The Evolution Of The Digital Marketing Industry. How Will It Revolutionize Businesses?

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Competition is a major factor to be dealt with when one wants to carry out any business. It can be difficult to establish and sustain a business if you have a number of others in the market who provide the same service or sell the same product. Roping in customers is very pertinent to help in the process of elevating any business and marketing plays an indispensable role. No business can operate with maximum efficiency without being marketed. As of now, we have a whopping 3.5 billion people who use social media which leaves digital marketing as the best marketing option.

How It Started?

Digital marketing services went through a very interesting span of evolution and growth through the past 3 decades and it seems like this growth is not going to stop for a while. The 21st century has slowly molded into a digital era and there has been a rapid increase in the number of internet users on various different platforms. In order to get a clearer picture of the growth of digital marketing, you need to understand its presence at different points in time in history. After the 2010s, there was a huge increase in the market of smartphones and people started shifting to being smartphone users from desktop users. Social Media started taking flight at this point and platforms such as Facebook and Twitter started gaining momentum in terms of usage and popularity. 

You can witness new trends of marketing popping up every now and then and the evolution is pretty rapid. If you look into the 90s, the internet was the beginning of its existence and the first instances of digital marketing can be dated back to that period. Even though the internet was not accessible to everyone at that point in time, many people found the idea pretty fascinating. Besides, this period signifies the launch of the internet giants like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo who shaped the idea of advertising and marketing online.

To go deeper into this digital marketing evolution process, we might have to split the three decades starting from the ’90s to the 2010s and go through them one after the other. 

The Kickstart in the ’90s

As we are all aware, the 90s brought about a rise in the usage of personal computers and this kickstarted the digital marketing era. It was during this period, the term digital marketing first came into existence. Emails started to become the medium for purchases and people started emailing sellers to place orders for the goods which were then shipped to the buyer. Between ‘94 and ‘96, there was a huge explosion in the number of people who used the internet. The number went drastically from 15 million to a grand 70 million within a matter of half a decade. This period also witnessed the first clickable banner ad ever created. Surprisingly, almost half the people who viewed that ad proceeded to click it and it was a great success. 

The year 1994 also witnessed the first internet transaction for eCommerce. After the launch of eCommerce sites like Amazon and eBay, Email marketing was started being used widely, and it remained one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. 

Later during the ’90s when Google was launched, digital marketing services started getting more serious. As the pace went up, people started using invasive methods like excessive tagging and bad backlinks to gain clicks. Eventually, bad practices like these reduced as the smart engines got smarter.

 The Influence of the 2000s

With further growth of the internet and its users, the consecutive decade witnessed a prolific change. Over 360 million people had already started using the internet and almost half the people, for business purposes. After a couple of years, LinkedIn was launched and it brought about a huge revolution in the professional market. This platform made it easier for companies to connect with prospective employees and vise versa. It also served as a platform where subtle digital marketing was incorporated to promote businesses on a professional front.

Later after the launch of WordPress and MySpace towards the middle of that decade, online advertising was elevated to a whole different level. The consecutive years marked the launch of Gmail and Facebook. Even though Facebook was not initially intended for digital marketing purposes, towards the end of the decade there were more than 100,000 pages that promoted businesses and companies. This was considered a significant revolution in the history of digital marketing.

Google Ads was also launched during this time, which still remains the biggest player in the area of online promotions and advertising. 

Rapid Growth in the 2010s

The past decade witnessed a Herculean growth where the number of people who used the internet shot up more than a billion. Smaller devices started gaining popularity and smartphones took over the world. This marriage between smaller devices and the internet was a game-changer as it allowed people to browse the internet more often. Online presence was the major factor driving digital marketing and this period featured the entire world transitioning into a full-fledged “Digital Era”

As people sought after the internet for every single decision, businesses started paying attention to what people are looking into to boost sales. This led to the invention of “personalized Ad campaigns that made use of a user’s preferences and previous searches. The personalization aspect made these campaigns very successful right away. 

Towards the middle of 2010s, there was a huge increase in the usage of creative platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube, etc, where individuals exhibited their content. The idea of “Influencer Marketing” came into existence and it was a big hit. Brands and Businesses started concentrating on Customer connectivity and PR, as Influencer marketing went through a drastic phase of growth. 

What’s Hot Right Now?

