Marketing today is a new game. It has been discovered that with the ever increasing shifts in technology, the mindset of everyday consumers has become more connected with the internet such that they can reach out to products from their computers or mobile phones. With billions of consumers interacting online daily, digital marketing can be seen as more of a revolution than evolution.
Because of this exponential growth, today’s entrepreneur must realize that staying in their comfort zone in the digital marketing business is not an option. Marketers must continuously reinvent themselves by developing new strategies and keeping themselves informed on the latest changes in technology. Ignorance is not an excuse because it leads to extinction. For example, whoever thought a mobile app (Uber) would destroy the taxi industry or a computer company (Apple) would disrupt the music business.
The beginnings of digital marketing can be traced back to the early 1980s when IBM launched its first personal computer. Eventually computers became sophisticated enough to store huge volumes of customer information. With this technology, the traditional method of advertising soon became a thing of the past and the transformation of buyer – seller relationships allowed brands to track their consumers like never before.
In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee invented the first “web browser” named WorldWideWeb (www). The idea of a web browser didn’t gain much popularity, however, until 1993 when the National Center for Super-computing Applications at the University of Illinois released Mosaic, a graphical web browser that was easier to use and install. After these inventions, the internet began booming.
By early 1995, the number of internet users worldwide were approximately 16 million with the average time of 30 minutes spent online.
In 2002, there were approximately 558 million internet users; in 2004 google goes public; and in 2007 the iphone was born. By the mid -2000s, digital behavior changed the power dynamic between buyer and seller dramatically such that users began researching products, and making decisions about them online and on their phones before ever talking to a salesperson.
“If there was one thing that put the consumer right at the center and in control, it was the smartphone… it allowed the consumer to make choices on the go, and that power shift enabled brands to reinvent themselves.”
- Mayur Gupta
In 2007 different marketing companies began providing marketing automation, which enabled marketers to launch multi-channel campaigns, segment their audiences, and serve up highly personalized content, which was an attempt to get a handle on increasing demand of online consumers. But while marketing automation was an important development, it couldn’t adapt fast enough to the exponential evolution of channel and devices such as social media and smart phones. Social media, which emerged as one of the leading marketing outlets of the 21st century, was still in its infancy in the mid – 2000s in which marketing automation did not plan for such rapid social changes.
By the year 2010, consumers were spending on an average of 11 hours online daily, and users load time expectations were 250 milliseconds.
With the constant changes in technology, it is important to remember that discipline in digital marketing should never be overlooked or underestimated. It involves much more than advertising or selling. Today’s marketing requires constant research into customers, competition, communications, distribution channels, product development, pricing etc. In additional to continual improvement in customer care, customer retention and product design, today’s marketers look towards long term changes and future trends and lifetime customer relationships.
Change has been constant throughout the history of marketing. The only certainty is change. Everything changes… customers grow old, develop new tastes, new values, earn different income, priorities “new” needs, competition emerges, laws and regulations changes and technology continues to send out shockwaves of changes. “Nothing stays the same”.
Sounds a little overwhelming? Nothing to worry about.
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