Consumer behavior has massively changed in the past years, which basically calls for all businesses to go along the trends in terms of campaigning their brands. Marketing and advertising has taken a great leap of improvement from traditional to digital. Gone are the days of creative print ads and billboard, and there are less attention-grabbing TV commercials. In the recent years, many brands are embracing the power of digital marketing.
With millions of total global digital population, it’s inevitable to dive into the craze and be one of the companies who communicate to their target through their devices, computers, and social media accounts. But if you think that digital marketing has only started in the last couple of years, then you are wrong. Digital Marketing and Campaigning has been around for a long time; it has been one of the promising tools of communication since the 80s.
Baby Steps: The 80s
In 1981, IBM launched the first personal computer which leads to a series of new innovations in the digital arena. Through this, many users started to benefit from the advanced computer system the era has to offer. Alongside that, IBM made it possible for many businesses to store information to store their customer’s data with its increased capacity of 100MB.
Since businesses had the opportunity to collate information from their customers, they started to maintain a database of all their prospective clients and customers. In 1986, a customer management company called ACT launched the first database marketing software. It enables a larger storage available to store customer information.
Through the 80s, many businesses have embraced a new way of buyer-seller relationships through digital databases.
Toddler Times: The 90s
It was in early 90s when the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software was launched. CRM helped a lot of companies in terms of tracking their customer interaction including but, is not limited to, contracts, details of their sales, client preferences, etc. Through this, companies were able to manage their clients and customers expectations and adjust their business dealings and processes accordingly.
The 90s also marked the hype of email messaging. Many business owners saw this is a good opportunity to directly reach their target market more effectively. And in 1998, the biggest event in the digital history was made – the official launch of Google.
Since their availability, Google played a big role in every online users’ life. They became the most popular web-based search engine since then, giving an avenue to both customers and business to interact and communicate directly and indirectly.
Digital Marketing Methods
Through the years, digital marketing has evolved from the era of traditional email marketing. Various methods and strategies were developed to continuously drive the online community and make the marketing techniques more challenging as ever.
Apart from emails, companies started to pay attention in creating or upgrading their own website. Since Google has become more useful to many online users, websites have become essential for companies to bring their message across. From the usual “About Us’ and FAQ pages, businesses created blog articles that answer the most common queries of potential customers. Search has innovated since then. This calls for the need to master search engine optimization.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the best digital marketing methods to use if you are a small business owner. With proper SEO strategy, a business has the capability to be seen on top of Search Engine Results Pages. SEO allows each company to promote themselves strategically which can result to more conversions in the future.
And, of course, there’s social media. Digital marketing in the millennial era will not be complete without maximizing the use of social media. From Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram, and even Snapchat and WeChat, companies have gone beyond evolution by providing various contents for the users in the form of videos, photos, and gifs. This strategy boosts audience engagement that can also soon lead to sales.
The notable changes
Since the first computer was launched, digital marketing have skyrocketed and never settled. Changes have been rigorously happening in the last years since the users preferences have also rapidly evolved. This allow many businesses, whether big or small, to create more creative ways in promoting their products and services in the World Wide Web. Here are some of the most notable changes that happened in the past 10 years:
- Advertising tools were created to help business owners manage their advertising and marketing initiatives.
- Marketing your brand has become more challenging because of the available resources in multimedia platforms.
- Social Media presence is a must or else your brand will be left behind. Since many active online users are participating in social media websites more often. And creating social media account is not enough. You have to promote engagement and social awareness as well while establishing a purpose rather than selling.
- Marketing budget has immensely change. Not all strategies now needs to be expensive. You can have an organic online presence that doesn’t need to be expensive. Marketing budget these days can also be creative and strategic.
But apart from all these, there are some factors that really stood up in the evolution of digital marketing. A lot of what was once a simple necessity has become an effective tool for digital marketing strategy.
Case in point: how search engine optimization grew. Since Google was launched, they have encourages business owners to improve their website’s indexes. And in 2004, SEO transformed to a worldwide scale. From the basic keyword stuffing and spamming, Google has focused on the quality of contents that’s being published online.
Another aspect that unexpectedly grew is agile marketing. Through this, you can measure your company’s productivity in terms of reaching or fulfilling your advertising objectives. ROI has become a key component in a way that new businesses becomes more important than new materials. Agile marketing in the past years has ascent due to social networking. These channels allow business owners to know what can work and what type of contents would work for the target audience.
And last but not the least: Transparency on the result. Since the hype of sending email messages as marketing initiatives, the outcome or feedback from your target audience was a blur. In the past years, consumer feedback has become clearer and timely. Contents, services, prices, and other information about every companies is now visible online. Not to mention the real-time recommendation from potential, existing, and almost customers can also be published. Feedback can be managed using various tools or simply buy logging into your social media accounts.
Just like any other changes, the evolution of digital marketing is inevitable. As technology evolves and as the consumers’ preferences upgrade, digital marketing will continuously develop in the future. Digital marketing seems to be the most effective way to introduce your products and services nowadays. But the future will continue to change and the future will always evolve. It’s for the businesses owners to know how to keep their companies in the loop while all these changes are underway. As the legendary Jedi Master Yoda once said, “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future..”