In 1968, Mr Pierre Viljoen, a former student at the University of Pretoria, identified the need for focused marketing training at the University. After discussing this with Prof Hennie Reynders (then Head of Business Economics), a motivated submission was made to the Senate. On 20 June 1969 the Council approved the proposal on the condition that the University would not support the training financially. Acting like true marketers, Prof Reynders and Mr Viljoen raised the necessary funds, which was met with a Rand-for-Rand contribution by the University.
The formal outcome of the qualification was a Diploma in Marketing, which started in 1970. In 1971 the first BCom Marketing degree was presented in the Department of Business Economics and became the first of its kind in South Africa. The chair of Marketing Management in the Department of Business Economics also took effect on 28 May 1971 and Prof Sieg Marx was the first incumbent of this post.
It was an historic occasion when the first BCom Marketing degrees were awarded to 23 students during the March graduation ceremony of 1973.
Twenty years later another proposal was submitted to the University to establish an independent Department of Marketing and Communication Management, incorporating the new BCom (Communication Management) degree together with the current BCom (Marketing Management) degree. In 1995 Prof Gustav Puth was appointed as the Head of the new Department of Marketing and Communication Management, which became one of the largest in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences with 4 062 undergraduate and 1 282 postgraduate enrolments.
Another 20 years later history was made yet again when the University approved the establishment of an independent Department of Marketing Management (after incorporating Communication Management into the Department of Business Management). Prof Yolanda Jordaan was appointed as the new Head of the Department of Marketing Management on 1 January 2013. More recently, the Department implemented a one-year Masters degree and a Coursework PhD. On 1 January 2018, the Tourism Management Division was incorporated into the Department of Marketing Management.