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Digital Marketing is Changing Rapidly: Are You Changing With It?

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The rearview mirror shows us a year full of change. Looking forward, we can already see there’s more coming.

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The state of digital marketing isn’t what it was twelve months ago.

One year ago, most of your office probably wasn’t thinking about blockchain tech. And if anyone was talking about it, it was probably in reference to Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Today blockchain awareness is catching on with agencies, and industry leaders are looking at its potential to become a central ledger for the digital advertising world.

One year ago, most US brands’ marketers weren’t talking about the GDPR, and of those who had heard of it, few could say what the abbreviation even stood for. Today, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation—which went into full legal effect in May—is enforcing seriously punishable customer data rules internationally.

One year ago, augmented reality was a parlor trick with sparse availability and limited real-world applications. Today, Snapchat and Instagram accountholders are using it effortlessly across both platforms, and iPhone X owners are making animojis with it—whether or not they’ve even heard the term AR. Businesses, too, are developing it into their apps, adding value and engagement points.

It’s Not Just the Tech—Your Audience is Changing, Too

These examples are only a few among many. Do we even need to mention the Cambridge Analytica scandal and how it’s changed our trust in Facebook?

And what about the myriad times over the past year brands missed the mark with audiences in the social sphere?

How many punchlines didn’t “land” in 2018 the way they would have just one year before?

How many controversies were set off, and how many formal apologies were issued because someone in the PR department failed to understand the power of their marketing tools (and how quickly a little mistake can go viral)?

The proof is all around us and it’s undeniable. We don’t live in the same world we did last year.

Spoiler Alert: More Big Change is on the Way

The rearview mirror shows us a year full of change. Looking forward, we can already see there’s more coming.

We don’t bank heavily on predictions, but over the next 52 weeks it will be important to see how our industry copes with things like:

  • The increasing use of ad blockers on mobile and desktop (11% of us already use at least one—up 30% from last year)
  • The migration to live video as a marketing channel (82% of people would rather watch a brand’s live video than its social media posts)
  • The evolution of AI (58% of CMOs believe brands will need to compete in the AI space within 5 years)

If intuition isn’t sending a clear enough signal, the numbers should. What worked for your brand’s digital marketing last year, may not work again this year. Or next year. Think your business is exempt? Think again.

“Hoping For the Best” is a Nice Mindset But a Lousy Strategy

As existing marketing tools age, better and faster ones come along to replace them. The same is happening every week with best practices and marketing insight. If you’re not keeping a constant watch over the evolution of digital marketing, you’re being washed downstream with the current.

So what’s a Director of Marketing to do in 2019?

Unless you have a surplus of free time, your best bet is to delegate some of this. And if your in-house team doesn’t have the bandwidth to make digital marketing a central focus, it’s time to look at outside resources.

DKY has a team of dedicated, full-time digital experts, whose sole purpose is to help our clients succeed online.

Starting with a deep-dive audit, we can identify what needs to be addressed, and in what order of priority. We’re also looking at new technologies and practices all the time. Elements of any campaign can usually be fixed, modified, or enhanced to show measurable improvement.

Your role is essential to the brand. But even with an in-house team behind you, the right digital experience might be missing. That makes it difficult to stay on the bleeding edge of marketing.

Let DKY shoulder some of the burden. Let’s make this the year you stop catching up, and start getting ahead.