How Digital Technology is Changing Marketing

The digital age brings with it both new challenges and opportunities within the marketing and advertising world.

Technological advances have always changed the face of marketing; the invention of the television made TV spots the dominant form of advertising in just a few short years. Just like television were the radio and the printing press before it, changing the primary form we receive our advertising.

In the last two decades however, there has been a seismic shift in all parts of the marketing process, not just the medium.

Here we explore some of the major ways that technology has been changing marketing as of late.

3 Major Ways Digital Technology is Changing Marketing

  • The Consumer Comes First

The advent of the internet, smartphones that make the internet portable and constantly accessible, and the variety of shopping/purchasing options online make digital marketing a crowded field. By having more information about more choices, potential customers wield much more power, changing the way that businesses have to approach marketing.

Instead of selling themselves and their product, businesses now approach with just as much concern the concept of selling to somebody. With more power in the (literal) hands of the consumer, if you don’t catch that specific consumer’s eye right away and keep their interest, twelve other companies are ready to jump in and sell them something similar.

This also correlates with the rise in specialty and niche products; variety and specificity in demand leads to variety in supply to match customer wants. This in turn leads to a more diversified marketplace with even more competitions, compounding the cycle.

  • Big Data

The tech revolution that enables the knowledge of what a specific consumer might want, and how to appeal to that demographic, is big data. The big data revolution has enabled analysis of massive amounts of tracking data that gives advertisers information about purchasing trends. This allows for incredibly specific targeted advertising that is more relevant (and eerie) than ever before.

The effects of this aren’t limited to the advertising end of marketing. Product development nowadays doesn’t have to be based on creating demand, or guessing what people might buy. Instead, macro- and micro-trends can be examined to see which products could fulfill available niches.

Aggregated customer feedback and survey data can now be used to tailor to demand by making exactly those products which will have the most buyers once they hit the market. In this way, big data, while based on a resource mined from consumers, leads to a more demand-oriented marketing landscape.

  • Social Media

Social media is at the center of the digital revolution. Social media platforms act as brokers of supply and demand, selling customer data and ad space to businesses and even establishing direct purchasing interfaces to make the path from advertisement to product as frictionless as possible.

Use of “free” social media generates the data points that the big data revolution utilizes. Similarly, fashion and cultural trends can be amplified on social media since product brands can be tagged and mentioned in comments. This has led to the rise of marketing through social media “influencers” and brand ambassadors.

People with sizeable social media followings can start mutually profitable relationships with brands by advertising their products in a more organic and personal way, blurring the line between authentic social media use and infiltration by big business. As more of our lives are lived online, marketing tries to take advantage.

However, modern consumers are perceptive and can almost always tell the difference between promoted and natural content. This is in part due to a push from social media users for platforms like Facebook and Instagram to add labels to promotional posts by ambassadors or celebrities, and adding banners to direct ads. For businesses, this means not trying to deceive consumers but making a compelling and instantly engaging argument for why they deserve patronage.

In Summary

Technological advancements have always caused rapid change in the marketing world, but currently the pace of that change is incredible. In the future, look out for legal issues regarding advertising related to wearable and even prosthetic electronics, as well as increased automation of advertising campaigns as artificial intelligence progresses.

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