The ways in which people use the internet have evolved out of sight since it was invented in 1983, creating all kinds of uses for the marketing industry. 

But it wasn’t until 1994 when the World Wide Web began that digital marketing really took off. The main reason being that global web users skyrocketed from roughly 16 million to 70 million in one year. And if there’s one thing marketers love most, it’s an audience. 

Since those days, we’ve seen big data, social media, and smartphones all become commonplace in the world of digital marketing, opening further avenues along which to push consumers down the marketing funnel.

But all this new technology means information on effective digital marketing is more accessible than ever, leading to an abundance of competition for consumers’ attention. 

This blog discusses what it all means for marketing in the digital age, and how you can harness the latest trends for best effect.

Increase Authenticity

The last 10 years of digital marketing have seen a shift in behaviour from the years that came before. This shift has occurred within and between consumers and advertisers, as they became more aware of the other’s intent. 

In his new book, ‘Exponential: Transform Your Brand by Empowering Instead of Interrupting,’ Jeff Rosenblum discusses advertisers' more thoughtful, modern approach to consumers. 

“Advertising is shifting from technology-fueled messages that interrupt the consumer journey to data-connected content that carries people through the consumer journey,” Rosenblum says.

Advertisers can use this data to better understand their consumers and produce content that makes consumers feel better understood. 

Such content includes influencer marketing and hopping on current digital trends, memes, and web functions. 

In this way, brands can position themselves as more relatable and in-touch with consumers’ needs.

Improve Omnichannel Success

Once authenticity and trust are established through tailored marketing campaigns, brands can improve their direct-to-customer (D2C) sales, rather than relying on the reputation of wholesalers.

To succeed in growing D2C sales, it’s important to recognise that online and offline performance are mutually inclusive. This omnichannel approach is one of digital marketing’s more recent trends, as it involves a curated array of organic social media, sponsored ads, and email marketing to funnel customers towards that purchase button.

Some customers, however, will prefer to shop in-store. To convert these people into paying customers, data can be used to understand who is most likely to purchase offline. With this knowledge, strategies can then be implemented to bring them in-store. 

These strategies might include in-store sales, click-and-collect, or in-store loyalty schemes. Each brand will suit different strategies in their own way, so it’s important to harness your online data to maximise offline success.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

If you’ve been in the business world a while, it may come to you as no surprise that customer expectations are rising rapidly. It’s no longer enough to deliver a good product on time at an affordable rate – there will often be another competitor doing it better, quicker or cheaper. 

Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report (5th edition) found that “88% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services — up from 80% in 2020.”

Moreover, the top three actions to build trust with consumers were honest and transparent communication; responsible use of consumer information; and treating customers as people and not numbers. 

This report itself is just one example of how technology can be used to gather and manage consumer insights for the betterment of digital marketing. Other examples include blockchain and the latest iteration of Google Analytics.

Bringing It All Together

With so many technologies and insights available to modern digital marketers, it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed in it all. But these tools should be seen as an opportunity and not a challenge. 

As more businesses enter the market and your number of competitors increases, your marketing strategies will need to become more targeted and thoughtful. Those who harness technology in the digital age will be far better off than the digital stragglers, so which side of the ledger will you sit?

To further understand the tools for an effective digital marketing campaign, get in touch with NZ SME&E and attend one of our many industry events.


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