The Marketing Century

The CIM has a new book out to mark the centenary of the organisation which, according to the press release I've been sent, celebrates the role of the marketing industry's trade body by providing "a comprehensive source of marketing’s evolution over the past one hundred years."


The book appears to cover a wide range of themes; although I haven't seeing a copy so I can't overly explicit about what's in there. I have, however, had a quick look at the chapter on digital marketing written by fellow CIPR social media panel member, Phillip Sheldrake.

It looks good. It nicely weaves a readable narrative about the origins and trajectory of digital marketing from the early days thorugh to current challenges for marketers while all the time offering practical insights. It's a pretty comprehensive chapter too, covering email, mobile, search and analytics.

It concludes with a really interesting take on the potential directons for the future of marketing. What I like is the way the information is kept top-line enough to remain plausible but granular enough to be useful.

It's also highly refreshing to see the 'Internet of Things' being raised as a theme – bringing the classically transactional world of marketing in step with a networked-services vision of the future.

My only – and frankly unjustified complaint – is that the chapter (and likely book) doesn't critically engage with the implications of some of developments. It's unjustified becasue it's a CIM textbook so unlikely to provide a deep critique of marketing and also because Phillip does reference the backlash against BT and Phorm in the section on digital data.

I'm also unconvinced of the book's bold claim it's able to predict the next 100 years of marketing – but maybe that's part of the marketing plan 🙂