Why the Next Five Years of Digital Marketing Will Crush the Last Five
Digital marketing is an industry that is at the bleeding edge of change. Companies of all sizes, industries and geographic locations are impacted by the tactics and techniques introduced by digital marketers.
As we move forward into an increasingly technology driven world the impact of digital, mobile and social will only increase.
Marketing and advertising have always been influential but digital tools have accelerated their impact. Entire industries and economies have been disrupted by the effective use of mobile devices and technology.
Compared to traditional media, digital platforms offer more advanced and cost-effective methods to target audiences. This leads to a better return on investment and improved ROI is always sexy to business people.
Inbound and Permission Marketing
Five years ago marketers were just beginning to implement "inbound marketing" strategies. The idea that you offer your audience useful and relevant information and in exchange they are attracted to your site. They can also opt-in to your mailing list. This builds the brand and also increases lead generation.
The research at Hubspot showed that leads acquired through inbound marketing tactics can be 62% less expensive than traditional approaches like direct mail, telemarketing or print advertising.
This "permission marketing" makes sense when you think of how consumers have used technology to stop or reduce unwanted interruptions. The popularity of Caller ID, TiVo, spam filters, ad blockers, "Do Not Call" registrations and financial penalties for abusive marketers have forced the industry to adapt.
Of course shady and deceptive marketing tactics will never completely die. But they're also never a good model for building a successful business.
The marketing tactics of the past five years are going to pale in comparison to the upcoming five as digital marketing continues to evolve.
Global Consumer Marketplace Expands
Millions of new consumers are being groomed to come into the global marketplace. Expect new markets to expand across Africa, China, Bangladesh, Caribbean and even under-served areas of North America.
Fueled by the explosive growth of smart phones, wearable tech, virtual reality, mobile apps and mcommerce digital marketing will reach new heights.
In the U.S. digital’s growth is also being powered by the flow of ad dollars away from traditional media, particularly television. The research firm SMI estimates $1.1 billion of national TV ad dollars, $400 million in local TV and syndication spending, $350 million of print ad dollars and $150 million of radio spending flowed to the digital bucket -- from October to June of last year, compared with the same period just one year earlier.
Implications for Consumers and Business
Of course this raises the antennae of that core group of dirty marketers who are excellent at screwing things up for everybody. In the digital world we have "white hat" and "black hat" SEO practices. On social media you can buy likes, followers, and fans without going through the trouble of building a relationship. In mobile you can buy phone numbers for bulk SMS marketing and send text messages to people who never gave you permission.
As consumers you'll have to be even more vigilant against phishing scams, identity theft and just plain old social engineering hacks. The motivation is too great and the money is too large to keep everybody marketing on an honest and level playing field.
For B2B digital marketers the responsibility will be higher. Increased access to information through big data, retargeting campaigns and analytics mean great power but also great risk. The stories of abuse travel faster in the digital space and the market can be unforgiving.
If only Don Draper could see us now.