Digital Marketing is a rapidly evolving ecosystem. Owing to the changing technological landscape and consumer behavior, digital marketers need to think on their feet lest they want to risk being irrelevant to the current times. No one knows for sure, what the future will bring, and predictions for an industry as fast moving as digital marketing are hard to make. Nevertheless, a study of the previous year trends and careful observations lead us to believe that the future of digital marketing is certainly quite exciting and full of opportunities. Here are the latest “in-things” that is going to keep the online marketers busy along the course the next few years:
MARKETING ON THE GO: EMERGENCE OF MOBILE
Various surveys and research have confirmed this multiple times over. Besides, no one ever had a doubt about the predictions that mobile would overtake fixed Internet access one day. The big question was when? We may soon have an answer to this. In 2009, global mobile traffic was 1% of the total Internet traffic. In less than three years, the figure has risen to 13%, according to StatCounter Global Stats.
More and more people are shopping through mobile, which creates a strong case for a mobile-first marketing strategy. Earlier it was all about having a great, functional website, while today, mobile optimized site is what everyone is talking about. Soon, the momentum will shift towards applications. Mobile apps have become a major part of everybody’s life and a major point of interaction between consumers and the brands. Therefore, digital marketers should focus on creating productive applications that have easy to use interface and engaging content so that the consumer comes back again and again.
THE VALUE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Over the use years the internet has acquired a social structure. With so many social elements active on the web there is no doubt that social media has firmly established itself within the mainstream digital lives of the lay people. Facebook has more than 1 billion members, while Twitter and LinkedIn has over 200 million each. A November 2012 survey revealed that a Denizen of the World Wide Web spends 18 % of his total online time on social networking websites (the figure has increased over the past few months). A whopping 98% of users between the age group of 18-24 years use at least one social media site.
These statistics are absolutely impossible to ignore and thus, the coming year will continue to see companies investing a large chunk of their marketing budget for devising a working social media strategy. However, when it comes to social technologies, the main challenge that marketers will have to tackle is finding ways to monetize their social value. Since the blind race to the maximum number of fans or Facebook likes has now lost its steam, the main question that marketers will be answered in the future is, “How to measure the success of our social media strategy?”
There are different ways in which social media drives a business value. Whether it is creating social communities, investing in social campaigns or integrating social buttons and functionalities in their websites, the real punch for brands comes through the referral traffic that is generated by social sharing of their brand’s content. The real use the future would be to measure the value that this social sharing brings to the business.
With search volumes increasing every year, and with growing members of social media networks, (Facebook has 1.4 billion and still counting), the amount of data available to marketers is gargantuan, and analyzing these complex data sets to establish a meaningful relationship is going to be the key for successful marketing campaigns. With access to more accurate information about the target audience, marketers can have a better idea about the consumer attitude and will be in a better position to make an informed decision. Another advantage of Big Data is its ability to provide an executable insight, and the same link that you use to access the results of Big Data will serve as delivery mechanism back to consumer.
Ways in which Big Data is going to influence digital marketing: Having loads of data at your disposal isn’t a guarantee that you will have a superb marketing season. However, it does offer you a chance to include innovation in your marketing strategy. For example, using the location based data from your mobile phones the marketers can suggest you to a particular restaurant or shopping complex. Of course, privacy could be an issue here, but if there is a mechanism that promises better customer services and even do not breach the privacy, then there is nothing better than that.
Social data is another big area waiting to be explored to its full potential. Thanks to its ability to target the advertisements to audience with precision, using big data for social marketing will be a big draw for digital marketing jobs in 2017 and beyond.