The role of marketing has changed dramatically in the last 15 years.
When we first started this marketing company in 2000, there was NO social media! Marketing was driven by outbound campaigns that used basic email mechanisms, mass media advertising, PR and localised flyer drops and collateral. It was about traditional advertising and if a business didn’t have the budget for advertising, they really could not compete with those companies that did.
Enter Digital Advertising
Fast forward to the present day and the landscape is very different. There are multiple marketing channels available to a business: social media, paid Google advertising, remarketing, display campaigns, search engine optimisation, lead nurturing email campaigns with artificial intelligence to personalise content. Not only this but the disciplines across them all are vastly different, and the rules change almost weekly. It’s no longer about placing a product ad in a magazine that is sure to be read by the target market, it’s about customer reviews, Instagram influencers, community engagement and videos that go viral!
Small businesses can now find a voice and, if they have a great product at the right price, they can compete with the big guys and win; they just have to understand the platforms.
Facebook turned 15 last week and, as Mark Zuckerberg said, “Now, you can connect with anyone and use your voice. You don’t have to go through existing institutions in the same way. People now have much greater power, and that creates opportunity…”.
Marketers can do so much more in 2019 but they also need a huge cross-section of skills…creativity, copywriting skills for storytelling, digital skills for developing web assets, a head for figures when maximising the use of ‘big-data’ and trawling websites and social media analytics, media nurturing skills … the list goes on. There’s also the need to understand how to use marketing automation software to tie more deeply into each channel, enabling managers to develop spend optimisation models, connecting to both Facebook and Google to optimise ads based on customer segments and understand where they are in the engagement journey with their audience.
The once distant dream of artificial intelligence (AI) is having a real-world impact on digital marketing. Not only does AI analyse data and improve SEO, but it revolutionises the way marketers understand and appeal to their target audience.
In fact, AI isn’t the clinical fantasy we’ve grown up with, but a tool that can help us understand ourselves and each other much better. AI hyper-personalises customer communication by analysing their online presence. This helps to create campaigns that reach the right person, the right way, with the right words.
Take, for example, email marketing. By using machine learning, AI improves audience engagement by optimising what the content is, when the content is sent and how often content should be distributed. This is only the tip of the AI iceberg. With AI’s realised and unrealised potential, who knows what marketing will look like in the next 15 years.