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The evolution of digital marketing

How have advancements in technology contributed to the ever increasing importance of digital marketing?

Sophie Porter 26. Jan 2017 10 minutes
the evolution of digital marketing

Most of us couldn’t be without our mobile phones; less telephones, more personal computers, mobile phones allow us access to pretty much everything we need to go about our daily lives - from our email accounts and bank accounts, to keeping us in touch with friends & family all across the world, 24/7.

Advancements in mobile technologies, particularly over the last 10 - 20 years, have dramatically changed the way we communicate with the outside world on an individual basis - providing us with the ability to access almost any information we need, at any time, instantly. And as technology changes the way individuals consume information, it in turn changes the way businesses relay information.

This is where digital marketing comes in...

The evolution of digital marketing

In its most basic form, digital marketing is the marketing of a product or service using online platforms; from Social Media & Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) to email marketing, and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Although it may seem complex if you’ve never really done it before, realistically, if digital marketing isn’t an integral part of your overall business strategy, you’re missing out; with over 2.8 billion people throughout the world using Social Media platforms alone every day, together with 40,000 searches made on Google every second of everyday.

But, as the demand for digital marketing increases, you may be wondering where it all began...

So, here is a brief and potted history of the evolution of digital marketing and the technology that enabled its rise to power:

Advancements in technology and the rise of digital marketing

The personal computer

  • IBM launched the first personal computer in 1981; a revolution in digital technology, the world’s first PC allowed its owners to perform basic data entry tasks.

  • Soon after, Apple’s ‘Lisa’ was released in 1983, as the first personal computer to have a GUI.

  • In 1990, HTML was first developed which gave rise to the World Wide Web, which opened up a whole new world of possibilities in communication and information sharing; eventually leading to web development, email, social media, search engines… the whole lot! HTML formed the basis of everything ‘online’.

Google

  • Also in 1997, SEO began its journey; a must-have for any successful website today

  • The turn of the millennium then saw the launch of Google AdWords (2000) - the first online advertising service available at a minimal cost per click - the birth of PPC. Google AdWords has since been renamed Google Ads

  • The search engine we all know and love was developed at Stanford University in 1996 In 1997, the domain Google.com was first registered

  • Soon after, in 2003, Google AdSense became the first available content targeted service

Social Media

  • LinkedIn was founded in 2002, giving professionals a platform through which to communicate online
  • Not long after, in 2004, Facebook was developed predominantly for American college students, and rapidly expanded
  • YouTube followed in 2005, giving people a platform through which to share their own videos

The iPhone

  • The first ever iPhone has launched in 2007; widely regarded as a revolution in smartphone technology, the iPhone redefined what mobile phones could do
  • With the iPhone came the explosive use of the App Store; which gave consumers access to millions of free & inexpensive time saving or entertaining applications; from games and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, to their online bank accounts, and even dating sites!

The mobile tablet

  • As early as 1985, the first pen computers were invented, which used handwriting recognition technology. However, it wasn’t until…
  • 2002, when Bill Gates created the first PC with digital pen interface, integrated into the Windows Operating system, that the term ‘Tablet PC’ was coined.
  • Then, 8 years later, Apple dominated the mobile tablet sense with their iPad

Digital marketing today

With advancements in technology came small but significant shifts in the evolution of digital marketing; the birth of HTML forming the basis of all of this - as the possibilities of web development were realised.

Touch screen and mobile technology paved the way for user-led experiences and the birth of the app; which in turn unleashed new concepts in design, data capture, and targeted marketing to captive audiences.

The almost explosive rise of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and later Snapchat gave the spotlight to the individual; an avenue through which businesses have been able to personalise marketing campaigns based on likes, interests, and geographical locations.

The Evolution of digital marketing

The complexities of modern digital marketing

As technologies evolve, so too do the possibilities of digital marketing; 4 years ago, for example, businesses may never have thought using Snapchat as an effective marketing tool would have been appropriate, viable or even possible - where today, businesses are flocking to provide unique and exclusive content on Snapchat to their dedicated followers.

It’s no surprise then that, as the power of digital marketing is unleashed, the uncertainties of printed marketing are coming to the fore; businesses leaning more towards the data-driven, versatile, traceable nature of digital and the demands that new technologies push upon businesses to market to their customers in the ways they wish to be marketed to.

The very landscape of marketing is evolving, and it’s latest incarnation? Everything digital.

In short, if you’re not invested in digital marketing, you should be, so why not start now and talk to us today about creating a digital marketing strategy?

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