There are six common periods defining the major stages in marketing:
This was generally during prehistory, where explorers conquered new lands and traded goods with inhabitants of these new lands. China's Silk Road is a popular example, as well the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade during the Spanish empire.
Roughly during the Industrial Revolution, this is the view where business focused on manufacturing, and the latter became more industrialised. You see, it's during this time when, for instance, the Ford Model T was built on an assembly line instead of manually hand-crafting each unit. Business focused on production, manufacturing, and efficiency, and is encapsulated by Say's Law stating that manufacturing a product creates demand for another product.
This was during the onset of the Great Depression and the end of World War II. Business started competing against each other as they could no longer sell mass-produced goods as easily as they had done before. Marketing and sales as we know started, and heavy public advertising were commonplace everywhere.
As economies recovered after the war, markets became more saturated which prompted business to become more strategic. They invested on getting to know more of customer needs, crafting pricing strategies, and generally tuning marketing efforts according to their preferred customers. Business also realised that in order to profit, they must satisfy customers long term.
Societal marketing orientation
This was the time when business became more aware of their social responsibility rather than simply providing customer needs. Business also started to realise the value of society's overall well-being. Corporate social responsibility and ethical considerations were put into practice. Businesses became more environmentally-concerned.
In this era, marketing became a long-term relationship benefitting both business and customer. It also spurred the creation of customer relationship management (CRM), and business emphasized customer retention over mere sales transactions. This also ushered in the growth of technology, opening more collaborative and social channels to help businesses manage customer relationships.