In 2011, Peter Drucker said that “the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, the product or service fits him, and sells itself.” Traditional marketing with a push strategy was never able to reach this objective, but digital marketing with a pull strategy – and client focus – has realized this aim.
PwC’s 15th annual report reveals that TV advertising generated $173.7 billion worldwide in 2014 and will grow to $214.7 billion by 2018. During the same period, internet advertising will grow from $133 billion to $194.5 billion. Research indicates a 5.5 percent compound annual growth rate for TV advertising compared with 10.7 percent for the internet, suggesting the latter will pass the former by the end of the decade. (Source PWC)
In the constantly changing world of digital marketing, it is hard to predict what the future has in store for us, whether as a marketer or a consumer. Just like technology, consumer behavior will evolve exponentially and unpredictably. To anticipate upcoming developments in digital, we have to look at it from both the consumer’s and the marketer’s perspective.
As a Consumer: The consumer will be at the epicenter of all strategic decisions. Most marketing and branding content will soon come from consumers. Social media has already empowered consumers to influence the branding and marketing strategies of multi-billion dollar companies by simply writing reviews and providing feedback. On one hand, a single review, comment or tweet can spread like wildfire and have a catastrophic effect on a brand. On the other hand, positive reviews and feedback can take a brand to new heights, and have the same impact as a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. Consumers will not only influence strategic decisions, but will have the power to make these decisions for brands. User generated content will be increasingly prevalent, and brands will have to be authentic to stay relevant. Popular culture will only gain importance in the years to come. Brands that change in accordance with culture will reign supreme and brands that do not give culture the required attention will eventually cease to exist.
Being a Marketer: Noah Brier (the co-founder of Percolate) said that “the complexity of modern marketing is only going to keep increasing.” Being a marketer will become much more different and challenging in the years to come. Marketers will soon have vast amounts of data on consumer behavior, available at the click of a button. They will have the power to know exactly why a product or service is more successful, and which factors influence a buying decision. Organizations will have enough data to attribute a specific set of strategies to various stages of the buyer’s journey, ultimately leading to a conversion. Marketers constantly learn what to do; that will not change. What will change is that the marketers will have the resources and technology to know what not to do, and this could save a brand millions of dollars in expenditure which otherwise would have been in vain.
The Funeral of the ‘Funnel’
It is getting harder to predict consumer behavior in a constantly changing digital environment. As no two consumers are the same, the steps they take to convert into a client will also differ. The traditional funnel will no longer be relevant as consumers become more aware, and enhancements in technology will enable consumers to skip or add a few steps in the journey towards conversion.
Mobility of Things
Mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) will lead the way to a much more user-friendly future. The majority of digital spends are going to be on mobile internet by decade’s end. Mobile marketing reach will be nearing 60 percent penetration, which will propel the digital advertising share to about 40 percent of all advertising spends by the end of the decade.
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Developing countries will power the future of digital marketing. Markets such as China, India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, and Indonesia are collectively forecast to account for more than 25 percent of all global entertainment and media revenue by the end of the decade.
More than a decade ago, C.K. Prahalad said that the “Fortune is at the bottom of the pyramid.” Developing countries of the world constitute the bottom of the pyramid, which holds the most potential, and soon every organization will want a piece of this pie. These countries are the potential gold mines of the future. As far as digital marketing is concerned, the term ‘population’ will soon be replaced by ‘economies of scale’.
Organizations, marketers and agencies who master synthesis, community and creativity will be the winners, but the biggest winner of all, without a speck of doubt, will be the ‘consumer’. The consumer will be on the highest podium, around which the Internet of Things is going to revolve.
With over a decade of expertise, Position2 is a digital marketing agency that accelerates demand for fast growing technology companies. ROI-driven solutions integrate paid acquisition, content marketing and marketing technology.