So Where Are We at from a Digital Marketing Standpoint Today?
In the first edition of the book, I said we have shifted from Web 2.0 marketing to Web 3.0 marketing, coining the phrase Web 3.0 marketing. I believe that buzz phrase still holds true today. There isn’t a better phrase to sum things up. Many marketers have called this the mobile era, for example. Although that is true, it doesn’t encapsulate the entire movement. The sooner you start to realize how things have shifted so rapidly over the past year or so and how they are continuing to shift at a pace that is hard to keep up with, the quicker you will get to dominating in this movement.
So what does this new movement look like from a digital marketing standpoint? Simply, it is digital marketing spawned from the convergence of new technologies combined with rapidly changing consumer-buying trends and habits. An example is a prospect signing up for your text alerts he found on an infographic you posted on Pinterest. That alert then drives him to your mobile responsive web site where he makes a purchase while sitting at the park on his lunch break. To put things into perspective, here are the key overarching trends to this new marketing movement:
Social media on steroids. Social media is everywhere we look. It is now fully integrated into our lives and often drives the way we make purchasing decisions.
A few years ago, it was okay to grab an account on Facebook. Now you must have accounts on all the major social networks and content that is noteworthy if you expect to stand out in the crowd.
- Unique experiences. Experiences create memories that people talk about. From a digital standpoint, I’m a huge fan of live streaming video and even virtual reality worlds. Both of these settings are web-based, but they create unique experiences. People browse for products on sites like SecondLife.com and they watch live video events on LiveStream.com, all from the comfort of their homes.
- Customization/personalization/targeted messages. Who is at the center of the universe? You! We care about ourselves and our agenda. Some of the digital trends that have helped morphed this trend are things like augmented reality, retargeting, and more advanced segmentation software. These tools allow you to send the right message at the right time on the right platform.
- In-the-moment decisions. I have seen consumers make decisions much faster than a few years ago. This tends to apply to decisions that are not massive in nature (buying a new house, for example). The social-on-steroids trend has helped drive this one a bit, as you can get instant feedback on the decision you are about to make but also the ease of finding information on the Web. There are reviews everywhere and gobs and gobs of data. I’ve always stressed that you need to take swift action if someone is getting ready to do business with you. This action means making sure your reputation is solid online, but more so, using retargeting techniques to bring them back into your world.
- Mobile everything. The fastest-growing trend on the planet is mobile. Text messages have replaced the need to make phone calls, and iPhones are replacing the need to carry credit cards or cash. Sit just about anywhere in public and you will find that the majority of those around you are on their phones. As a marketer, if we don’t adapt to and capitalize on mobile, we are dead in the water.
- Content craze. There is a thirst for good content. As a consumer, the challenge is separating out the noise to quickly determine what “good” content is. This content craze has led to what many marketers call “inbound marketing.” With inbound marketing, your prospects find the content you posted and come to you versus the other way around. This is a beautiful thing and can instantly add profits to your bottom line when deployed correctly. From a marketing standpoint, we are going to make sure we publish great content on a regular basis in the mediums our prospects want.