The History and Future of Digital Marketing
Aug 22 2022
Digital marketing has rapidly transformed and developed over the last two decades. The Revolution resulted from new technological advancements, societal norms, additional products and services, and government regulations. It’s resulted in changes in almost every facet of modern-day business, both online and offline. It has changed how companies interact with their target market, how influencers operate, and how consumers shop for products or services. There is no better time than now for businesses to drastically improve how they use this technology to reach their target audience base. Read on to see how digital marketing has played out over the years, as well as take a glimpse into what it might look like in the future.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes the internet and online-based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services. It is also known as online marketing.
It can also be defined as using digital channels to promote or market products or services to consumers and businesses. Digital channels are internet-based tools that enable users to interact with a company. In our world today, consumers can research, purchase, spread word of mouth, and review companies online at any time of day or night using a myriad of digital channels.
Types of Digital Marketing
There are several types of digital marketing, including:
Search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is the process of increasing your website’s chances of ranking highly in search engine results pages (SERPs) such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Pay-per-click (PPC): A method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google AdWords.
Social media marketing: The process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.
Content marketing: A type of marketing that involves creating and sharing online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Affiliate marketing: A type of performance-based advertising where you receive a commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website.
Email marketing: It is a form of marketing that uses email to promote a service or a product. It entails sending commercial emails to potential clients.
A Brief History of Digital Marketing
The origin of digital marketing can be traced to the invention of the internet. In the 1960s, people only used it for communication among military personnel. However, in 1989, the internet started getting commercialized, and eventually, the World Wide Web was born.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee coined the term World Wide Web in 1991. He invented a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) software, which gave birth to the first web page. Tim also introduced Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), which made it possible to share information using websites. He wrote a fundamental technology called HTTP, Hypertext Transfer Protocol which enables retrieval of linked resources across the web.
Later in 1996, new tools like Alexa, LookSmart, and HotBot were introduced. Later on, the MSN search engine was introduced by Microsoft. Google and Yahoo also emerged in the same year in 1998.
In 1999, Web 2.0 was launched. It allowed users to share and upload content rather than merely consume it. It ushered in a new era of user-generated content resulting in the proliferation of eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia, and blogs.
The Advent of Big Data
With the emergence of the internet and big data, digital marketing has become more effective. Marketers started collecting massive amounts of data about people’s behavior online. It gave rise to consumer insights that were far more detailed than anything a traditional marketer could dream of.
All of a sudden, marketers learned how people were interacting with their brand at every step in the customer journey. They could see what content resonated with their customers and what wasn’t working. It enabled them to optimize their marketing strategy in real-time rather than hoping for something to work out months later.
The introduction of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter allowed businesses to gather information about their customers. For example, if a user posts an image on Facebook with a product tagline, other users may see this post. This could lead them to purchase the product online or in-store.
The 2000s: Mobile Devices Take Over
The advent of mobile devices and smartphones has changed the way we live in more ways than one, and email is no exception. Since the first mobile device was introduced in 2003 (Blackberry), mobile email has become a regular part of our lives. People started accessing the internet and generally using their phones for much more than calls and texts.
In June 2007, Apple released its first iPhone, a combination iPod, phone, and internet communicator that added a multi-touch interface to the mix. This device changed everything. It created the market for apps that has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry over the last decade. While other smartphones existed before this date, none captured anything close to this amount of attention or market share.
The next major milestone in the history of mobile phones came with the invention of 4G technology in 2010. It allowed for much faster data transfer speeds than 3G, which made it possible for people to download movies onto their phones, send large files, and stream live video from anywhere at any time.
In 2011, Apple introduced Siri, a voice assistant software program capable of answering questions and performing tasks by voice command. Since then, many other companies have developed their versions of this technology, including Google Now (2012), Cortana (2014), and Alexa (2014).
Over time the companies added more advanced features to mobile phones, such as GPS navigation systems cameras with high-quality imaging capabilities. Nowadays, mobile phones are more popular than they have ever been before. As of 2017, over 4 billion people own a mobile phone worldwide.
Current Trends On Digital Marketing
The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s hard to keep up with the trends. It’s not just about today’s new technology but also about how marketers are using these technologies. Digital marketing trends are essential to stay on top of, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly and stay ahead of the competition.
