To quote the great Bob Dylan in his iconic song: the times they are a-changin’. This is true of many things in our world, not the least of which is the landscape of the Internet (and digital marketing’s place within the online realm). But there’s no need to get dramatic; whether or not you realize, the times are always a-changin’ when it comes to digital marketing. Tactics and strategies that worked five years ago are no longer effective, and the almost-daily updates of Google’s search algorithm stand as a reminder to businesses and digital marketing companies that the game can change at any time.
The key, as it is with most things in constant flux, is to stay ahead of the curve (or at least as close to it as possible). Money is made on the stock market by staking dollars on the futures of companies. Sports teams build dynasties by predicting the abilities of amateur-level athletes and maximizing their salary cap dollars. Professional careers are built on portfolios and achievements that profile successful futures. People and businesses don’t excel by repeating themselves year after year; they prosper by enhancing, pivoting and changing
Understanding how, when and why to change
In digital marketing, the biggest reason to shift is the fact that consumers are changing the way they buy products and services. If you and your business are still trying to engage, connect and sell to consumers or other businesses the same way you were ten, five or even three years ago, it’s not going to work. Technological advances and the development of the digital space into a living, breathing market has given consumers more power and knowledge than ever before. For example, Statista predicts that tablets will out-ship laptop and desktop computers by 2016. Consumers are no longer playing on your turf; you’re playing on theirs.
If you want to succeed in today’s hyperactive, digital business world, you need to exist in the same places and spaces as your customers. That means developing a web presence driven by high-quality content and graphic design. Keeping up with customers means maintaining an active social media presence in order to listen, communicate and engage with your audience. It means embracing the mobile movement and experimenting with marketing on tablets and smartphone devices. Most importantly, it means plugging your business into the ebbs and flows of the digital world, because that’s exactly what your customers are doing.
Predicting the future of digital marketing is hard, but it’s a lot easier when you have an expert on your side. If you’re looking for help and guidance in planning your 2015 digital marketing strategy, get in touch with Dave Scott your local WSI Consultant today!