Can you believe it has only been ten years since the first iPhone went on the market in 2007? A decade ago, marketers were just beginning to tap into the power and reach of search engines, mobile devices, blogs, and social media. Nowadays, it’s impossible to think of marketing without thinking of digital tools and outlets, but it wasn’t always that way. Over the past decade, the evolution of marketing has occurred rapidly, incorporating SEO, social media and other new methods to reach audiences.
Search Engines and SEO
A little over ten years ago, search engines started using advanced ranking algorithms and browsing online became more personalized. Search engines were around well before this, but the algorithms were neither as sophisticated nor as widespread as before. Sophisticated search algorithms had an immense impact on online search marketing.
As search engines were developed and refined during the evolution of marketing, the art of SEO (search engine optimization) emerged. Applying some of the best marketing tactics you can currently employ online, effective SEO initiatives use keywords in the right places, leverage the right outlets, and easily link back to your homepage, meaning your brand is now able to reach anyone, anywhere, at any time, and that’s powerful.
Before the widespread use of social media, it was time-consuming, expensive, and challenging to target your ideal marketing prospects, let alone directly engage with them. The evolution of technology has allowed the evolution of marketing to allow how social media has formed to connect with people that were previously out of our reach. Social media has provided a free platform where brands can directly engage with their customers to collect data about what they want, and provide them with valuable information and content. Outlets like Facebook and Pinterest even let customers buy directly from their sites.
Social media platforms have created a space where it’s easier than ever for prospects to find out about you and what you can offer. Your customers don’t have to rely on television and newspaper ads to hear about your brand anymore, which makes reaching your ideal prospects less expensive and time-consuming.
Diverse Content Across Multiple Channels
Everyone now operates in a multi-channel world, and your marketing strategies should too. Older marketing methods that exclusively utilized email and cold calls are now obsolete. Now marketers leverage mobile outlets such as apps and text messaging, in tandem with social media campaigns, blog content, and automated email campaigns.
Your marketing efforts will be ineffective if you don’t embrace and distribute various types of content including: videos, images, infographics, digital brochures, e-books, blog posts, social media posts, emails, web content, etc. Because prospects are inundated with content from all types of channels, and only have a few seconds before they move on to the next thing, marketers have started getting more creative with the content they publish as marketing continues to evolve.
In the evolution of marketing, a lot of digital marketing tasks can now be automated with software. Marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks such as sending out emails, posting on social media, and other website actions. Marketers can regulate these automated tasks based on customer data or actions taken by prospects online.
Automation software can yield a high return on investment (ROI) because marketers can get more tasks done in a shorter timeframe. Additionally, marketing material is distributed to targeted leads based on data and user history, which leads to higher conversion rates.
Data and Analytics
Before, marketers waited for weeks for books that contained prospects’ data and contact information to come in the mail. And cold-calling prospects to inundate them with survey questions was one of the only ways to get their information. Now, you can send out automated surveys to your prospects in emails or on social media. Today, understanding how your customers make their buying decisions is faster and easier.
Web analytics allows you to know where visitors to your site came from on the web, how long they were on your site, what they did on your site, and the actions they took before converting into customers or abandoning your site. Having this real-time information allows marketers to fine-tune where and how they focus their marketing efforts in the future, as well as monitor positive trends. Without analytics, marketing is more of an educated guess and yields far fewer conversions.
A decade ago, it was still common for marketers to send out blast emails, blindly adjust website content, and send brochures in the mail. Over the past decade, however, marketers have embraced technology that accelerates faster conversion times, keeps costs down, and produces higher ROI. Marketing has evolved into a real-time, inexpensive, engaging realm where both marketers and prospects benefit.