When you think about it, digital marketing is fairly new in the larger scheme of things. Twenty years ago, who could have predicted the increasingly connected digital world that now exists? More importantly, the impact that digital marketing is now having on businessess worldwide. Furthermore, who can predict what the future holds for digital marketing?
One thing is certain. Digital marketing will continue to evolve in new and exciting ways. Here's a look at some short-term predictions as well as a look farther down the digital marketing road.
Digital Marketing Changes That Are Already in the WorksWhereas the early days of digital marketing focused almost entirely on appealing to an audience that was glued to a desktop PC, now mobile is the way to go. Even B2B consumers, who have historically done research via desktops, have now moved decisively toward adopting mobile as their preferred way to access information.
A recent Google study of 3,000 B2B decision makers found that 42 percent of researchers use a mobile device during their B2B purchasing process. And if you think B2B consumers are only using mobile when they are out of the office, think again. 49 percent of B2B researchers who use their mobile devices for research do so while at work.
Forward-thinking digital marketers, then, must consider optimizing for mobile first, rather than the other way around. At least, that is what current trends would indicate as the competitive course of action.
Huffington's "4 Online Marketing Trends You Can't Ignore" highlights another trend gaining traction, stating: " Snapchat is quickly becoming the social media platform of choice - and it isn't just the kids getting in on the action. It took some time, but they appear to have penetrated the adult demographic, as more brands are adding it to their social strategy."
According to Edison Research's "Infinite Dial 2016" report, Snapchat is now the second most powerful social platform in the U.S., surpassed only by Facebook. With this kind of growth, it is fairly easy to predict that digital marketers will need to figure out how best to leverage this social media platform for brand building.
Looking Farther Ahead into the Future of Digital MarketingWhile these current trends inform short-term marketing predictions, what about the long-term? Forbes' "7 Predictions for the Future of Online Marketing" presents some interesting theories about what the future holds for digital marketers.
For instance, after describing a future of constant internet connectivity, the article postulates that wide adoption of augmented reality will lead to "reality optimization". It states: "The concept of search optimization is all about getting found, but there may be a new, physical application of this inbound discovery effort once augmented reality devices become popular. Companies may invest in some digitally relevant style of advertising, such as pop-up ads that appear when a user is close, or there may be digital ways of accessing physical locations, like virtually shopping at a supermarket."
The article also predicts that content will become increasingly personalized. Personalization is by no means a new concept in marketing. But as technologies emerge that make individualized marketing more possible, it is likely that digital marketers will find ways to use available tools to create highly customized marketing messages for consumers.
Mastering Digital Marketing TodayThere can be no denying that the digital landscape is constantly evolving to meet the demands of an increasingly connected consumer base. Are you using all the tools available to you to stay abreast of current strategies and anticipate future advances in digital marketing?
Working with a professional digital marketing agency helps ensure that you are using the right tools and employing best digital marketing practices. To find out how your current strategies stack up, request an assessment today.