With the onset of a new decade after 2019, the internet has witnessed over 45% growth in the number of users amounting currently to more than 3.5 billion. With numerous creative platforms like Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, etc, the internet is now filled with digital marketers of all sorts. Starting from business pages to individual influencers who promote other businesses, around 10% of the total population that uses the internet generates revenue by means of digital marketing, directly or indirectly. Facebook still holds the crown with more than 2.45 billion users and a whole lot of people make purchases of goods and services through the Ads featured on these platforms. eCommerce and online shopping have increased dramatically over the covid-19 period. Since most people were confined to their homes during the global lockdown, online purchasing became a boon during the crisis. Experts believe that in the next two decades, almost 95% of the entire count of purchases will be done via an online platform.

Why Digital Marketing?

The advantages of digital marketing make it really hard for anyone to not consider it. In agreement with the evolution of the internet as mentioned in the article, online presence has become almost a necessity to run a successful business. The traditional means of marketing are taking a backseat, while digital marketing is on a rise. The impact has been more than profound, and it is quite impossible to find reasons not to adopt digital marketing techniques.

Because of the said transition, many doors are opening up in the light of connecting potential business relationships. The connectivity has gotten a lot stronger than the clients feel closer to the business system, or rather a part of the system itself. Exposing people to Ads that are personalized influences potential buyers and increases the probability of them making a buy. The strength of the influence established by a business is directly proportional to the success factor and hence, investing in digital marketing is definitely a win.

Revolutionizing Businesses

It is a no-brainer that digital marketing companies have revolutionized how businesses function and they are continuing to do so. One of the primary reasons for the success of this method is that it is a lot more affordable compared to other traditional means and you can reach a wider audience. If you consider print advertising, it can be more expensive and less effective in today’s scenario. Whereas, sponsored posts and pop-up Ads can cost you a lot less and help you reach a wide audience in no time. The target demographic must be considered before choosing the type of marketing you want to do and digital marketing has proven to reach an audience of all sorts.

Besides, the internet is the most accessible marketing outlet there is, and making use of techniques like social media, content marketing, SEO, banner ads, email campaigns, and others can take your business in the direction of rapid and organic growth. You can barely find people who are not online these days, which directly strengthens the idea of “the online presence of businesses”. Having proper digital marketing strategies can help a company gain more revenue and reach without breaking any sweat. 

Most people misconceive digital marketing to be complex considering the number of results it can yield. But the formula here is extremely simple. More the people who view your Ads or related content, the more profit you will be making. Having the internet at the swipe of a finger has revolutionized the world and the businesses with it.

Possible Negative Impacts and Ways To Overcome Them

As we have discussed all the “Pro Points” of digital marketing, we might as well look into the possible downsides. With digital marketing comes the pressure of thousands or even millions of people viewing your content. This can put a considerable amount of stress on business owners to make sure that the marketing content is not wrongly perceived. Marketers have to be very cautious and need to consider the scrutiny and judgment that can come along when many people view their content.

If you are considering digital marketing, it is essential that you keep yourself completely updated with what is happening around you. You need to pay attention to the demographic you are aiming at and make sure that you don’t release anything that is off-putting or offensive. We have all witnessed offensive content wreaking havoc all over the internet. Especially, if any part of your campaign features anything that is even remotely racist or sexist, then your business is going to be associated with that negative remark for a very long time. Once you put out something on a public forum, you will have to be ready to face all sorts of scrutiny. 

Nonetheless, If you are running a business and are planning to outsource the work to a digital marketing company, make sure you choose a well-informed and reliable service provider. It is even better to double-check the content yourself before making it publicly available. There have been cases where companies have fallen due to poor content management and non-reliable marketing strategies. This is probably one of the reasons why many businesses are skeptical about doing a digital marketing campaign.

Any marketing strategy out there has pros and Cons, and in the case of digital marketing, the pros outweigh the cons very easily. Overall, with proper caution, there is no need for businesses to be skeptical about this strategy. For this process to be fool proof, you can even opt to do digital marketing courses and gain more grasp.

Bottom Line

Digital marketing takes advantage of the internet and advertises products and services. Considering all the influential factors for running a business these days, it is almost mandatory for any business to have online command. You can see Ads and pop-up campaigns on every nook and corner of the internet and also witness how successful businesses have shifted to digital marketing practices. The past couple of years even mark a surge in Influencer marketing, which again is a type of digital marketing that has brought about revenue opportunities to creative and influential individuals and businesses. Digital marketing undoubtedly lights up businesses in many ways by roping in new customers and creating a market presence without loss of time and money

Storyteller by Heart and Head. Explorer of the intersection between Philosophy and Psychology.