The Evolution of Marketing Strategies in the Digital Age
- Business Administration
- January 4, 2024
- 245 views
- 4 min read
As with many other aspects of modern life, the marketing industry has transformed over the past 25 years with the advent of digital technology. This article will explore the fundamental changes that are being adopted by businesses as they adapt their marketing strategies to take advantage of these emerging technologies.
Table of Contents
The Shift from Traditional to Digital Marketing
As recently as the late 1990s and early 2000s, newspapers, magazines, and billboards were important advertising channels for most companies. Combined with cable television and radio advertising, these represented the full suite of traditional marketing efforts.
If a chief marketing officer for a public company recommended that approach today, they would be laughed out of the boardroom. As new technologies emerged, marketing strategies evolved, and budgets followed. Now, most companies strongly emphasize social media marketing, search engine advertising, and digital display ads, none of which even existed in the late 1990s.
Social media and search engine advertising have demonstrated their extensive reach, potentially reaching hundreds of millions to billions of unique users. Social media marketing offers opportunities for brands to interact with their customers, while search engine advertising allows companies to target precisely those who intend to purchase. Each represents an integral part of the modern marketing strategy for most companies.
The final pillars to fall in traditional advertising have been linear television and local radio stations, but as streaming video and audio services have taken off over the past five to ten years, the trend has become undeniable. Streaming services will absorb the majority of television and radio marketing dollars in the next 20 years, similar to how social media and search engine advertising absorbed most of the newspaper and magazine marketing dollars over the past 20 years.
Personalization and Data-driven Marketing
Digital marketing efforts allow companies to use data to personalize their marketing approach. Personalization increases engagement and customer satisfaction with the advertisements with which they interact. Customers are much happier when interacting with advertisements relevant to their lives from brands offering a product or service that they are looking for or maybe looking for shortly.
In addition to providing a better customer experience, data-driven marketing allows companies to improve their return on investment for marketing dollars. Digital advertising offers substantially better tracking mechanisms for companies compared to traditional methods. This allows companies to determine which channels effectively connect with their customers and convert those connections into successful sales.
Integration of AI and Automation in Marketing
While it may seem common practice by now, automated chatbots only emerged in the last two decades as practical tools that allow companies to successfully intake customer inquiries at the top of the sales funnel 24/7, increasing conversion rates of potential sales opportunities. As AI technology replaces automation within these tools over the coming years, they will become increasingly effective and efficient at meeting customer needs.
Additionally, the tools for automating email, text, and social media campaigns continue to improve. Automation saves time and ensures consistent customer engagement that is not typically possible with manual processes. Most mid to large-sized companies are now using some form of marketing automation, which will rise to nearly 100% over the next two decades, given their enhanced ROI.
The Rise of Influencer and Video Marketing
There is an emerging trend of companies partnering with influencers to reach their specific audience and build customer trust. Most consumers confirm that they are significantly more likely to purchase after seeing an endorsement from a friend or an influencer they follow online. This represents a significant area of opportunity for marketing teams in the future.
Hand-in-hand with the transition to influencer-based marketing is the shift towards video-based marketing. Video marketing is more engaging and lends itself to sharing more than text-based or image-based advertisements. Ultimately, video marketing’s effectiveness in generating more qualified leads per year explains why brands continue to invest in this trend.
Although there are many things to keep track of as the marketing industry transitions from traditional to digital, and that can be overwhelming for established marketing professionals at times, it is undeniably an exciting time for the industry. This article explored some of the most critical emerging marketing trends at a very high level. Still, each is important enough to warrant its article (or several articles, for that matter) and likely will be in the coming months. Stay tuned for more information!