The history of digital marketing can be traced back to the 80s which saw computer technology advancing just enough to be able to sore large amounts of information about customers. The increasing sophistication in technology led to the mindset about marketing take a shift from being about pushing the product to making a connection with the customers. Marketers started to move on from their offline marketing strategies to database marketing which did not have as many limitations as list brokering.
Along with the 90s came the advent of CRM software. A system that could track interactions with current and potential customers and it blew up into something huge at that time. The massive overhaul that CRM saw in the 90s resulted in vendors expanding the services they offer to companies. They were now offering sales, service applications and marketing as well by that time.
The birth of the internet took it along to allow marketers to prioritize the experience of customers and update their customer understanding. The challenge was that they had a lot of data but not a lot of information. 1999 saw the birth of SaaS (software as a service) come forth in the form of Salesforce. It was the first company to actually deliver business applications from a website. We know it as cloud computing. This laid the foundations of future digital marketing technology.
The mid 2000s saw everyone recover from the dotcom bubble bursting and the dynamic in digital behaviour changed between sellers and buyers. Users started searching for products online and decide whether or not they want to buy them before even talking to salespeople.
Unchartered territory had been found for marketers. They didn’t know how to cope with this. Marketing automation was brought upon the scene in ’07 to help marketers effectively launch multi channel digital marketing campaigns that offered customers personalized content.
While marketing automation was very good, the mid 2000s saw another avenue open up in the form of social media platforms. The number of available channels exploded and it took until 2010 for marketers to develop software solutions for social, mobile, search and analytics.
The past decade has seen customers change from being tech savvy to being dependant on technology. This has led to their increasing expectations for all brands to provide them a streamlined experience across every device. The consolidation of digital marketing and the diversification of it were prompted by this change in consumer behaviour because of the technological advancements.
Marketing In The Future
With the proliferation of avenues providing a lot more options to marketers, things are not as easy as marketers might want them to be. With so many choices to choose from, marketers are constantly trying to work out the best combination of tools for effective digital marketing.
While it may seem unnerving to some, this shows that digital marketing is in a constant state of flux. A digital marketing expert has to keep up with all the changed happening in the landscape, they need to keep an eye out for emerging trends and constantly work on developing new technologies to help their cause. After all, nobody wants to get left behind.