Marketing has come a long way from giant billboard advertisements, newspaper placements, and generic TV campaigns designed to target customers en masse. The creative individual idolised in the hit TV series Madmen – set during the advertising boom of the 1960s – now needs to be equally attuned to technology to fully realise their potential.
From search engines to smartphones and data analytics platforms such as Google Analytics, CRMs, and Responsetap call tracking, it’s fair to say technology has changed the game. Below we look at some of the key impacts for consumers and businesses alike.
How technology has shaped consumer behaviour
Technological advances in the past two decades alone have changed the way people find information, source entertainment, and buy products, forever.
Widespread internet adoption has been perhaps the key driver in this shift. According to recent estimates more than 4.5bn people – almost 60% of the world’s population – now use the internet. That’s up by 7% since January 2019 alone. This digitalisation is seen as economically vital in developing countries where connectivity is still more limited.
With internet adoption has come the rise of smartphones, putting the world at our fingertips almost wherever we go. A phone is no longer merely a communications device. Around 5.2bn people currently use them – a figure also expected to rise exponentially in coming years.
And it’s from our smartphones, laptops, and other connected devices that we now conduct many of our daily activities. The average internet user spends just under 7 hours online every day, with one-third of that time allocated to social media. Meanwhile 75% of users aged 16-64 buy something online every single month.
The business benefits of marketing technology
With that vast increase in internet activity has come an overwhelming number of opportunities for brands to find, track, and target customers online.
Having a well-optimised website for example allows a business to appear at the top of search engine results for lucrative phrases related to their brand, attracting new customers for free. This can then be supplemented with a social media presence and targeted advertising to meet ideal audiences where they already are.
Once a business has someone’s attention online, they then have numerous ways to track their behaviour and guide their experience accordingly. Be it the information they share on Instagram, the way they interact with different parts of a website, or the marketing permissions they allow, a business has all the tools it needs to create marketing activity that points them towards a conversion.
Even with new GDPR restrictions and the rise of online ad blockers, the opportunities here are endless – especially compared to those available before pre-internet age. Now brands and marketers know if their efforts are working in real time – and have the power to fine-tune them in seconds.
Is your business making the most of technology?