It’s 2021, two decades have passed since the turn of the millennium when most processes had just started going digital. VR, AI, AR, Machine Learning, Block Chain, etc. aren’t science fiction anymore. As technology and internet penetration have significantly increased in the past decade, so have the ways of our lives and how the world functions.
Easy access to the internet, smartphones and connected devices has resulted in more screen time for us. Traditional mediums of entertainment and information such as Newspapers, Magazines, Radio and Television have fallen far behind their digital counterparts.
Owing to this shift in human preferences, the Marketing Industry had to adapt and go Digital. This is how the era of Digital Marketing began.
‘Digital marketing is the use of digital or social channels to promote a brand or reach consumers. This kind of marketing can be executed on the internet, social media, search engines, mobile devices, and other channels. It requires new ways of marketing to consumers and understanding the impact of their behavior.’
‘Digital marketing is the use of the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers. Some marketing experts consider digital marketing to be an entirely new endeavor that requires a new way of approaching customers and new ways of understanding how customers behave compared to traditional marketing.’
‘Digital marketing is the marketing of goods and services via digital technologies. The Internet, for example, is a type of digital technology. However, it is not the only one. Digital marketing also includes marketing services and products using display advertising, mobile phones, and other digital media.’
A few things are made clear through these definitions:
It was in 1990 that Web 1.0 platform came into widespread use, ushering in the age of the internet and a connected world. Marketers worldwide were not confident in the Internet as a marketing platform at first and it took a decade for Digital Marketing to gain strong momentum.
The first clickable banner went live in 1993 and was subsequently bought by HotWired.com for advertisements. The first commercial Digital Advertisement was purchased by AT&T and went online in 1994. The advertisement was viewed by a total of 44 users and everyone clicked on it and was redirected to AT&T.
A small clickable banner ad on the internet set off a chain reaction that was to forever change the world of marketing in the coming years.
Banner ads caught on like wildfire with Yahoo.com introducing their own primitive banner ads in 1995. By 1997, banner ads were still mostly about the tech industry, the majority of them were advertisements for discounts on PCs and data centre hardware.
The growth seemed steady until the Dot.Com bubble burst in early 2000s causing a major setback to the Industry. Things were moving forward steadily again but it took a few more years for other businesses to show confidence in Online Marketing. The first positive milestone for the Online Marketing Industry came at the end of 2004 when the combined revenue of the industry raked in revenue to the tune of $2.9 Billion in the USA alone.
From that point onwards, the Digital Marketing Industry kept growing at a steady pace. As technology progressed, many new tools became available to marketers to make digital marketing operations even more effective. Cookie, Location logs, Active location of users and other personal information collected during sign up process helped Marketers target ads towards potential consumers.
As of Q1 2021, the Online Marketing Industry was valued at around $340 Billion and is expected to breach the $500 Billion mark by 2024.
As years have passed, technology, internet and being connected have kept occupying larger and larger portions of our life. So significant has the use of Internet become in the present times that access to the internet has been declared as a basic human right in the majority of the world.
Higher ground level penetration of Internet also led to increasing online presence of the general population.
The Digital 2021 Report by WeAreSocial and Hootsuite concluded that the Global Average Time spent using the internet was 6 hours and 54 minutes.
Statista reports that users were spending an average of 2 hours and 35 minutes on Social Media sites. If we consider the graph above the time using social media via smartphones has increased five folds in a decade.
Social media users have almost doubled in a considerably short span of 5 years. With more people accessing the internet and smartphones, this number is only going to increase.
Businesses, small or big, have also been utilizing social media platforms for various business activities. Be it B2B marketing or B2C marketing, good social media strategies have helped businesses effectively boost their sales.
Global Technological Initiatives such as Starlink by Visionary Elon Musk, access to high speed, reliable and affordable satellite internet will have a huge impact on the world and human society. Regions and populations who were once offline due to lack of communication infrastructure will make their way onto various online platforms as consumers and creators in the coming decade.
The online space will keep growing strongly with its importance in our daily life becoming even more significant. We’re not far from the day when almost everything will be online. With Augmented Reality making progress, we might even live in complete simulations in the coming centuries.
As the Online Space keeps growing it will keep becoming an important frontier for the Marketing Industry. Digital Marketing is not a new concept but it has gained mainstream worldwide adoption only in the recent decade. With its widespread adaptation came innovations and developments in the field thanks to which Digital Marketing stood out as a better and more effective alternative to other traditional forms of marketing.
The Digital Marketing Industry is a very dynamic one as it relies on technology at its core and Technology keeps evolving and getting better every year. There are plenty of new technologies always coming up and it is difficult to assess which of those will catch on and will be relevant to the Digital Marketing Industry.
Source – Voice Search SEO
Source – Augmented Reality Marketing in 2020
Wrapping it Up
Digital Marketing has grown from a single banner ad in 1993 to a global industry turning out hundreds of billions in 2021. As technology advances, Digital marketing will keep evolving and changing the ways of our lives. It will either become a seamless part of our lives or we’ll have pop-up ads waiting to ambush us at every step. Either way, our lives are set to be completely changed.
Author – Yash Chawlani
Yash Chawlani is a Freelance Content Marketing Strategist who is known by his personal brand Merlin. He specializes in SEO and Social Media and helps B2B and SaaS companies out there with his top-notch content strategies. In his spare time, you can either find him in the gym or on the football field. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.