Adglow at 10 - What's changed in the last 10 years?

By Pooja Kanabar

The face of digital marketing has dramatically changed in the past ten years. Marketers have had to contend with leaps in technology, adapt to smart marketing tools and keep up to speed with customers who operate in a multi-channel world.

As it’s our tenth birthday we thought we would look back at the digital trends which have shaped the past decade.

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1. The Massive Growth of Social Advertising

The social media landscape has massively changed over the course of ten years. Social platforms such as Myspace have come and gone and social advertising has firmly placed itself into the fabric of our daily lives.

Facebook went from launching Facebook Ads & Pages in 2007 to becoming the second largest advertising vendor in the world. Twitter entered the advertising foray in 2010 with Promoted Tweets, Trends & Accounts, and Instagram, Snapchat & Pinterest followed suit with their own advertising products shortly after.

Ten years on and social media advertising is continuing to evolve at an astronomic speed. Each social media platform now has its own suite of sophisticated advertising products and targeting features available, and brands now have multiple opportunities to connect with their customers in relevant ways.

With the average social media user connected to 3+ social media accounts and spending almost 2 hours a day browsing social media (Source: Global Web Index) brands have quickly realised that social media is a critically important channel to generate more business revenue.

rawpixel-1057242-unsplash (1)Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

2. The Simultaneously Massive Rise of Mobile

In the last decade, the use of smartphones and tablets has exploded. In 2007 smartphones entered the mass market with the ground-breaking release of the iPhone. Fast forward to today and global smartphone ownership now sits at 2.53 billion with 51.89% of global web traffic originating from mobile devices. (Source: Statistica).

Smartphones have overtaken desktop as the primary device for going online and mobile has fast become our preferred screen for communication. Apps such as WhatsApp have become a part of our daily routine and social media Apps such as Instagram and Snapchat hinge on the capabilities of augmented reality and photo sharing which smartphones offer.

What used to sit on our desks now conveniently fits in the palm of our hands, allowing us to effortlessly utilise functionality wherever we go. Brands who adapt their marketing to the shift in behaviour will win.

rawpixel-651368-unsplash (1)Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

3. The World Goes Video Crazy

Ten years ago, video was restricted to major brands who had the buying power to reach audiences with TV or cinema advertising. Today, anyone can create video content from their mobile phone.

With paid social, mobile and video intrinsically linked, the demand for video content is at an all-time high. According to a Cisco report, 80% of all internet traffic will be streaming video content by 2019 and this growth isn’t predicted to slow down anytime soon.

Brands have woken up to the massive potential video offers them. From video ads, customer reviews and homepage brand stories to product tutorials and live streams.

Video is an integral part of the marketing mix and advertisers who leverage video to increase engagement and conversions at every stage of their buyer’s journey can guarantee success.

thomas-russell-751613-unsplash (1)Photo by Thomas Russell on Unsplash

4. We Meet The Millennials

Over the past ten years, Millennials, (those born between 1981 and 1997) have grown well into adulthood with a collective spending power which is estimated to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020. (Source: Oracle)

As a digital-first generation who make up a large portion of today’s consumers, it has become increasingly important for brands to find innovative ways to appeal to them.

Millennials respond to marketing in different ways than previous generations. They expect interaction, instant gratification, excellent customer service and marketing that stands out from the noise to grab their attention.

Ten years ago, putting an advert in a print publication was enough to get a sale but Millennials don’t care about catchy phrases, they care more about authenticity.  User generated content, interactive ads, recommendations from friends and influencers all carry weight in their decision-making process and marketers need to ensure they put their customers at the forefront of their marketing messages to win this group over.

rawpixel-415585-unsplash (1)Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

5. Online Shopping Became The New Norm

Ten years ago, people went to one or two websites when looking for a product, and decided based on that information. Now, customers are able to research multiple products in seconds, easily comparing competitors and reviews, putting the power of choice at their fingertips.

Today’s buyers expect a frictionless online shopping experience and want to be met with a consistent experience wherever they shop - mobile, social media, apps, desktop etc and according to a study conducted by Oracle, more than 85% of consumers expect the same quality and speed when shopping on a mobile device as they would have on a desktop.

Today’s buyers want it all - from next day delivery to instant customer service, and eCommerce giants such as Amazon are keeping abreast of these trends. Brands who provide customers with an online shopping experience which meets their demands will ensure their sales stay on the up.

brooke-lark-609899-unsplash (1)Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

6. We Say 'Hello' to Big Data

Ten years ago, marketers barely had any insights into which of their marketing efforts were performing best. Over the course of ten years, big data has revolutionised the way brands connect with their audiences.

Social media platforms provide advertisers with access to key demographic data and metrics to run smarter and more personalised advertising campaigns, and CRM tools such as Salesforce and Hubspot provide marketers with valuable analytics to improve prospect engagement and conversion rates.

Personalisation and A/B testing are powered by the streams of data which are now readily available. As a result, advertisers are armed with the intelligence needed to examine the most impactful KPI’s of their campaigns and optimise them for success.

The arrival of big data means advertisers are no longer shooting in the dark, providing them with a clear picture of what ads and content drive the most effective ROI.

william-iven-22449-unsplash (1)Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

In the past ten years a lot has changed. We’re at the prime of a digital era which has revolutionised the way we do business. While these changes may present some challenges, they also present huge opportunities for brands who embrace them.

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