Digital marketing is becoming increasingly analytics focused, but with a twist.
The analytics are moving toward business goals and metrics as opposed to the softer metrics used up till now.
You know … likes, follows, shares etc.
Something else …
Digital marketing is rapidly becoming a fractured, multi category discipline with specializations.
Think about it:
Just a few years ago many corporations were organized into a marketing, advertising and perhaps a separate public relations department (often housed under marketing).
Social media was a poor step child that hovered somewhere between pubic relations and marketing.
Often, both laid claim to it.
They still do in some organizations.
As for the press, they seem more concerned with tug of war between marketing and public relations (communications) and whether one should roll into the other.
Mark Stouse points out in his post on linkedIn:
In almost every instance, the discussion – and the related press coverage and comment – tends to focus on the relative merits of marketing v. communications, the collapse of one into the other, and whether one has the edge on the other in vying for the overall leadership of a combined function.
But marketing itself is fracturing into many sub disciplines that include online marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, social media, SEO, digital marketing and each with its own specialization.
Inside larger organizations, these are normally found huddled under the larger marketing umbrella.
So what exactly is changing?
Think metrics, analytics and how these must match business goals and objectives.
While some big brands continue fight internal battles over who controls digital marketing inside the organization, seismic shifts are occurring elsewhere.
Its already happening.
Just look at the many new SEO firms, online marketing and social media firms popping up.
Many of them claim to specialize in one or more of the sub disciplines called out above.
Most of them share a passion for analytical, measurable results …
… And more often than not these are being called upon to match business goals.
Because their clients demand it.
Some of this has to do with the maturing of monetization on social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Both are improving in this area and we can expect to see more advancement going forward.
With improved monetization comes improved reporting metrics and analytics … thats what marketers should care about most.
Inside larger, more established organizations I can sense the shift coming.
Yes, there are some marketers who have been around for many years and who don’t really understand online marketing or digital marketing.
Some of these execs are still focused on pushing as much content out the door through their various social channels without regard for who they are trying to reach and what effect they wish to have with that content.
And I don’t think those execs are going to change if they haven’t yet.
Yet, I’m hopeful about the crop of younger marketing professionals moving up the ladder – even inside old, well established brands.
From my experience, these folks get it and are doing everything they can to make sure their marketing campaigns are measurable, results oriented with business goals in mind.
The future is bright, but be sure not to get bypassed or your job and career could be at stake.