Is it going to location-based marketing? Hyper-local marketing? Google+? Facebook’s timeline? Twitter ads? Social Search? What about the convergence of mobile and social? Touchscreen computing?
Clients ask me that question all the time and my answer remains the same:
Nobody knows what the next big thing is going to be. Nobody. More importantly, you shouldn’t be concerned about it. We haven’t even figured out the basics of digital marketing yet.
Let’s be frank here: The only working tactic working in the digital space is SEM. Measurable, scalable and tied back to your basic ROI. Once you leave the SEM area, digital marketers continue to work in the Wild West. We still haven’t worked out how to engage with customer through display advertising. Instead, we try to try work the attribution and measurement game:
“The metrics are all wrong.”
“It’s not about the last click.”
All true but it doesn’t instill any confidence in our clients when we sell our arsenal of digital tools with a major asterisk attached to them.
We need to fix digital marketing from scratch.
Display advertising? Clearly, we need to start from scratch. We have optimized the delivery of ad units to customers but the creative side of the equation continues to be abysmal. The declining click-through rates are proof of that.
Social Media? Most companies have still not understood the power of Social Media. 95% of marketing efforts on social platforms continue to be megaphone-style, mass marketing efforts. Cutting down the power of Social Marketing to almost nothing.
Location-based marketing? Coupons are nice but they are not the be-all and end-all of location-based marketing strategies. By focusing on pure coupon play, you’re missing out in great opportunities.
The next big thing is already there.
Actually, there are many next big things. You’re just not using them properly yet. You’re not innovating enough using all these new platforms.
The majority of brands act like little children riding a bike on training wheels. After a few minutes, they get off the bike and ask: “When can I drive a car?”
Let’s try to ride the bike properly first.