The Evolution of Digital Marketing: Then & Now

Jackie, an internet marketing specialist and founder of Amber Creative, writes about the difference between the digital marketing we know in the past and of today. How has the internet shaped changes in Digital Marketing? 

Business is changing the face of marketing strategies and initiatives in an organization. Marketing teams have kept pace with the fast-changing situation by engaging different ways of reaching consumers.

Consumer psychology has changed from being conservative to being more informed over the years. Consumers now demand timely and personalized buyer experiences. Smart brands nowadays target specific consumers rather than blindly showcasing their products. Brands sell feelings of happiness, joy, achievement, etc. in association with their brands rather than just the product.

Marketing efforts have evolved with time – moving from billboards, posters or print advertisements to being visual and auditory using television and radio.

The next galactic jump was the introduction of the internet, changing everything in marketing and opened up a whole new world and online reputation management became more important than ever. As marketing grows encompass digital marketing channels including social media it has given rise to the use of personalized messages to its target consumers.

Marketing efforts have evolved with time – moving from billboards, posters or print advertisements to being visual and auditory using television and radio.

Let’s go on a quick journey back in time to refresh our memory on digital marketing.

In the year 1990, about 27 years ago, the internet was a stagnant place and little did people know what it will soon turn into. Social media was unthinkable at that time. In 1993, the world discovered its first web banner and digital marketing set the ball rolling. Yahoo! was born and suddenly organizations were in a race to have their online presence. In 1998, Google entered the marketplace and completely reshaped the then digital world transforming it into the golden era of digital marketing.

With the introduction of Google AdWords (2000), SEO (Search Engine Optimization) became the new buzzword. With the introduction of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest amongst others, the social media platform just went wild.

More than a billion people were connected on social media suddenly and marketers quickly adapted to this quantum shift in human interactions by creating digital media campaigns purely based on the users’ preferences and choices in their search patterns. News, views, true inspirational stories etc. were used by savvy marketing teams to position their products differently and get close to the customer’s heart.

From 2007 we saw a completely new phenomenon – the introduction of Smartphones. The world witnessed yet another disruptive technology. People had more than two devices to stay connected and accessing the internet was far quicker than previous times. Mobile marketing was the new growth opportunity then. YouTube ( 2005), WhatsApp (2010), SnapChat (2011), Video on Instagram (2013) was fast changing the face of digitisation.

With the introduction of Google AdWords (2000), SEO (Search Engine Optimization) became the new buzzword. With the introduction of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest amongst others, the social media platform just went wild.

Digital marketing now involves real-time, data-driven, personalized interactions with consumers and prospects. Visually appealing content that catches the eye and short videos are now on the rise. The digital landscape is a dynamic playground for marketers and they must constantly dabble with the latest technologies before they become obsolete and another one replaces them. A brand can reach anyone, anywhere and anytime. Digital marketing has given brands that incredible power. Whichever way the river flows, one thing is certain that the essence of marketing will always remain constant, which is persuading the consumer to buy your product or services and retaining your old customers.

Written By

Jackie Yeo is the co-founder of Ladyboss. She is an internet marketing specialist who focuses on helping clients build and manage their online presence. Jackie is also a strong advocate of women's rights and is keen to promote entrepreneurship among women. Outside work, she's a self-professed foodie and an avid dancer.

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