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14 Entrepreneurs Share Their Thoughts on the Future of Digital Marketing

The digital marketing space is rapidly changing and becoming more complex. If there was a time that you wanted to start digital marketing efforts, then it should be now. Take for example, Google algorithm keeps changing as well as Facebook terms. Some marketers predict that the future might be bright for those who take advantage of the current situation .

We asked entrepreneurs what they think will be the future of digital marketing.

#1- Finding the right customers

Photo Credit: Robbie Wright

As a start-up entrepreneur, I truly believe in the value digital marketing can have in reaching your ideal customers and in turn, growing your business. After a successful acquisition of our previous company (largely due to our digital marketing efforts), my partners and I decided to invest in the future of digital marketing and grow our own full-service agency. While the tactics and technology will constantly be changing and growing, the heart of marketing is reaching customers. However, since you can't be everything to everyone, the future of digital marketing lies in finding the right customers who speak your language and to whom you offer the clearest and best solution to their problems.

Thanks to Robbie Wright, Integrate Agency!

#2- It will evolve far beyond the current digital space

Photo Credit: Rich Herbst

As technology continues to evolve, new opportunities for customer engagement and a broader journey marketing path will emerge. As they do, the nature of digital marketing will expand, as will the abilities of smart marketers to refine it to make the customer experience more convenient, efficient and personalized, and much more cost-effective and profitable for sellers. The new technologies will create a more transparent and personalized picture in which we will be able to see the customer in his/her full context. That will make the process much more holistic because we then can deliver an omni-channel experience that addresses what the data tells us are the customer's immediate needs. Likewise, the data will allow us to more-accurately predict his/her future needs. When we are better able to see the whole picture, from the customer's perspective, we will better be able to meet them where they are – with messages, content, solutions and offers that optimize both the customer's brand experience and the seller's marketing investment.

Thanks to Rich Herbst, Ascend Marketing!

#3- More altering of algorithms

Photo Credit: Sowndarya Kishore

The population of tech-savvy Internet users keeps growing everyday and with this the number of businesses that devote their time and efforts to reach their audience through digital marketing will also continue to grow. This will force new trends to emerge constantly. Marketers will keep tuning themselves to evolve with technology. Search engines will keep altering their algorithms to suit user needs which means Marketers will have to upgrade their SEO practices. Marketers will also have to strategize and produce insightful quality content to avoid the slump. Content Marketing will go hand in hand with Social Media and Influencer Marketing. Visual media will be preferred more than actual written content. Infographics and videos will become the types of content that is most shared. And of course, Artificial Intelligence will facilitate ease of use, interactive interfaces and improve the overall user experience. With AI, it will be easier to predict buyer personas and behaviour. Search engines will use AI to improve searches and provide better results. Marketers will have to be on the move to keep up with all the emerging trends, test them and find what’s best for them.

Thanks to Sowndarya Kishore, Social Animal!

#4- Need for proactive planning of marketing strategies

Photo Credit: Paige Shifflett

Technology is becoming more connected than ever. People are buying smart refrigerators, TVs, computers, cell phones, you name it. With the continued increase and evolvement of technology, marketers will need to utilize analytics to make more personalized campaigns and advertisements. With the Internet of Things, marketers will have an instrument with more capabilities than the standard analytic machines to better understand consumer behaviors. The more the Internet of Things grows, the more important the need will become for marketers to proactively plan marketing strategies with personalized digital campaigns.

Thanks to Paige Shifflett, SJC Marketing!

#5- Power of Artificial Intelligence

Photo Credit: Kristy Gusick

Right now Artificial Intelligence is a hot topic. When you combine AI with content personalization there is a great opportunity for marketers to take their content to the next level.

Thanks to Kristy Gusick, Professional Services Marketing LLC (PSM)!

#6- Marketing will become truly automated and personalized

Photo Credit: Gil Allouche

Marketers of the future will continue to use technology to become more predictive and forward-looking, rather than the traditional rear-view mirror into past performance. The insights provided by artificial intelligence will be fully actionable, and marketing will become truly automated and personalized.

Thanks to Gil Allouche, Metadata!

#7- Maturing of the market

Photo Credit: Baruch Labunski

Digital Marketing will mature in the next few years and brands will begin to realize that all the same marketing rules apply (even in the digital space) we just have a better understanding of the return on investment, compared to analog media from times gone by. Branding will be coming increasingly important in the digital space as Amazon owns the commoditized, price competitive space. Branding is all about understanding who you are as a business and who your target is, speaking to them and selling a product of value to them. The noise that was created by the emergence of Digital Marketing created a frenzy of behavior by pseudo business people who wanted “in” on the action. Unfortunately, the same rules apply as they always have, maybe even more so now, with all the products and services available to people. It’s even more important to operate locally, create community, be trustworthy, create value, and provide service to your customers. These things are all basic marketing and business principles that were put aside while Digital Marketing “took off” – now that the market is maturing we’ll see a calming of the chaos and many of the players fall out of the game. Digital Marketing will inform more traditional marketing too and make that better, TV and Print Channels are more measureable than ever before and this is due to digital capabilities. It will all start to bleed together to become (what it always was) just “Marketing.”

