Digital Marketing – The Mad Men era is over.

Digital Marketing - The Mad Men era is over
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The Mad Men era is over. The Digital Marketing Era is here

The advertising industry’s golden age in the 1960s had its focal point on Madison Avenue in New York. Here the so-called “Mad Men” were hatching creative advertising campaigns for newspapers, TV and radio. All efforts and effects occurred in the mass media. It was like this until around 2004, when the Facebook generation was born. This generation is increasingly ignoring traditional advertising – which we as marketers can no longer ignore in the era of Digital Marketing.

In the last few years, digital technology on the marketing front has evolved with such leaps and bounds that it has completely changed the way we practice marketing – even though the principles of market strategy have not changed.

The digital marketing era is here

These two points can summarise some of the Key characteristics of this new Digital Marketing era:

  • The customer has taken power
    The internet has turned the purchase process on its head. Earlier, you had to seek out a salesperson to obtain information about a product or service. Today consumers can find this information by themselves – through search engines like Google and Bing. The consequence of this trend is that the company and seller have much less power and are not required until the end of the buying process. An example of an industry that has noticed this is the car dealers, where earlier last year, it was reported that the number of visits in store ahead of a car purchase has dropped from 4 to 1.5.
  • Attention is scarce
    Increased globalisation and competition have resulted in consumers being bombarded with advertising messages all day long, from all angles and all available channels. This has resulted in consumers having started to protect themselves by installing ad-blocking software on their browsers and blocking direct mail and telemarketing. And when the commercials are on TV, we usually have a tablet or a smartphone to watch and check. Even 15 seconds of video advertising on YouTube clips is too much. Today you cannot hijack the attention, and you have to earn it.


These changes are taking place at a neck-breaking speed!

And if you continue with “Business as Usual”, you will face an extinction-level event.

Literally, it is GO DIGITAL, OR GO BUST!

How to survive as a business in the digital marketing era?

Here are four tips for any marketers who want to grow their businesses by taking advantage of opportunities and adapting to how customers in 2016 are handling their buying process:

  1. Think BUYING PROCESS, not a sales process
    Realise that the roles have been switched. Customers have you in their sights long before you have discovered them. So you must ensure you are visible on Google to most of your target audience. This requires that you know what keywords they are using, and you base this knowledge on producing content that attracts the right customers. These keywords will answer the questions they may have on their journey from a recognised need – to purchase.
    (If you don’t do this, you can be sure your competitors will do it!)
  2. Be helpful, not troublesome
    You need to realise that traditional advertising (the type of unwanted messaging that interrupts you when you are doing something else) is troublesome and is, therefore, less and less effective. It costs a lot to be annoying! So instead, invest in digital marketing that is helpful – with content that is free of sales chat. The people in your target market perceive this as more valuable than traditional advertising.
  3. It’s better to own it than rent it
    Advertising is just renting space in someone else’s media for a limited time. When the week you paid for is over, your expensive and great ad will disappear. Think like a media company, and invest in establishing your own channel. All content you publish will remain there forever and will provide you with growing traffic – much like compound interest, or what my colleague calls market capitalization.
  4. Take CHARGE, do not wait for the competition to beat you
    Realise that something must be done with the three points above – and do something now before your competitors get the better of you. Being a leader in your category is not just about being first and passionate but also smart. Marketing automation technologies will revolutionise how you do marketing and sales and it MUST be part of your digital marketing strategy.


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