What was plain old market outreach in every way possible with a vague presumptuous measure of investment returns is today a science where every dollar can be measured and returns carefully analyzed. The cold calling from yesteryear is today an online directory and automated drip email communication. Fixed business hours are passé, and businesses in this era must be available 24/7 to its customers, or fade away in the face of competition.
STATISTICS YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO IGNORE
From 1999 to 2016, the number of Internet Users across the world increased by a staggering 1245%
The ubiquity of the Internet in modern society is indisputable and is only set to grow. Businesses of all sizes are waking up to the fact that this enormous market is waiting to be tapped and millions earned from it. While approximately 75% of global internet users today are based out of the 20 largest economies in the world, the rest are catching up at a rapid pace, witnessed by the fact that the remaining 25% is distributed among 178 countries which represent an estimated 1% of the internet population, in each country.
The countries with the biggest internet populations, which are also, fairly obviously, the biggest online commerce markets in the world, in order of ranking are: The United States, Germany, France, United Kingdom and Canada. More than 80 of every 100 citizens in these countries are connected to the Internet.
Not surprisingly, these are also the countries which have witnessed the fastest shift to new web technologies and a rapid adoption of handheld devices in accessing the internet. Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm update, released on April 21st, 2015, bore a testament to this trend. Websites that were mobile friendly (responsive, in technology terms) were given significantly higher rankings in search results.
ComScore, the world’s leading media measurement and analytics insight provider, has also ratified the rise of mobile devices as the growth driver for a majority of all business transactions online, with the erstwhile PC being relegated to a secondary touch point position. In fact, ComScore also states that the amount of mobile users accessing the internet from their smartphone will rise exponentially henceforth, year on year.
A significant 28% jump in the use of smartphones to access the internet is expected this year, and mobile commerce is the order of the day. For marketers, it spells opportunities galore but also comes with several caveats.
HOW DO ALL THESE FACTS STACK UP, REALLY?
Digital Marketers are a new breed that combine the best of both worlds- product/service evangelism and market outreach. And they are evolving faster than you think. Their skills span analytics, A/B testing, content based marketing, social media campaigns, paid marketing, search ranking optimization and a lot more. They are clinically precise in their measurement of their Returns on Marketing Investments and are ferocious in their competitive spirit for digital commerce supremacy.
Not to mention, they have credentials to prove their mettle.
A GALAXY OF OPPORTUNITIES (AND THAT’S AN UNDERSTATEMENT)
Media spends by businesses across the world, regardless of size or location, are moving away from traditional channels to different digital platforms faster than was anticipated previously. This is set to break new grounds in the next two years (by 2018) as budget allocations to digital media will surpass the sum of all traditional budget spends. The following are the components which will comprise a majority of this category- spends on Digital Video platforms and formats will be more than traditional formats by 2018, a sign of its scorching fast popularity growth among users. To sum it all up, interconnected handheld devices and computers, are expected to be the biggest category of advertising spend (>50%) by companies worldwide this year, which will also see mobile advertising spend doubling in volume(2x) globally.
Specialized skillsets are a foregone conclusion in the modern ultra-competitive digital marketing industry. Prospects need to be engaged, and pronto. Employers have moved on from technical skills like PPC and SEO, which every contender for a top job seems to have now, to the more esoteric aspects of creativity and prospect engagement. A prominent example- Inbound marketing is now storytelling.
Where do we go from here? Time will tell, and skills validation will be the most eloquent of all career statements.