Digital Marketing in the New Business Paradigm: Taking Notice of Trends and Adapting to Emergent Realities

           Good business is all about quality products and high sales but without proper promotion, introduction and demonstration of such products, achieving high sales and profitability is not possible. Virtually every company in today’s world has a professional marketing and sales team that focuses solely on methods of promoting their products and services. Marketing practices have shifted due to the digital age and have therefore given birth to digital marketing, which, has established itself as a dominant player in the world of promotion. As more businesses benefit from such campaigns, they become more prone to embracing digital marketing solutions as a possible new frontier for their operations, increasing demand for the sector and its utile services.

            Moosa Hemani for The Huffington Post reports on “how marketing automation is changing the game in 2017,” referring to specific software solutions that help marketers reach their goals with ease and precision. The author refers to the first major player in the game, Oracle’s Eloqua platform, which was initiated in 1999 and spawned a new era of digital marketing for the world’s businesses, stretching the boundaries of imagination and practice alike. According to his research, in the marketing world of today, “90% of respondents report regular and periodic use of marketing automation for large-volume email campaigns,” to be able to reach out to the maximum numbers of potential customers. Hemani then explains marketing automation as “software that automates marketing actions” which enables marketers to “automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions.” Such automation also makes the mentioned tasks easier to carry out, making it possible to combine “marketing campaigns across all channels,” ranging from “direct mail and phone campaigns to online, social and mobile initiatives.”The author proceeds by investigating into the reasons for which the modern day businesses require automated marketing to initially refer to the issue and necessity of time management. In many ways, the current business paradigm operates on what is known as “the first mover’s advantage” as companies that engage with their customers more frequently have a higher chance of converting their leads into sales.

According to the author, “digital marketing has set a fast pace to lead conversion and businesses have no time to lose on customers that may not convert at all” which makes the functions of digital marketing software very utile for marketers who seek to attain higher levels of effectiveness with their work. This is especially true for such marketers who lose valuable time and resource “juggling between multiple platforms,” as marketing automation “allows marketers to shift their focus to the best possible prospects that can be converted” to save them time and energy. Thanks to social media and related internet technologies, marketers now can obtain personal information about target customers but more importantly how they perceive their products. Giants such as Facebook and Google are currently utilizing algorithm based solutions to promote the most original and relevant content, which is making marketing automation even more of a necessity for marketers. As content gets regulated and its availability gets manipulated, it becomes an even bigger challenge to find the most relevant informationand utilize it in the most efficient way possible. Marketing automation software are extremely useful for such a purpose as they provide such marketers with the right tools for filtering content, creating design and reaching out to the optimal target customers.

            The two internet giants Facebook and Google have been known to dominate the online advertisement markets for years, reaching out to billions of people daily and gathering substantial data in the process. In terms of criticism and problems, Google has so far been flagged by numerous companies currentlyrunning advertisements on the search engine’s algorithm-based marketing procedures after such companies realized that their ads were being “shown alongside objectionable videos on its YouTube video platform.” Facebook on the other hand has been a frequent target of “criticism for enabling fake news, filter bubbles, foreign election meddling and social media addiction,” while generating 85% of its entire revenue from corporate posts and advertisements. Unilever’s threat therefore should be comprehended as a fair warning to both companies to pay more attention to their services and elevate them to more desirable and constructive standards. This is especially true for Facebook because given the extremely high popularity of the system among younger people, it becomes quite easy to manipulate information through its services for mal-intended individuals using the application, which can significantly harm the mental and psychological well-being of such young people.

            The recent issue known to the world public as ‘Brexit’ also has dire implications for marketing, digital or otherwise. As Suzanne Bearne reports for The Guardian, in times of stagnation and uncertainty, digital marketing is enabling struggling UK businesses and their brands to expand overseas with ease. The author refers to Graze, Made.com and Wetsuit Outlet as three successful examples for such a trend in a competitive world where 1 in 10 of every UK company export its goods to foreign market. Graze, the “Richmond-based healthy snacks company” began to grow interest in the American snacks markets after establishing itself as a powerful competitor in the UK markets as “America’s snacking and food retail markets are more than eight times the size of the UK’s,” providing an excellent opportunity for the company and its future operations. The company initiated its operations in 2013 in all the 50 American states to utilize its famous “online marketing campaigns and social media presence, which know no barriers” and bring in 30,000 orders in the first three weeks along with 100,000 customers in the first three months.

On a similar path, water sports apparel supplier Wetsuit Outlet took notice of the new trend and its possibilities after the company began to get receive amounts of foreign customer e-mails and traffic on its website.  Ranking high in Google ratings and listings, the company began to run “paid search across Europe” in 2016 while also launching country-specific sites in France, Germany, Italy and Spain to increase both sales and investment to create a sales network that currently stretches over 60 countries. Finally, the furniture e-tailer Made.com also followed suit to enter the French, Italian, Dutch, Belgian and German markets and utilize digital tools and technologies for targeting specific audiences and selling UK furniture to foreign customers. The company is intending to grow fast and the digital platforms it utilizes enables them to track its much-anticipated returns on investment figures with ease and accuracy. Bearne concludes her article by pointing out that although these companies have succeeded in their plans, the current volatile financial environment created by Brexit might pose significant threats to others, warning her readers of the related adverse financial effects. In the end, modern markets cannot offer absolute success and profitability to every player in them and therefore it is important to pay attention to the issue of finance for companies struggling with their current operations in the UK before expanding into new markets.

Author: Robin Gupta