Digital Marketing
Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

Will Digital Marketing Have An Unexpected End?

“ Almost everybody appears to be jumping onto the Digital Marketing (DM) wagon. Sometimes it only seems that way because you are doing it yourself and you have become sensitized to it. ”

The Future of Digital Marketing

Almost everybody appears to be jumping onto the Digital Marketing (DM) wagon. Sometimes it only seems that way because you are doing it yourself and you have become sensitized to it. So, what you would not notice before as you walked past, now jumps out from the surroundings and grabs you!

But it is true. Digital Marketing has truly arrived and is taking marketing by storm! Institutes are rolling out courses on DM; students are enlisting in courses; new trainers are arising everywhere; companies are posting jobs for digital marketers whether it be SEO, Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, you find experts on each or all of these vying for your attention!

Change is a constant and this change had to happen! People had to migrate from old ways of marketing to the new; because the customers had already moved. When your customers are online almost all the time, then you need to be there too!

Technology has dramatically altered the face of the world. And it has done so very rapidly.

Just like everyone was taken aback by the fall of Kabul within a few days of the US exit, everyone has been shocked by the tremendous speed with which technology has been changing our world. It has affected every aspect of our life, and if there are any areas that were hitherto untouched then there is a bunch of smart, nerdy geeks working in a garage or coworking space somewhere at this very moment building an app or a gadget that is going to disrupt it very soon!

Photo by Frank Oberle on Unsplash

Change is expected. Very few people will say that things won’t change. We all know and admit rather glibly that change is the only constant, besides death and taxes. But our human nature also demands continuity since that makes us feel safe.

It is for this reason that change always catches more people off guard rather than prepared.

DM is a change.

But do you know that even DM will change?

Do you realize that DM is going to change as fast as technology itself?

There are drivers to all change. Drivers are triggers or causes of change.

What are the things that will force DM to change drastically from what it is now?

  1. Too Many Tools: DM requires too many other tools to make it truly effective. DM is a system or a factory for getting leads or customers. It has many moving parts like an assembly line. All of these once correctly assembled and connected to each other, make it the machine for generating sales and revenue. But humans are lazy too. Invention is also the child of laziness. Someone is right now working on the problem of too many tools! He is trying to combine as many as possible into just one or two. Too many tools mean that many tools to learn and master. That’s a turn-off for many.
  2. Too Costly: The multiplicity of tools and the increasing numbers of people turning to DM is also causing an uptick in costs. More people vying for the same keywords makes keywords more expensive! More success emboldens service providers to hike their fees. As tools become more popular the makers of the tools raise their own prices too! As reach increases the rate also increases.
  3. Requires human oversight: DM demands the involvement of people. Despite the plethora of tools, the need for people to manage, connect, synchronise and understand the data has not reduced. In fact, more tools give rise to more specialisation. Now you need Zapier experts, Hotjar experts, Google Analytics experts, and what not! Because of this, there are some people sitting there trying to figure out a way to make it simpler and more automated!
  4. Finally, a large number of professing digital marketers are actually pretty bad at their jobs. Many of them are getting away fleecing customers. I have seen some agencies charge real estate clients lacs per month, then deliver over 200 leads per month but not a single one of those leads even bothered to visit the site! Forget about a sale!

You can imagine what that could do to the image of DM in the eyes of these clients. They will think it’s a fraud. This is another pressure that will bring change.

Digital Marketing Leaders

These will be some of the primary drivers of change. Already many of them are working on tackling some of the problems listed above. Their improved models and apps will be revealed in the near future and some of them might be game-changers.

Some leaders are working on the cost angle, others on the ease of use. DigitalMarket.com is one of the latest advancements brought out by Gaurav Gurbaxani and his team.

I have heard Digital Deepak (Deepak Kanakaraj) say that he is working on something along these lines.

It is a natural corollary to their journey. They know the DM field the best and they will naturally be the ones to lead the way to newer and better methods and technologies for DM.

Large Companies like Merkle Sokrati have created their own digital marketing products that seek to provide a comprehensive solution to customers. These may be in the higher price range for enterprise-grade clients and may not impact the lower levels very soon but one simply cannot say how long it will be until they do!

AI

This is the dark horse. We have no way of knowing what progress in AI will do to the field of DM. Machine learning and Artificial intelligence is making huge disruptive changes in many disciplines. It will not be long before it transforms marketing and sales.

Technology

I am listing it separate from AI because technology itself may change. Not all change is linear. Not all change is just bigger leaps in the same direction. Some changes can be paradigm-breaking.

Once upon a time, there was a small device called a Pager that quickly became a hit. Almost everyone who thought he was important would wear one on their belt. But it vanished in a blink when cell phones came on the scene. Again, the first cell phones were large bulky one but it wasn’t long until you had tiny ones that could fit in the palm of your hand. Now, of course, we prefer larger ones because we use them for entertainment, games and work.

Technology itself can transform DM in a fundamental way.

You may ask, how long will this take?

Time For The Change

Nobody can say for certain, but one thing I can say. It will be faster than we think. Yes, it will be another Kabul. I think that is going to be another metaphor for our times – Kabul! Hehehe.

Fortunately, there are some natural speed beakers so that this cannot happen too quickly.

  1. Price Constraints – Technology tends to be costly in the beginning before scale brings down costs. Any innovation or disruptive change will take time to percolate to the bottom because the creators will first focus on the low-hanging fruit which is the ones who can pay big bucks for the latest and the best.
  2. Privacy Constraints – Technology is attacking the idea of privacy from different sides. Consequently, there is a pushback everywhere. This can also play a big role in slowing down change in DM. When does marketing cross the line between informed consent and manipulation? Which sources of information will be counted as sacrosanct and forbidden? Which means of obtaining information will be permitted? Several questions like these will need to be answered before disruptive changes are permitted or accepted.
  3. Regulatory Constraints: Although regulations are supposed to be for the protection of citizens or customers, typically, the government has its own unique way of viewing things. Governments have their own agenda. National security is an excuse that governments use readily to flag down new technologies or disruptive innovations. Information security is definitely something that will be affected by digital marketing advances and this can act as a brake.

In conclusion, the whole purpose of this article is to keep us awake to the fact that this too will change! So even if we have come late to the digital marketing party, we need to remain alert so we are not late to the next stage in its evolution. Those who embrace change quickly become leaders in that generation.

So, learn all you can and practice it and use it for your clients to the maximum. But don’t get so lost in the current practices and tools that you resist the new ones on the way.

Stay lean, stay hungry, stay humble.

And who knows, you might be the one to come up with the game-changing idea or app a few months or years down the line!

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