Thanks to Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure!

#8- Focus on influencer marketing

PhotoCredit: Flynn Zaiger

Future digital marketing trends I’m most excited about are the continued focus on influencer marketing, mobile marketing, and CRM applications. My agency’s social media team strongly believes in the power and importance of influencer marketing. It’s already a very big deal right now, but I can only see it continuing to grow as it allows consumers to connect with their favorite brands in the most personal way possible. I also do not see the focus on mobile marketing going away anytime soon. Our design team actually crafts websites that are mobile first, with desktop views a secondary (albeit still important) consideration. More and more people will be continuing to move away from checking their computers, so it matters. Finally, I am excited about the future of CRM applications because in the past, I’ve relied on tapping my clients in through queries and email sign-up lists. With CRM marketing, I’ll be able to stay on top of my site's visitors in real-time. This will help me better communicate with them.

Thanks to Flynn Zaiger, Online Optimism!

#9- CEO's and others become the influencers for their own products

You know the most powerful marketing tool since the beginning of commerce? Lets go back thousands of years. It's by far and away *word of mouth.* What most people don't realize is you can supercharge your word of mouth for your business using social media, but you have to put your face and personality in front of the product. For the past 50 years, it's been the brand (Pepsi, General Electric etc.) in front of the customers. In an age of social media, you can get close to your customers if you put your face and personality out in front of the product and warm them up through video ads. In the next 5-10 years, you'll see founders, CEO's and others become the influencers for their own products, acting like the best friend that recommended a product. We'll start to see personality business scale to become the dominate brands of the day to replace the old brands from the 20th century that don't adapt.

Thanks to Ryan Shaw, Real Estate Witch!

#10- Emphasis on data privacy

Photo Credit: Ada Chen Rekhi

In an increasingly privacy-conscious world, the future of digital marketing is increasingly about permission. Rather than being tracked, targeted, cookied, and personalized without their consent, customers are putting pressure on digital platforms and governments to be transparent about how their data is used. Building a strong brand in this environment is increasingly important. Marketers will have to ask for permission to use customer's data and engage them to drive returns.

Thanks to Ada Chen Rekhi, Notejoy!

#11- Increasing demand for digital marketing experts

Photo Credit: Ralph Marino

In a day and age where we are surrounded by digital EVERYTHING, entrepreneurs and business owners should not neglect digital marketing. If you're not utilizing digital marketing, your competition is. That is one statement I make to prospects and new clients. That being said, what's the future of digital marketing? Will it last? Simple answer is yes. Actually, of course it will last. Digital marketing is not going anywhere. In fact, personally I foresee an increasing demand for SEO, SEM, Social Media, Email Marketing, and other forms of digital marketing experts. Are people still reading newspapers? Sure they are. However, I can tell you a lot more people are on the internet reading up on the news and getting your business exposed digitally has a bigger impact than an ad in the paper now a days. In many senses the future is now, and getting your foot in the digital marketing door is better late than never. With digital marketing done right, your business could see exponential growth in however success is defined.

Thanks to Ralph Marino, SocialSEO!

#12- Reliance on relevance

Photo Credit: Jonathan Alonso

Digital Marketing will rely on one main factor, and that is Relevance. When you look at search, Keywords, Media, everything that you like, want, need is given to you with the use of AI and personal search, other factors like Locality and such affect these results. Each business will have to prepare their online marketing presence that offers a better experience that is topically relevant to their target demographic. From site speed, Website design in mobile and experience to the content on your website. If this is not made a focus for your business you will stay behind.

Thanks to Jonathan Alonso, uBreakiFix!

#13- Go Local

Photo Credit: Bernard May

Beyond Google's algorithms prioritizing a split index for mobile site results, one of the biggest ranking factors you can’t ignore is your local search results. With Google continuing to add features to its Google My Business listings, and around 80% of voice search queries being based on local search, your local focus is of paramount importance. By default, Google results are going to show local returns on queries, and local business with high star reviews on GMB will get pushed even higher. So, after you have done your keyword research and your technical is sound, apply a layer of local focus to your content to take advantage of Google's powerful local focus.

Thanks to Bernard May, National Positions!

#14- Shopping will be more fun

Photo Credit: Jack Anzarouth

I believe brick and mortar businesses are going to start using augmented reality more with their apps. For example, a store could have prices marked in-person as one amount, but if people download the store’s app and use it as they look around the store, they might find sales prices that show up in the app only or special deals that are only visible on their phone when using the app. (I envision it being like in a video game, where they can wander around the store and find a hidden special offer or something to encourage them to come in.) This would make shopping a more fun experience for people and they would have to both download the app and visit the store to see what deals they could find.

Thanks to Jack Anzarouth, Digital Ink Marketing!

What are your thoughts on the future of digital marketing? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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