We Live In a Digital World…what does that mean?
Most of us hear the phrase digital this or digital that several times a day. But, exactly what is digital? It’s a word used at nearly every level of communications today.
The term digital, relative to technology, has not been around very long. And, less than two generations ago, the concept of a digital anything was relatively unknown.
In 1957, Russia put the first artificial object in space. The satellite Sputnik 1 orbited the earth for nearly three months…and the race for space began.
The invention of the transistor was a catalyst for the digital technology that enabled space programs to evolve as they did. And thanks to the U.S. space program, starting in the late 1950’s, and the need for small, ultra-fast electronic components, the digital revolution was ushered in.
The Digital Revolution Begins
By the late 1970’s, this digital technology began to lead the way in the development of digital computers and recording devices.
The term itself is not so new, but the application of it in terms of a new electronic era began in the second half of the 20th century.
And thus, began the Digital Revolution, also known as the Third Industrial Revolution It has had a similar effect on the world as did the first two Industrial Revolutions— changing how we live, work and do business.
For some, digital is all about the technology. For many others, it’s a method of connecting with customers—and for others, it’s a way of doing business.
Regardless, the term can be applied to most aspects of today’s culture, but it does have its roots in electronic technology.
In essence, digital is an allegory for the image presented by all the digital technologies that drive the world today.
And though it’s tempting to search for a simple definition. In order to be meaningful and sustainable, we accept that digital should be recognized, not as a thing, but as a way of doing things.
E-commerce: Introducing the Online Retailer.
Less than twenty-five years ago, eCommerce was a non-existent concept. Then in the mid-1990’s, Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com, and it hasn’t been the same since.
With the evolution of the internet and the dawning of eCommerce, an entirely new retail experience has been created: The mindset of selling products has become relationship marketing
In 2017, eCommerce generated $2 trillion in retail sales worldwide.
Although it has been a meteoric rise for the online retail industry, it has not been without its challenges. Along with the increased capabilities of the internet came a colossal leap in technology.
Most of the mechanics of marketing a product on the internet are beyond the capabilities of the average entrepreneur; computer code, graphics, optimization, videos, marketing strategy… when all the owner wants to do is to sell tie-n-dye t-shirts online.
Even the most sophisticated of the large retailers don’t have a grasp on the realities of internet marketing. And, like most online retailers, they too turn to experts for help.
The Rise of the Digital Marketing Agency.
Partially out of necessity and partially opportunistic, digital marketing agencies began to rise rapidly around the turn of the century after the effects of the burst of the .com bubble wore off.
Ever since the introduction of mass storage computers in the 1980’s marketers began collecting data on their consumers, so there certainly were marketing experts prior to the crash.
But with the crash, there seemed to arise a more cautious approach to eCommerce. Experts realized a need to analyze consumer data more efficiently, to monitor marketing trends, and to watch the economic indicators more closely in order to avoid another crash.
But maybe, more importantly, marketing is directly linked to technology and with the evolution of digital technology and the spread of the internet, the need for eCommerce specialization evolved equally.
Marketing in the Digital Age
Marketing has been around as long as there have been products to sell and consumers who buy. But the digital age has spawned a new breed of marketing specialists…the digital marketing agency.
The digital marketing agency differs from the established marketing industry in that they are focused on results-based marketing in the digital world. A measurable marketing plan and return-on-investment (ROI) is the name of the game.
In the early days, a marketing plan included newspapers, magazines, TV ads, and even billboards. There was no way of measuring the success of the campaign in the short term. It could be months before the impact of a TV ad could be evaluated…based upon increased or decreased sales over that period.
But internet advertising can be measured almost immediately…direct-response marketing has also changed the game.
The digital marketing agency specializes in direct-response marketing. In fact, it’s the only way to market a brand today. It’s a 24/7 world, and conventional marketing methods are obsolete.
The agency is not only tuned into the marketing world but into technology as well. They are vigilant of changes and new developments on the internet itself and the impact those new developments have on online marketing. They are the go-to people in all aspects of eCommerce.
It Takes A Team to Build a Business
An often-quoted African proverb says: If you want to go quickly, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.
The digital marketing agency is a compilation of creative designers, developers, consultants, strategists, and writers who join together to work from the ground up to produce measurable results with a digital marketing plan centered on brand-development and lead-generation.
E-commerce, a direct beneficiary of the internet’s remarkable growth is in the driver’s seat of all retail growth in the U.S. And as it progresses more thought is given to enhancing marketing methods and techniques—in other words, introducing more technology.
The complexity and diversity of the internet and its applications guarantees that no one individual knows it all. The entrepreneur focused on their product or service, most likely, will not have the ability to navigate the expanding internet and compete without the help of a digital marketing expert.
The Digital Marketing Agency is the solution for an entrepreneur’s successful journey into the world of eCommerce. They can develop a strategy, execute a plan, monitor results—and fine-tune as needed, all while the business owner concentrates on the quality of their product or service.
How Has the Internet Market Grown?
In the early 1990’s, only 3% of U.S. households were on the internet. As of December 2017, a research group determined that 91% of all U.S. households access the internet either at home and/or on a smartphone.
Considering that 2017 statistics also show that there are 126 million households in the U.S., that’s a huge market to reach out to.
In 1980, Alvin Toffler wrote a book called The Third Wave. It’s a book about the transition of society from the industrial era, The Second Wave, to the Information Age…The Third Wave. Toffler’s vision was of an information age defined by technology allowing endless access to services and information. It’s an interactive world with communities built, not based on geography, but on common interest.
America-On-Line co-founder, Steve Case said in his 2016 book, also named The Third Wave, that not only will the internet continue to develop, but eCommerce will begin to touch lives in unprecedented ways—the internet will be integrated with everyday life.
E-commerce, as outlined above, leads the way in retail growth in the U.S. The Third Wave of the internet will see a surge in eCommerce around the world. However, along with the marketing growth will be the advancement of technology.
Consequently, along with this immense growth will come the need for more specialized collaboration: The Digital Marketing Agency.