This paper initially examines three lines of argument on the emergence of the marketing construct: the works of Hotchkiss and of Bartels and the textual monographs that proliferated during the second half of the last century. Each puts forward a different commencement date for marketing and different subsequent periodisations. The paper then considers observations on the marketing construct from postmodernists, critical theorists, anthropologists and historians. These accounts do not share a common definition of the term 'marketing'. Scholarship both within and beyond the marketing domain may be providing deeper and more relevant insights into its origins.