Digital marketing: past, present, future
The terminology “digital marketing” was invented back in the 80s and 90s. From its formation, digital marketing stood for all forms of marketing and promotions of services and products on the web or over electronic media.
The emergence and growth of the internet, including the web (1.0) platform development, became a significant boost to what was becoming ‘a digital age’ at the time. The platform helped users find whatever information they sought; however, this information cannot be shared on the internet. There were some uncertainties about digital platforms at the time, as the marketers were not sure of how the platforms work and if their techniques were effective because there was no widespread deployment at the time.
We have experienced a drastic change in the digital marketing space in recent years. In the past, organizations hold a yearly planning meeting in which they create and decide what marketing strategy the firm employs and the budget that is sufficient for their marketing. It is a different ball game today. Nowadays, digital marketers have to adjust their course continually and modify their plans based on new media, customer insights, emerging technologies, platforms, etc.
Unfortunately, marketers have found it incredibly difficult to keep up with the pace of the ever-changing digital marketplace, given some outdated technology, lack of skills and resources. While marketing technology is one of the probable solutions, it feels like it needs a lot of advancement to support agile marketing.
The rise of the web
Google was created in 1998 and is the most used search engine to date. So it takes up an important position when discussing digital marketing campaigns and how to optimize search marketing.
Since the start of the 2000s, there have been changes in customer behaviors because people started searching about products online using Google and other search engines before they decide to buy the product or not. This was a new behavior at the time, and it puzzled marketers because they could not comprehend this new purchasing behavior that consumers were displaying.
It didn’t take long before social media platforms started to pop up one after the other. The first of such was Myspace, with Facebook being the second one. The good thing is that it didn’t take long for companies to realize that these new platforms popping up offered them a new opportunity to reach out to customers to market their products and brand as a whole.
This gave them a new territory to do business and became the genesis of a new chapter in digital marketing for businesses. They also needed to find new ways to promote their brand and use the different social media platforms maximally and efficiently as they had new resources. This led to what we now know as Social Media Marketing, a new Digital Marketing branch. This gave a birth to a number of branding agencies.
Then cookies became a thing too, and this was another milestone in the field of Digital Marketing. According to Mark W. Henry, digital marketer and author at buy essay online platform, marketers were looking for different means to take advantage of this new technology. A new method for them was to track down the utilization patterns and browsing habits of internet users. This will help them give out marketing and promotions collateral based on the user’s preferences and tastes.
Rapid changes from the recent past
The adoption rate for new media was relatively slow before, but not anymore. In 1947, when the TV was introduced, it had a relatively slow adoption (based on penetration percentage in the population) which peaked after 50 years. When this was compared to the internet adoption, which was introduced early in the 90s, it took only half of the years that TV took to reach a higher penetration level. While it is not clear yet how the adoption of mobile internet is going or where it will end ultimately, some stats show that it has an exponentially higher penetration rate than all of its predecessors.
The rise of viral marketing is another marketing form in digital marketing which has now taken over content distribution and has already raised its level. It is an earned media – doesn’t require marketers to look for the audience but earn their interest instead – with an unprecedented rate of audience capture.
A significant example of this is the Gangnam-style YouTube video released in July 2012 and amassed 1.9 billion views within the first eight months. This shows how powerful the earned media is and the rate that viral content distribution can get.
Over 90 percent of the data we have on the internet was created within the last few years. The exponential growth in audience capture comes as mobile devices were introduced and as they become commonplace. This has led to an increase in the volume of information that we have available about the online behavior of humans. No one from the past could have predicted that data would increase in this way.
Digital Marketing Now.
There is currently a lot of hype around multichannel management and big data. It is also common for marketing teams to say that today’s computing and software platforms don’t have true capabilities for integration and fall short in the provision of real-time data access. Cross-channel management that integrates different solutions optimizing web, social, email, and mobile is not as much a reality as it is a hype.
Many of the existing systems, like email systems, website analytics, and management, etc., were built to optimize single channels and were built for a relatively smaller volume of data. Also, most of these systems were not developed to have the flexibility to integrate processes and data with other systems. For instance, data exchange between the marketing team and other databases requires hardcore APIs to complete. These are easily broken, don’t allow actual real-time exchange, and are expensive to build.
Also, the interface for marketing applications was primarily designed for content design and not for big data analytics, as you have in business intelligence software. The “drag and drop” feature works best for creative manipulation with content. If you need to combine conditional rules, algorithm building, and other elements drive-by data into the design, how will the interface look?
Ashley Williams, a content writer on the do my assignment platform, claims that the applications that we currently have in existence aren’t created to and can’t combine these two activities. You shouldn’t wonder why many marketers say the tool is clunky.
Big data continues to be a significant part of digital marketing now, and as we head into the future, it will only play more roles and become more critical. There’s now a lot of momentum around data-driven marketing, such that different organizations are currently rising with a specialty in maximizing the use of big data technologies.
The mobile phone is also a big part of digital marketing and continues to be so. If there were no tablets or smartphones, it is impossible to think of where we would have been. These gadgets continue to grow in the market, and the importance also continues to rise.
Mobile devices are currently the preferred means to access the internet, as opposed to PCs. People now spend more time on their mobile phones than ever, and you can be sure that the bulk of that time is spent on the internet. So, the internet is right on our palms and in our pockets. It’s interesting to see where it all goes from here.
Due to factors such as these, digital marketers have their work cut out to ensure that they scale up their endeavors in digital marketing. This is because consumers these days want smoother and better experiences every time they use a channel or a device. So, to meet up these expectations that the consumers have of them, marketers must opt for the use of multichannel technologies. This will help them give the customers the omnichannel experience that they look forward to. Hence, we have multichannel technologies on the rise in the digital marketing space.
Heading into the future
We have mentioned that mobile devices, multichannel marketing technology, and big data will play a significant role in the future of digital marketing. One other noticeable thing is that the market is demanding cloud-based marketing solutions. So, it is only a matter of time before we see this manifest. While there are many questions to ask, here are a few predictions for digital marketing in the future.
- Newer systems will have their foundation on the old platforms as system integration and big data processing challenges become even harder to accomplish.
- There will be new tools combining content creation manipulation and data visualization for digital marketers.
Digital marketing remains the most effective form of marketing. It had continued to grow from when it was first introduced and will only get bigger and better.
Do you think otherwise? What are your thoughts on the future of digital marketing?