Over the last three decades, marketing has had to catch up and fight the tech leap and then its relationship to technology. While the era of sales witnessed the invention of the telephone, it quickly grew with the era of television and the marketing era. The industry development during the Marketing era is arguably the biggest change in marketing history. That is, it is the first commercially available personal computer.
But what do these advances mean for the future of marketing? According to the new Digital Technology Report, many marketing professionals are uncertain about their future and foresee that digital marketing will be important to organizations in 2 years time. Nonetheless, when marketers ask about their role 30 years from now, 68% in the US and 61% in the UK believe that their current digital role is certain or still exists in its present form.
Without a crystal ball, we are unable to see the future, but in order to look ahead, we must look back first. Here we look at the three major technological advances that have changed the way we look at marketing: the Internet, big data, and smartphones, and predict how they will set the stage in time to come.
The emergence of the Internet
The mass adoption of the Internet in everyday life is the single largest marketing impact in the last three decades. Early desktop publishing software on the first PCs of the 1980s caused a surge in print marketing, but computers were nothing more than complimented typewriters. The World Wide Web project, organized by Tim Berners-Lee and his team in 1991, didn’t really go on track until the release of Netscape, the first successful mass market browser, in 1994. In the next two years, the number of people using the web grew from 16 million to 70 million users, and the situation shifted from email to Yahoo! It has evolved into the same search engine. (1994) and Google (1997), Amazon (1994) and e-commerce sites such as eBay (1995).
It was a gold mine for marketers. Email has joined the traditional arms of TV, radio, print advertising, and phone sales, becoming a new outbound marketing tool. Search engines have cataloged the new Web site they’re creating and made it possible for users to find the information, products, and services they need from the comfort of their home.
Digital marketers generated high rankings using early SEO techniques, such as keyword cows and excessive tag backlinks. One of the successful companies of the time, known for their aggressive marketing tactics, was Razerfish, one of the largest interactive media agencies today, was an early SEO major, and was also a pioneer in the “server push” possibilities of the Netscape browser.
This online activity was all digitally stored. According to a 2000 study, digital information is the fastest growing kind of unique information, and most text-based information is “born digitally.” This information is also known as big data.
With the rising emergence of big data, it was already replacing its physical counterparts on paper, film, optics (DVD and CD), etc. With new discoveries in data recording and storage technologies, big data became a new and unmatched resource for marketing departments
After the initial hype of the Internet In 2001, the dot-com bubble burst and marketing strategy worldwide changed. Next, the focus was shifted to information sharing, inbound marketing through user-centered design and collaboration. With the introduction of social media sites LinkedIn (2002), Myspace (2003), Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2007), Internet users have begun to share more personal data online, making these features easier to achieve.
Big data makes it possible to track patterns and trends in human behavior, and from marketing, its role will grow. Database marketing has gained enough momentum for many companies that specialize in leveraging this technology, such as Domo, Oracle, and Optimove.
For example, Optimove uses the power of predictive analytics to specialize in digital precision marketing. It uses that marketing cloud big data to acquire the emotional intelligence needed to connect more effectively and always with customers. So marketers can come up with better strategies to strengthen relationships with customers.
Where would you be without a smartphone or tablet? These new devices have exploded over the past decade and the marketing department is still catching up. Smartphones today are overtaking personal computers as the primary digital device for getting online for the daily amount of time spent by US adults mobile media, rising to 46 minutes in 2011 and 258 minutes in 2017.
Mobile phones in the 1970s and early 1980s were made primarily for automobiles in order to evolve into smart devices as they are today, but in the late 1990s and early 2000s, portable computer attempts were made. It didn’t really succeed. The first truly modern smartphone, produced in Blackberry in 2003, supported email, text messaging, phone and web browsing, but was primarily used by business professionals. In 2007, smartphones entered the mass market with the groundbreaking announcement of the iPhone.
Today, the proportion of 4G users, who had 76% smartphone ownership in the UK, is growing exponentially, with a quarter of smartphone owners not making traditional voice calls. The
world has moved online and into our pockets. Where to go from here? Transparency, the future of personal agile marketing.
Information is everywhere. According to Mark Matthews, Unilever’s senior vice president of marketing, marketing was once about making myths and selling them, but now it’s about finding and sharing the truth.
Customers can easily compare reviews with competitors and uncover myths along the way, becoming smarter and researching products in seconds. For sales reps, this shift proves that 70% of a buyer’s journey is completed before a buyer tries to reach a sale. SEO improvements have become a thing of the past behind keyword abuse and spam, paving the way for new marketing styles with real value and great content.
Looking at customer perceptions of brands, the need for transparency is clear. While 19% of all social media consumers can easily tell the difference between marketing communications, advertising, branded content and non-commercial content on social media, 30% have little or no trust in what they see on Facebook. In an era where customers take the lead, marketers must engage consumers in ongoing conversations to create genuine relationships and brand loyalty.
Shares are everything. This is a big part of the new Internet landscape, and the next generation of digital natives are changing how information is presented and shared. Gen Z, the first true mobile first generation, places a great deal of emphasis on personal relevance. Compared to Gen Z, which uses five smartphones, TVs, laptops, desktops, iPods / iPads, etc., their habits have evolved compared to the current average of three screens.
Individuals can achieve this using big data and user-generated content. Big data can be used to provide a personalized experience, but user creation and content empowers our customers. This form of content marketing provides marketers with endless creative input while forming a bond between the brand and the consumer. The millennial generation is particularly impacted by user-generated content campaigns, with 84% reporting that they have at least some impact on purchasing user-generated content on their corporate websites.
A successful example of the user-generated campaign is GoPro’s Photo of the Day social media campaign. The campaign showcases customers’ photos daily on GoPro social media sites to prove the camera’s strengths to a wider audience. Then the general public can vote for favorites with the GoPro Award page, ask people to send photos and promote participation.
Agile Marketing is a measure of how effective an organization is in achieving its marketing goals. Agile marketing teams provide stakeholders with a number of strategies and theoretical outcomes with the aim of executing them quickly. ROI is also a factor, and agile marketers recognize that new business is more important than new material. Essentially, it’s about the speed with which you can take advantage of opportunities to develop or refine new products to move your business forward.
One of the reasons why agile marketing is on the rise is social media. Over the past few years, brands have devised ways to communicate on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This channel has been providing insight into what kind of content works and resonates. Also, many established brands have a personality on social media in terms of tone and sound, while promoting all important transparency to consumers. The speed of social media has shown that, when properly implemented within an organization, quick response can be very effective in a variety of media.
An example of this type of marketing is the Superbowl when the fire goes out. Taking this opportunity, some brands have moved on Twitter to promote their products against the backdrop of the temporary misfortune of the Super Bowl.
This type of marketing is on the rise and can be a great help in fostering conversations in situations where consumers expect prompt reply and creating user brand relationships. Marketers can have a real-time conversation with their customers, listen and connect with how they feel relevant to their audience.
It is worth remembering that the Internet has changed everything, but the old forms of marketing are still important. Despite the growth of digital advertising, TV still accounts for one-third of advertising spend in the United States, and growth continues at a slower pace. Embracing digital trends doesn’t mean breaking traditional marketing techniques. Keeping up with trends while integrating the past for solid marketing success.