Marketing has been becoming more and more digital over the last 100 years, hitting a sharp upward trajectory in the last 30 years with the invention and gradual development and improvement of the internet.
Digital marketing is, therefore, not at all a new concept, and dates back to the early 1900s with the discovery and commercialization of radio, thanks to Guglielmo Marconi.
What then is digital marketing? And why digital marketing?
Digital marketing, in the simplest terms, is the use of electronic devices to reach consumers–either online or offline.
Why digital marketing?
As technology becomes more advanced, people are generally spending more time on their digital devices and less time paying attention to traditional marketing platforms. There are just more people now with their eyes glued to their phones than there are people looking around at billboards, for example.
Digital marketing is fast evolving in a field of even faster-evolving technological advances. Some of the digital marketing techniques currently working will almost certainly not be as useful in a few years.
Here are 8 major issues digital marketing may face in the future.
1. Use of ad-blockers
In a 2019 statistic, 25.8% of internet users were blocking advertising on their connected devices.
I’m sure you’ve been pissed off by an ad showing up in the middle of your favorite YouTube video or a bunch of ads popping up and covering content you’re trying to read. Enter ad-blockers!
An ad-blocker is precisely what it sounds like. Software that prevents software from appearing on a web page. As more and more businesses and companies adapt to digital marketing, the competition for consumers’ attention becomes stiffer and stiffer, resulting in more and more ads appearing on web pages and such.
So basically, the more digital the world becomes, the fiercer the competition in the digital marketing world, the more ads will appear covering your favorite reads, and the more you will feel compelled to find and use an ad-blocker.
2. The fall of third party cookies
I’m sure you’re not one who thinks of nutty chocolatey goodness next to a glass of milk when the word ‘cookies’ shows up on your browser. However, for the sake of anyone who might fall into this category, a cookie is a small amount of data generated by a website and saved by your web browser.
With a basic understanding of cookies, you can guess that third-party cookies are tracked by websites other than the site you are currently visiting.
Third-party cookies allow advertisers and websites to keep track of the sites you visit.
Google has stated that they want to start phasing out third-party cookies.
This is definitely quite a jab directly to digital marketing’s gut because digital marketers will find it difficult to keep track of your likes and interests without cookies.
3. Misusing guest posts
You’ve probably heard countless times the phrase “to be successful, find a need, and fill it.” Well, digital marketing is no different. Ads, blogs, videos, and other digital marketing outlets geared at solving people’s problems and filling their needs have a proven record of success.
However, as the competition to command the most attention of consumers intensifies, marketers resort to shortcut solutions and black hat strategies to induce more traffic in a short amount of time.
The use of guest posts to merely amass traffic and build backlinks without proper content is just asking to be penalized and is a very short-sighted strategy. In this case, you may need help from a link building reseller that practices white hat strategies.
4. Reliance on data instead of user experience
User experience (commonly known as UX) simply means knowing your users. What they want, what their interests are, their abilities and limitations. This helps to improve the user’s interaction with your product as well as perception of the same.
While relying on and providing loads of data may help increase traffic for your site, with no regard to how actionable the data is for the user and what the user’s interests are, the traffic will not convert to actual product usage.
Right from the third revolution in the 1960s (also known as the digital revolution), automation has been the looming bane of the existence of employment as we know it. With the growth of technology and competition for the ever-growing market, the digital marketing sphere’s need for efficiency is increasing.
Companies find themselves in need of more reliable and faster services than humans can produce. Unfortunately, however much Google and other related companies have tried to screen out these machines, their efficiency is growing, and it is becoming harder to screen them out.
This results in less human contact and is a genuine threat to the digital marketing industry as more unnatural links accumulate, making the line separating them from natural links ever blurrier.
6. Tone-deaf messaging
When you are doing a face to face marketing exercise, you have the opportunity to read your audience’s expressions and make deductions based on their reactions to what you are saying. With digital marketing, however, one rarely has such a luxury. This creates what is called tone-deaf messaging.
Take, for example, an occurrence of a hurricane or any other such tragic event. The appearance of a digital ad talking about ‘interior design to give your house a lush rustic look’ on a victim’s computer screen who just lost their home in the hurricane appears insensitive to say the least.
7. Ineffective use of channels
One seemingly obvious threat to digital marketing is the ineffective use of channels. Most marketers focus on putting their product in front of potential consumers instead of creating a memorable experience for the consumer that will create a lasting impression for the consumer. A great way to do this is the omnichannel marketing approach. Although omnichannel marketing is often mistakenly used synonymously with multichannel marketing, they are not the same. Omnichannel marketing simply means providing customers with an integrated shopping experience. A good example would be to show a consumer, shopping online on their phone and having a seamless experience.
However, marketers seem to go for multichannel marketing, which focuses on using as many channels as possible to put the product in front of consumers. This This does not always convert into actual product consumption and counts as yet another failure of digital marketing.
8. Rapidly changing interests
Have you heard of the saying, “the more options you have, the less satisfaction you get from each of them”?
Back when there weren’t as many products on the market, not as many brands of the same product, not as many forms of advertising, it was easy to determine the consumers’ interests because they were usually generic, uniform, and consistent.
With the ever-changing tech and constant upgrades, it is difficult to determine what the consumers are really interested in. Marketers have to reinvent their products to keep their audience’s attention constantly.
Consumers’ interests are always changing because there is so much information on products and so many products. Many companies are fighting for the attention of consumers with numerous products, offering many choices.
Companies must keep rebranding and reinventing their products to keep up with the consumers’ ever-changing interests. This is certainly no small issue in the digital marketing world.
Digital marketing is a dynamic industry that is always evolving. The effects of digital ads don’t last as long, and therefore there is a need to keep testing new strategies and keep learning.
Here’s a summary of the issues facing the future of digital marketing:
- More ad-blockers are being applied by the day.
- Third-party cookies are failing, and hence it is getting harder to track site usages.
- Guest posts are quickly becoming breeding sites for spam content.
- User experience is slowly losing priority in favor of data accumulation and dissemination.
- Automation remains a looming threat to human employment, even in digital marketing.
- Tone-deaf messaging is more or less unavoidable in digital marketing with a decrease in interaction with users.
- Ineffective use of channels favoring an amassing of traffic at the expense of conversion rates.
- Rapid change of users’ interests as their preferences change and evolve with the latest trends in technology.