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The Impact of Technology on Marketing

There is no ignoring all of the incredible advancements in technology happening around us in recent years. Cars can now drive themselves, everything has Wi-Fi (see Mark Miller’s doorbell post), and drones could soon be delivering Amazon packages straight to your doorstep. While these inventions will undoubtedly change the very way we live, technology is also changing the way we work. More specifically in my case, the way we market goods and services.

Digital marketing, which is simply marketing that uses electronic media vs. physical media, is the newest buzzword in the marketing world. It utilizes the internet, mobile devices and other digital displays to quickly and efficiently reach your target audience. Of course, “how quick” and “how efficient” are variables that change with every campaign and the person managing it. Let’s look at each separately.

In the technology age, speed is everything. The ideal speed for a standard web page to load is 3 seconds, and anything longer makes it more likely that your customers will start looking for their goods elsewhere. Go ahead and test your company’s website. Did it pass? Is it the same on mobile devices, or does your website even load correctly on a mobile device? One way to control this is by investing in a “responsive” web design, which automatically resizes and formats your website to the device it is being viewed on. Trust me, nothing is worse to millennials than slow loading times or distorted web content. Don’t strike out with potential customers because of a slow website. Eakes just made the investment into a responsive web design earlier this month, so feel free to browse on both your desktop and mobile device to see how the technology really works.

The topic of efficiency is nothing new to marketers. In fact, I feel like my main goal as a Marketing Coordinator is to get the most bang for my buck. Lucky for us, technology is now on our side. We have the ability to collect consumer information, often without the consumer even knowing, and direct campaigns only to the ones that meet a specific criteria. This can also be done based on consumer location, which is called geo-targeting. Best of all, you often only pay if they click-on or watch your targeted advertisement. That’s right – only paying when you reach target audience. How does it get more efficient than that!? I’m about to tell you.

The unfortunate reality is that these advancements in marketing aren’t as much as an edge over your competition as they are becoming the standard. This is where creativity creates separation. There are as many “hows” as there are “wheres” when advertising. If you know your target demographic (as every marketer should), you’ll want to know the best way to reach that audience. Maybe it’s video pre-rolls on YouTube, coupons on Facebook, or even banner ads on a local news site. The beauty of digital marketing is that all results are measurable, so it doesn’t hurt to try multiple means until you find what works best for your company.

It’s almost scary to see how marketing has changed over the past decade. We’ve gone from placing local newspaper ads to reaching global audiences with a single social media post. Where will it be another 10 years from now? Google, Facebook, Twitter, even Instagram weren’t originally intended to be the advertising juggernauts that they are today, yet here they are at the top. That’s why it is important for marketers to stay on top of technology trends. You never know what will be the newest – and possibly best – way to reach your target audience.