The wonderful thing about the digital world is that everything can be recorded. Inevitably, the usual privacy/infringement issues arise, but for marketing-men (and women) , this is brilliant. By recording user information, patterns, online data etc. almost instantly, advertisers can see if a campaign is working or not. Following the entire process from start to finish in such detail, they can indentify where users become disinterested or excited, they can tell how users react to specific offers, products, services and websites, they can collect and assess and conclude data like you wouldn’t believe.
Actually, that’s the theory. I’ve seen quite a lot of poorly-run campaigns over time (I’m not the only one); doesn’t matter what they are: PPC, Affiliate, SEO, Display… You could have the best campaign idea ever, but if the strategy isn’t right, I can assure you that it won’t achieve it’s full potential. Digital is about quick response – in this sense, it’s direct marketing at it’s finest: Ads targeted at relevent users, responses that can be traced and assessed, strategies that can be tweaked and fine-tuned for maximum effect. Because of this, it’s a total no-brainer that whilst the economy is down, digital is on the up.
From a marketing perspective, digital is inexpensive, trackable, changeable and direct. Far cheaper than TV, Radio, Press or Outdoor, in the current economic climate, it will practically guarantee money well-spent and yeild a return on investment. (Providing any campaign is well-run). It even enables SME’s to successfully compete with bigger players (all the more important right now). From a user’s perspective, the internet can provide more services, information and products than they would find offline – usually at cheap, comparable prices.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone and, with the slump we’re seeing offline, where people are opting to try and save money, it’s no suprise that the digital world has grown enormously these past few months. I’m seeing it everyday and I imagine that it’ll soon be pretty apparent to even the most digital-shy technophobes.
As an addendum, I found this. It pretty much proves my point.