Digital marketing is changing the world in big ways and in subtle ways that we can’t even possibly notice until a decade from now when its more evident and historians speak on how several small innovations led to a chain reaction of great inventions of products, improvement of processes and a whole new paradigm shift of marketing practices. Even now, we are seeing a continual evolution of digital marketing. It is not the same today as it was a month ago. It is truly beautiful how digital marketing consisted of just email marketing and SEO just a decade ago and now it has spawned into a plethora of different subsets especially with the birth of Web 2.0 bringing about a more deeper connection between brands and their customers. Which brings me to my point as to why digital marketing is more important today in 2017 than ever before.
Before digital marketing or even the Internet, people had no way of communicating with brands other than direct mail. It was simply a one-way communication where brands would shove ads down the consumer’s throats and hope that the consumer would buy from them. It was a monopoly of attention whereby companies would use commercials, billboards, and radio ads to place their product or service in front of consumers without direct feedback of the consumer’s up to date needs and wants in the marketplace.
But as a result of sites like Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, brands are now gaining deeper insights into their customer’s needs and tailoring not only their products but their marketing to appeal to their target audience through the use of not only the apparent comments on their social profiles but also through the use of their analytics that are pulled from their social media.
Companies can take advantage of this to provide better products and better customer service which in turn improves the user experience which is where digital marketing is headed. Companies don’t have to go further than their company social media profiles to assess customer feedback and suggestions which allows for fast implementation and better targeting of the right consumers. One practical tip to do this is by using social media listening tools such as SproutSocial or a more cost-effective software like HootSuite.
Earlier I had mentioned that previously, big corporations had established a monopoly of attention where it became extremely difficult for new small businesses to gain access to their target audience because truth be told, a commercial isn’t cheap and simply doesn’t fit in with a startup’s budget. Now with social media’s impact, it has become increasingly practical and convenient for a new business to start reaching their target audience. It also allows brands to form communities that will buy their product and interact with each other. This results in a win- win situation for everybody involved. Additionally, with these communities in place, it allows for the strongest form of marketing out there which isn’t even done by the company but rather by the consumer through word of mouth and this results in a viral effect of products especially with the use of social media.
Most importantly, digital marketing has allowed for the spread of information to accelerate at a rapid rate with the use of content marketing through blogs and social media which essentially connects people and brands who would have never come across one another otherwise to receive value from each other in a mutual way. This rapid exchange of information also allows for customers to be highly informed about any subject or product so that they can make the best purchase that will benefit them in their life. Companies can use this to their advantage by providing an exceptional product to the market that is unique and of high quality. If this is done, consumers will leave raving reviews that will minimize the resistance of other consumers that are looking to buy the product as well. This can be implemented easily by installing a plugin that allows for onsite customer reviews. Other ways that assist in turning unique visitors into buyers is the use of social proof. This can be in the form of using influencer marketing, demonstration of use videos, and in some cases (depending on the product) testimonials.
All of this, in turn, creates competition between brands in any industry because the barrier to entry is so low and as economics has taught us, competition in the marketplace is a good thing because what has resulted is amazing benefits to the consumer like faster shipping, lower prices, and better high-quality products. As for companies, it can yield higher profits, less obscurity, and a massive reach.