When Digital Marketing Started in India

  • By: mvadmin
  • Date: February 13, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

India’s digital market is a relatively recent development, compared to North America. When digital marketing started in India is probably around 1990.

Digital marketing, also known as Internet marketing, started in the 1990s with the birth of the commercial internet. With the move away from traditional media (newspapers, regular TV and radio) to online platforms, marketing companies had to adapt to reach an audience.

Along with the shift from traditional media sources, the 1990s saw the growth of online shopping with sites like Amazon, and eBay, as well as reliable payment systems like PayPal all having their starts in the 1990s. Today, of course, they’ve been joined by tradition stores like Walmart and brands like Nike, as well as new entrants like Flipkart and Alibaba.

Digital marketing incorporates a diverse field of marketing including search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, web design, email marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing and others.

When did digital marketing start in India?

In India, the 1996 launch of IndiaMART can be considered the start of e-commerce and digital marketing in India, followed by Flipkart in 2007.

When was digital marketing introduced?

Online shopping has a surprisingly long history, going back in Europe as far as 1979 with Michael Aldrich’s work on videotex (a computer network that was accessible over regular TVs. )

However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the marketing industry began to separate traditional marketing from internet marketing. By this time, marketers realized that internet users were increasingly using search engines to find information online. For targeting search engines, new skills were needed to make websites easier. From this, the term “search engine” marketing was born. With search engines now the primary way internet users find things online, the market has only grown.

Along with the growth of search engine marketing, social media channels have grown too. While the first social networks like Friendster and MySpace were not designed as ad platforms, the dominant social media platforms today (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter) incorporate some method of advertising content).

Who is the founder of digital marketing?

It’s hard to say who came up with the concept first. Michael Aldrich, in the UK, is believed to have invented the first online store. In the US, several online stores existed before Amazon, but Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is probably the most recognizable face of online shopping today. In China’s Jack Ma’s Alibaba and would undoubtedly be a contender.

The term itself was first coined in 1990.

Is Digital Marketing in demand in India?

India is a growth market for all kinds of businesses. The digital marketing industry is no exception.

According to reports in 2018 there where over 500 million internet users in India and that number continues to grow each year. Digital marketing the growing at a rate of 25-30% annually. Social media channels like Facebook and WhatsApp are popular.

One report by the International Journal of Advanced Research Foundation from 2017 suggests that

  • The Indian e-Commerce industry is growing at an astounding rate. It is expected to account for 1.61% of the global GDP by 2018.
  • India is set to become the fastest-growing market in the Asia-Pacific region, with an expected growth rate of over 57% between 2012 and 2016.
  • A large percentage of population subscribed to broadband internet, rapidly increasing 3G internet users and a recent introduction of 4G across the country.

According to the IJARF report, the top kinds of online marketing are:

  • Social media marketing
  • Search marketing
  • Website development
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Webcasts
  • SMS marketing

Along with the growth in users, the Indian Government promotes Digital India, a program launched in 2015 by the Government of India to ensure government services are available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity.


India is a vast market, and digital marketing is growing at a rate of 25-30% each year. In social media, India is also the world’s most significant users of Facebook. With the Digital India program, more and more citizens are going online, so the online population continues to grow.


Image by KiraHundeDog from Pixabay