Over the next two days thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners head to the third Digital Marketing Show at London’s ExCeL Arena.
The show holds the hottest content and marketing methods for 2016, but with the ubiquity of mobile devices and cutting edge technology, do we really need to specify the ‘digital’ in digital marketing?
The practice is nothing new - in the lightning fast domain of tech-development, the concept of digital marketing is positively ancient. But the power for which the term stands has never been stronger, and as a communicator, digital is at the peak of its relevance.
“[Digital marketing] is hugely important. We can reach so many more people than our 39 retail stores can” says Richie Jones, head of digital and marketing at UK surf label Saltrock.
Beyond improving the efficiency of familiar marketing methods, the industry is evolving and new opportunities have been created thanks to digital; today’s customers are more engaged with brands than ever before, and this new enfranchisement has given consumers new influence in the marketplace.
“The consumer is increasingly in the driving seat from a feedback point of view. The brands doing it right are those that embrace reviews and product ratings on websites. Without this consumers can feel the company has something to hide. Increasingly there’s the expectation to have detailed reviews like there are on Trip Advisor,” Richie adds.
As such, we’re moving into the age of omni-channel engagement’ whereby marketeers provide a seamless experience regardless of channel, platform or device. It sees the customer’s relationship with a brand reach new levels. More than just a buzz-phrase, it heralds a significant shift in marketing, as explained by James Stafford, business development manager at Parker Software.
“I think omni-channel engagement has become a necessity in recent times as more customers have more knowledge of the options available to them. It means they can be a bit more picky about who they choose to do business with. Companies have to provide as many options as possible to enable them to communicate.”
Omni-channel engagement refers to an era in which digital technology is a given, so will we see this ‘digital’ thing placed delicately in the display cabinet of yesterday’s lexis? Richie Jones thinks so.
“I think it will just become known as marketing. Maybe it’s a generational thing – you currently have younger people coming into digital marketing who are very savvy, and the generation lagging behind are retiring and disappearing from the scene.”