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Marketing in a web 2.0 era, what's changed since ten years ago by Brad Hines 10-22-12

marketing eras

There is a Charlie Green quote I love, which is: "digital marketing in the near future will be like sex, only the losers will pay for it." Although I don't fully agree that paying for marketing services is for losers, the quote certainly captures the evolving space. Marketing in the digital time we are in-as opposed to 10 years ago-requires some changes, some technical, some more conceptual. Here's my thoughts:

The need for responsive web design: Smart Phones were in their infancy and tablets were virtually non existent a decade ago. Today, an ability to have a website be built with responsive web design is advantageous over static sites. Responsive web design is when a website is designed so that it looks and works the same across the Internet on a desktop computer, tablet, and mobile phone.

The soft sell: The next generation of consumers, Gen Y and beyond, are
more savvy to marketing than any generation before, and are extremely
turned off by the hard sell. Companies need to learn to adapt their
marketing campaign to more of a general presence, and an engagement with an
audience rather than just a sheer selling "Here's our stuff, please buy it" approach. Now more then ever before, companies need to put a precedence on things like their story (the employees, the history, how the product or service is made), and figuring out ways to be a part of the consumer's lifestyle.


Social Media Marketing: Of course social media is a part of new digital marketing. See any of my countless articles on it below on how this has changed the face of marketing and running a business in general. The crux of social media marketing lies in that people put a premium on the opinions of their friends about a product or service. Using Facebook, Foursquare, Loopt and more, we can see at a glance who of our friends has been a patron to a company and what they thought about it. I personally find a kind of warmth when I go to a website I have never been to and see that a friend or colleague has "liked" it, and a sense of community as well.

Catering to shorter attention spans: There is now a shorter half life on content, and an extreme info overload-the amount of images the average digital user is bombarded with on a daily basis is over ten times what it was a generation ago. This means that content needs to be churned out quicker, shorter (word length, or video length), and that it must be more image oriented. We are in an image oriented web. The length of the average blog entry has dropped by several hundred words in the last 5 years alone, and infographics have become a trend that seems here to stay for now. Companies need to take their content and figure out how to make it timely, attention grabbing, and informative even more than in times past, as the lowered costs of ability to be in a content business has driven the demand for quality content through the roof.

Location Awareness: One of the coolest intersections of wearable & mobile technology and social media allowing for a type of marketing we never had before, is location awareness. Watch as the advertising space moves into utilizing location awareness in the next few years, for example, knowing that a user is in front of a particular store and then serving them up an ad right then and there on the spot for a coupon. The technology can even go a step further and it could calculate how deep of a discount to give you, a recommended purchase and more; all based on anything from your Klout score, purchase history, Facebook likes and digital marketing bookmore.

Digital marketing has changed at a dizzying pace in the last decade, and will likely continue to evolve rapidly as the technology, infrastructure, and users are both there, and continuing to grow as well.


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Brad Hines YumDomainsAbout the author: Brad Hines is the president of, the founder of, and an Internet analyst and digital media strategist. He is a writer who typically writes about internet and business trends, and sometimes health. He can be followed on Twitter: @BradHines





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