the post-independence days, businesses came to terms with the idea that they should be doing their best to cater to their consumers, as consumers’ needs were the most important thing when it came to selling products. Marketing was no longer compartmentalised, it actually became the goal of business. This was the time when the customer became the king, and all employees became involved in the marketing effort, directly or indirectly.
Over the years, Nigeria also saw the arrival of the relationship marketing. Its main idea is that the relationship with a customer is very important. A mutually beneficial long-term relationship built on trust is at the core of relationship marketing.
Alongside the aforementioned relationship marketing exists another era of marketing. The development of technologies resulted in the emergence of mobile/social marketing era. It focuses on social exchanges and connections between consumer and a business in real time. During this era, this connection is active pretty much 24/7, where the businesses can connect to potential and existing consumers at any time they want and vice versa.
As the post-independence era does not yet have an end date, it can be said that Nigeria is currently living in the age of mobile/social and relationship marketing. Customers are still considered kings and all efforts go to satisfy their needs. And with the help of technology, businesses and consumers can stay in touch and build their relationship 24/7.
And that was a quick look on the history of marketing in Nigeria. What do you think is waiting for us in the future in terms of marketing? Let us know in the comments.