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More than ever before, the world we currently live in is exclusively digital and the continuous rise of the digital age never sleeps due to its ability to serve customers in a professional, timely, and efficient manner wherever they are on the clock. As a result, nowadays, people spend their time online either communicating, watching the news, shopping, or working. In fact, ever since the Covid 19 global pandemic, people started to increasingly work remotely and kept this habit due to convenience, time gain, or opportunity.

Our world has somehow transitioned from real to virtual and has altered the way entrepreneurs, marketers, or brand developers approach their content strategies and do business overall. Indeed, as of today, for any type of brand or company, all marketing activities occur online such as increasing brand awareness, connecting to consumers, reminding them of a specific product or service, persuading them to purchase, selling, and so forth. Thus, since the digital world never stops and people can be online anywhere at any time, marketers eventually had to come up with brand-new strategies that would meet or somewhat exceed consumers’ expectations.

Additionally, over a few years, I’ve been shopping more and more online and this routine contributed to helping me realize that people were increasingly treated as unique customer personas and that brands implemented on-point strategies to be creative and innovative which enable them to stand out from competitors. Therefore, in addition to my experience, this transition from a real to a more virtual world led me to wonder which roles this 24/7 digital world has played in the shift of traditional marketing. In order to effectively and highly reflect on this topic, I found it interesting, insightful, and captivating to ask 4 industry-knowledgeable people their thought about such a reflection topic. After all, we all learn from others. There is no right or wrong answer and devoting some time to gathering ideas from various persons who may share different opinions lead to sound, meaningful and legit conclusions.

Prior to elaborating on the topic, I find it essential to briefly define traditional marketing. Traditional marketing can be described as both the offline and online strategies of a brand to reach out to a client to efficiently and effectively promote a product or service. Although the advent of technology along with the ever-evolving rise of the Internet and social media platforms have revolutionized our world, we can notice that the fundamental roots of marketing along with its main functions have remained consistent over time. Indeed, as the Brand Strategist and Marketing Educator Anthony Miyazaki put it: “The basic marketing concepts have not changed with the digital age. Brands still try to inform, remind, persuade, and connect with their audiences.” Even with the constant advent of digital, persuasion techniques have remained pretty consistent. After all, digital support or not, the duty of marketers is to convince customers and/or potential clients to purchase from them. The way marketers reach out to clients along with the support used may greatly vary; nevertheless, the basic communication model will not change even though the means to achieve the desired outcome are quite different. Yet, although traditional methods are still widely used, we may wonder: which roles have the digital played in our society and how has it somehow altered and improved traditional marketing functions?

Although the basics of traditional marketing haven’t changed with the digital age, marketers still need to adapt to this increasingly virtual world in order to remain relevant, effective and achieve their overall goals. As such, they can no longer solely rely on print advertising, billboards or TV commercials, this is paramount for them to use social media or any type of digital platform. According to Isabel Arango who is a student pursuing her Master’s Degree in Science and Marketing: “For traditional marketing to truly benefit the customer, strategies implemented must involve elements of virtuality such as creating an online presence also by using SEO and investing in digital advertising.” With the ever-evolving rise of social media platforms along with the constant birth of new ones, it has become fundamental for brands to get an online presence. The more brands create content through digital advertising, the more likely they will attract new customers while still serving their current ones. Nevertheless, in our today’s life, there are so many brands offering the same products or services that standing out has become extremely tough and such a willingness requires some time, effort, and devotion. However, creating compelling online content on various digital channels will generate a blossoming impact on targeted campaigns which will eventually result in brand awareness and customer engagement. The key for brands to be successful is to emphasize their uniqueness by reflecting their own brand identity as well as their brand personality and core values. Getting an online presence is a great and insightful tool for brands to spark their inspiration, innovation, and creativity. The following section illustrates a specific example of how a brand can adapt and respond to customers’ expectations while offering valuable characteristics.

As I mentioned earlier, customers spend a major part of their time online. Thus, it has become imperative for brands to adapt their strategies by emphasizing online content that will best match customers’ needs, wants, and expectations in order to keep reaching, interacting with, and capturing them. As the Marketing Specialist Iris Boyer mentioned: “Brands are shifting toward more innovative, disruptive marketing strategies so as to stand out from their competitors and she introduced the example of Gucci which has now an online digital store on their website where you can walk through different rooms and browse products, making you feel as if you were standing in a real store.” This is a perfect example of a brand-new innovation that amazes and inspires consumers. Such an example clearly illustrates that even though the fundamental principles of marketing have remained identical, the process to attract consumers has quite shifted to a more unique, customer value and personalized perspective. More than ever, people are looking for an experience while buying a product. They are looking to be surprised and brands are trying their best and are putting forth efforts into implementing new strategies in order to create a memorable experience for their customers.

The landscape of marketing has somewhat changed due to the constant presence of new technologies, digital platforms, and social media. Yet, hasn’t this helpful benefit opened new rooms for opportunities? Such is the question and I think that many marketers see the digital world as an excellent way to demonstrate their abilities and field of expertise while being unique and standing out. According to the Digital Educator Yesenis De La Paz: “The shift from traditional marketing to a digital-first approach has not only transformed the way businesses operate but has also opened a world of opportunities, innovation, and measurable results in the ever-evolving digital landscape.” I am mentioning it over and over again but people spend their time online and businesses must adapt to this new reality by leveraging digital marketing techniques to stay relevant, capture attention, and foster meaningful connections. Developing one’s business online increases the likelihood of targeting an unexpected number of customers since marketers can connect and engage with customers no matter where they are. The more people will be reached, the more brand awareness will arise, the more consideration will occur, and so forth. Nevertheless, nowadays, marketers’ goal is not merely to connect with the general customer’s personas but to connect more to the individual level. The more people are taken care of individually, the more they will feel important and valuable, and the more likely they will build a durable and trustworthy relationship with you. Eventually, technology has played a significant role in the way marketers can observe and measure their marketing efforts. For instance, if they create a campaign, they will figure out which one worked best based on the click-through rate, conversion rate, click to landing page, and so forth. Such insights will help them make significant improvements for their next campaign so that they can effectively reach their overall goal.

To summarize, although traditional marketing methods have remained globally persistent, the advent of the digital world has somehow altered its principles. Obviously, brands still connect to people but in such a different way since they attach more importance on creating and building a durable relationship with their customers. The roots of marketing have been, are, and will remain the same but I believe that each decade has its own rules and that businesses must adapt their marketing efforts to fit those rules. Gathering various opinions enabled me to understand that although opinions may vary from one person to another, this is a real fact: businesses must adapt to this digital age no matter which methods are used as long as they get the job done. Learning from experts enhanced my curiosity and I am grateful for that.

Anthony Miyazaki

MSM Professor, Marketing Educator, and Brand Specialist

Iris Boyer

Marketing Specialist, working for Bulgari

Isabel Arango

Current MSM student (cohort 20)

Yesenis De La Paz

Graduate MSM student (cohort 16) digital educator

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