A Brief History of Digital Marketing: Evolving with Technology
digital marketing

Before the option of skipping annoying promotional ads on YouTube, there was a time where people looked forward to seeing and hearing about new offers from their favourite brand advertisements. Companies employed different ways to be seen, heard, and earn the favour of their audiences. For how long can the written text have your attention, right? Before I dive in and enlighten you on the trends in the digital marketing industries today, let’s take a quick dip into the past and understand its humble beginning.

Digital marketing services first came into play with the advent of computers in 1990. Businesses initially stored and tracked client names and numbers on their digital database, in an early attempt to foster customer-company relationships. Like building blocks, its integration with other evolving technologies like the telephone allowed businesses to shape new relationships with more people far and wide.New developments in technology enabled more creativity in content promotions and revealed innovative ways to connect with customers.

How often have you been tempted and convinced to click an online ad?

The Dawn of Digital Marketing Agencies

The evolution of technology over the last decade has radically transformed the way people interact with each other. You are reading this article, in the comfort of where you are and irrespective of what you are wearing, is a testament to the fact. There was a paradigm shift from paper-based ads to online multimedia which many don’t realise. Sure, history may be boring, but it provides valuable insights into future possibilities (history repeats itself)

A fun fact for you: The first digital banner created by Wired (formerly Hot Wired), which introduced pay per click as a means to pay their editors. It was widely adopted medium to bring in customers and sparked the age of colourful clickable online ads.­

With a growing audience and rise in competition between companies of the same industry, it becomes a challenge to entice a potential customer to click on the site. There arose a need to create targeted strategies for a specific group of people (now called a target audience or a target group). This is where skilled individuals came together to provide their expertise to rising business, they called themselves a digital marketing agency. Organizations would often consult these agencies to provide them with solutions and insights to boost their business by and connect them to a larger target audience.

How Digital Marketing Industries Dominated the Internet Era

Marketing quintessentially, is about building a relationship based on trust and understanding, through the communication of useful information between people.With the surge of internet users over the last decade, companies have evolved their digital marketing strategy to keep in pace with the developments of the younger generations and meet rising customer expectations.

The world is becoming a smaller place with social media connecting people, and businesses together. The younger population like millennials (born between 1981-1996), Gen Z (born between 1996-2010), and Gen Alpha (born after 2010) are extremely adept at using modern devices; kids these days don’t need the help of an adult to find their cartoon on YouTube or learn the controls for mobile games. The future is growing smarter with widespread sharing of information through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many more.Any smart digital marketing agency would advice you to develop your social media strategies keeping in mind the social media norms and developments in technology.

Let us look at some of the trends being followed right now. It’s never too late for businesses growing right now to implement these digital marketing strategies. Maybe you can consult them on how to get things done.

Information in the Palm of Your Hands

A recent study shows that over 60% of Google searches are through mobile devices. Marketing agencies are also focused on improving mobile experiences for users. Web pages currently might take a long time to load which results in users losing interest (It’s good to know that you’re still reading). With recent developments, it is possible to minimize these bounce rates, thereby increasing traffic and enhancing user engagement. One such example is the development of progressive web applications. This involves designing webpages that function like applications – maximising ease and minimising load time.

Here are some cool PWAs you should have a look at from your phone:

  1. AliExpress
  2. Starbucks
  3. Flipkart Lite
  4. Forbes
  5. Pinterest

Improving Social Media Marketing Channels

-Catering to users over multimedia channels is a good way for businesses to connect with customers. Expectations are growing and people are always on the lookout for interesting and innovative means of information delivery. A recent development in customer interactions is to connect them over omnichannel experiences. Unlike the multi-channel strategy where users are restricted to the specific platform (which may not be consistent with the theme), omni-channel marketing allows a business to connect with their audience seamlessly with a consistent brand voice.

The best, and most simple example of an omni-channel marketing strategy is Starbucks. They understood that waiting in line for coffee is a painstakingly long process. The solution?A web based app where people can order and pay while they were on their way, and simply collect their drink at the store. They saw a rise in transactions and were better able to gauge their audience by tracking buying behaviours – creating better experiences for their customers. Clever, right?

<Business site on omnichannels, laptop, tab and mobile screens>

  • Rise of the Machines

We are seeing rapid advancements in artificial intelligence in our day to day life; we can now command our phones to search for the nearest restaurant around us. From your email filtering out spams and promotional ads to predictive typing that is surprisingly accurate enough to know exactly what you think before you type it out; smart technologies are enabling us to make smarter and well-informed decisions. Marketing agencies are integrating the intelligence encoded in virtual systems with business software and strategies to analyse patterns in human behaviour, creating data-driven insights to deliver personalized experiences to target personas. Sending automated emails to customers based on their likes and preferences is one way of building more meaningful relationships (and avoid the spam filter). The developments of chatbots are helping businesses be more productive by automating customer assistive services so that employees can focus on other vital tasks.There are a lot more developments like extended reality (a fusion of augmented and virtual reality), voice searches and so on that are still being tested and tried and ushering a new age in digital marketing.

Conclusion

The marketing industry has a come a long way and is scaling new heights to deliver innovative customer experiences. Digital marketing services have the potential to make a more dynamic brand.We are headed towards a technological revolution. ­­Now that you have a better idea on how things work in the industry, how would you leverage the power of technology to boost the number of followers on your social media?