Here are some of the hottest digital marketing trends.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a part of our daily life, and it’s getting good enough to perform tasks that require human intelligence. For eCommerce stores, AI is helping in improving the customer experience. The implementation has a significant change in how eCommerce stores are running their businesses. AI is helping stores to target customers better by real-time recommendations, personalization, and chatbots.
Chatbots are AI-based technologies that enable computer programs to simulate human conversations. In digital marketing, chatbots help you connect with your customers in real-time. They enable brands to improve their customer service experience and provide better services to their customers.
These chatbots are already being used by Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft, Slack, etc. They have a lot of potential in the eCommerce industry as they can help store visitors decide what product to buy depending on their requirements. For example, you can use ‘Personality Forge’ – a platform that allows you to create your bots using their artificial intelligence engine to promote your products or services.
OmniChannel And Integrated Approach
Omnichanel is a modern approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers across multiple touchpoints. It represents an evolution in how companies engage with their audiences by unifying their brand experiences across all online and offline channels.
The strategy moves people between different touchpoints and devices in an integrated way; it might start with browsing a website at home, continue with visiting their mobile app while out shopping, then end with purchasing in-store.
We’re living in an omnichannel world. Today’s consumers turn to smartphones for product comparisons while in physical stores. They also check social media for brands and peer reviews online before purchasing brick-and-mortar stores.
Video marketing is one of the most popular digital marketing trends in today’s world. Many brands are adopting it across various channels like YouTube, Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook. As mobile internet speed becomes faster and 4G becomes standard, more brands will shoot videos specifically with smartphones in mind.
The reason behind this is the growing popularity of videos as an effective means to communicate with your target audience. It has been observed that people spend more time watching videos than reading content these days.
In 2017, Cisco predicted that by 2022, video traffic would be 82% of all internet traffic from 70% at that time. According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound Report 2022, 82% of marketers confirmed that video had the best ROI compared with other types of content such as blogs or social media posts.
More personalized content
Brands have access to an increasing amount of data about their customers. Therefore, it is becoming easier to serve the most appropriate content at each stage of the sales cycle. The more relevant it is for them, the more likely they will engage with it and convert into paying customers.
Personalization is expanding beyond emails and the web. Now it also includes addressable TV and device-based out-of-home (OOH) ads. The trend has also expanded into other channels like paid search and ads on social media. Google’s dynamic remarketing ads are a perfect example of this as they allow you to send highly targeted ads to users who have visited your website but not converted.
Voice Search Optimization
Voice search optimization has become a primary focus of digital marketing. The biggest players in the space are Google and Amazon, with their respective platforms Google Home and Alexa. Across these two devices alone, there are currently over 4.1 billion voice assistants in use worldwide. Many consumers believe voice search is more convenient than text and web searching.
What Is The Future Of Digital Marketing?
In the future, digital marketing will become more personalized and more interactive digitally. According to statistics, more than 3 billion people use the internet, which means that more than 40% of the world’s population uses it. That number will continue to grow by more than 10% per year over the next few years. In fact, according to Statista, it is expected that by 2025 there will be more than 4.7 billion internet users worldwide.
Video marketing is expected to grow and become more popular in the future, with 82% of traffic from online content expected to come from videos by 2022. The number is expected to rise in the coming years.
Omnichannel marketing is what consumers want. 68% of millennials expect brands to provide a seamless experience across all channels, online and offline. In the future, customer interactions are expected to be managed without human involvement but using AI.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) gains traction, companies will increasingly integrate this technology with their products and services. This integrated approach will allow marketers to reach consumers directly through the products they use. By using the data gathered from these devices, brands can craft more personalized messages and affix them to the home or office devices consumers interact with most often.
Employment Opportunities in The Future Digital Marketing Workforce
The current and future workforce in the digital marketing industry is changing rapidly. Here are the top 10 jobs where people are needed in the coming years.
- Digital Marketing Analyst
- Click-Through Rate Optimization (CTRO) Manager
- Interactive Content Developer
- Social Media Manager
- Paid Media Specialist
- SEO Specialist
- SEM Specialist
- Influencer Marketing Manager
- Email Marketing Manager
- Web Analytics Specialist
In short, you can’t dismiss digital marketing as a recent innovation in the marketing world. Though it is only gaining serious traction beginning in the early 2000s, it’s quickly established as a necessary medium for most businesses to reach their potential consumers. In the coming years and decades, digital marketing will continue to grow in popularity. It will become more advanced and accessible to companies that may have previously struggled with past intricacies.
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