How Digital Marketing Changed the Game – Or Did It?

How Digital Marketing Changed the Game – Or Did It?

January 1, 2020

As marketers, we’re always trying to stay ahead of the latest trends so we can make our brands stand out. So, when digital marketing came along, many people thought it would change the game for good. While it did affect where we target our audiences, it didn’t change how we do it. Let’s dig deeper.

What is Digital Marketing? 

Digital marketing is marketing products or services using digital technology. Apps, websites, social media ads, and any other type of content that’s distributed on the Internet counts as part of your digital marketing efforts.

When the Internet became mainstream, advertisers and marketers were among the first to adopt this technology because we saw how it could help us connect with more people in a shorter amount of time. In marketing, there’s no bigger win than that.

The Nuts and Bolts

Once we wrapped our heads around the Internet and how we could use it to speak with our potential clients, it was time to get down to the nuts and bolts. How are we going to reach these people? Well, after we determined our goals, gained a deeper understanding of the digital marketing avenues we could explore, and brainstormed cool and innovative campaign ideas, we were once again faced with a blank page.

That’s right, nothing really changed. Agencies and brands still needed account managers, copywriters, and art directors to concept and create advertisements to live in the digital space. Good storytelling reigned supreme and may have become even more vital than before. So, while the venue changed, the game stayed the same.  

What’s the Difference? 

One of the most significant differences between digital and traditional marketing from a logistical point of view is the placement of your ads. Your team still needs to create the platform-specific art and copy for each distribution channel. These creative pieces need to be edited and approved, and your team will hopefully A/B test your efforts so they can make changes and monitor your results.

Another change marketers and advertisers faced is the time you have to respond to potential or current customers. With traditional advertising, taking your campaign from idea to release can be a timely process, taking weeks or even months. Not so with digital advertising. If you’re working on a tight deadline, you could have an ad go from idea to live in a matter of hours. And if you develop an ad that doesn’t work, expect to hear about it – and soon.

For example, you’re probably seen the Peloton 2019 Christmas ad. When this awkward commercial for the Peloton exercise bike came out, the damage to the brand was almost immediate. People flocked to Twitter and Facebook to denounce this ad, which featured a woman who received the exercise bike for Christmas and then documented her workout journey. Criticized as sexist and dystopian, this advertisement didn’t just lower the public opinion of Peloton – it also affected their stock price. Within three days of this ad being released, the brand’s stock plummeted 15%, about a $1.5 billion loss in the company’s market value. Oof!  

Bringing It All Together

Fortunately, most brands won’t face a Peloton debacle of their own when using digital marketing. On the other hand, many brands fail to make even the tiniest ripple through the constant stream of content that’s being generated. How can you make your brand stand out? Fundamentals. Good storytelling, vibrant design, and smart distribution are still the keys to any successful ad campaign. Before you start posting anything, you need to start by brainstorming with your team, developing a solid idea, revising it to fit your brand image and voice, and then making it come to life. These are the basics of advertising, and regardless of the form of media you’re using, these are the keys to making sure your campaign connects with potential customers and brings positive attention to your brand.   

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