The Evolution of Marketing

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Over the last ten years, the marketing industry has been turned completely on its head. With the advent of social media, a number of human interactions have moved from the physical world to the digital world, and marketing is one of them. Traditional methods of marketing, including print, TV and radio, while not irrelevant today, now take a back seat to digital methods.

The last 20 years have seen technology grow leaps and bounds and social media, as a result, has evolved tremendously over the last few years. One of every eight people on earth now have a Facebook profile. One of every five minutes spent online is on a social network. With a whole generation, or maybe even two, so addicted to social platforms, marketers must promote their brands where their audience spends the most amount of time in their day.

While the basic tenets of marketing remain the same, digital marketing sees a complete shift in the way that brands and consumers view marketing. Take customer service, for instance. The three basic rules are still intact – make sure you listen to your customer, the customer is always right, and always remember to follow up with your customer. The only difference today, is that your customer is not always there, right in front of you. Your customer could be far away and still expect the same service as they would if they were physically in the store with you. Additionally, whether it’s information they need or reviews about your product or service or even a complaint, the first instinct in 2018 would always be to go online. In fact, Twitter is today one of the most popular platforms for individuals to share opinions and grievances about products or services they have used. Therefore, it’s one of the best points of access brands have to their customers. And that’s exactly what a smart digital marketer would make the most of.

The second thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that the only way to actually connect with a customer is to make sure you connect with the right customers in the right way. In traditional marketing, this would mean either sales calls or using media like TV, print or the radio to get your message across. What has changed today is that not only has the idea of targeting your audience evolved to a point where you can go down to specifics like never before, but we’re also in a day and age where the consumer wants a say too. It’s no longer a one-way street. Marketing today is all about the conversation. It’s about engaging your audience and letting them know they have a voice, that voice is important and that voice is heard. Another way that the consumer has changed is that the consumer no longer wants to be sold to. They want brands to know that they’re smarter than that. They want a story, not a sales pitch. This is why marketing today has shifted from a sales first to a content first strategy. As marketing guru Neil Patel puts it, “You can’t just place a few “Buy” buttons on your website and expect your visitors to buy.”

So then, in the world of digital marketing, what can a business do to ensure that their customers consume not just their products but also their content?

First off, understanding social media platforms and which ones they need to be on. Just because it exists, doesn’t mean you need to be on it. Each platform serves a different purpose. Find the one that fits your brand’s needs and audiences the best and stick to those. Once you have the platforms in place, create strong content. Clichéd as it may be, in today’s digital world where the numbers of distractions are increasing and attention spans are reducing, content truly is king.

The next thing you need to do is make sure you have highly effective Search Engine Optimization. This may be one of the most important investments you make for your business so go all in. SEO is important to make sure you are being found by the right people. Google is the new Yellow Pages and SEO makes sure that if someone’s looking for you, they will find you. As Guy Sheetrit, CEO at Over The Top SEO jokes, “the best place to hide a dead body is page two of google”. This is why it’s critically important for any business to be on page one.

Last but not least, your brand needs social media advertisements. With the way Facebook’s algorithms have changed, most of the content, no matter how incredible it is, won’t reach your followers unless you advertise. Make sure all your content is backed up with the right kinds of ads targeted to the right kinds of audiences. Get your advertising right and there’s no stopping you.

With the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, you need to make sure you stay up to date or get left behind.

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