The Future of Digital Marketing


The digital marketing landscape has changed tremendously, and we can expect more of the same in the years to come. Our ability to work with user-level audience data will continue to evolve, creating obstacles and presenting opportunities. As always, marketers will be asking themselves questions like:

Addressability – What is the best way to reach my audience?

Segmentation – How do I differentiate my audience as needed?

Measurement – How do I determine the success of my marketing?

Growth – How do I keep my CPM down and grow?

Looking Beyond Just Sales To Measure Success

A critical component of digital marketing is measuring the cost per lead. However, moving forward, marketers will seek to measure the effectiveness of digital campaigns using a variety of changing metrics. We’ve already seen that process begin, thanks to recent changes with the elimination of cookies and other perishable IDs, browsers blocking ads and cross-channel targeting, etc.

Moving forward there will be a greater focus on the overall sales picture. Of course, sales are a critical measurement for the success of a campaign, but they are not the sole measurement. It’s increasingly important to also look at brand affinity, content engagement, e-mail/newsletter/membership/offer sign-ups, and shopping cart behavior to name a few. There was a time not long ago when CPMs were the sole gauge to measure the success of campaigns against chosen outcomes, but that will be less prevalent moving forward.

Consumers are more particular than ever about what they are willing to consume in terms of content. They will continue to expect high-quality content. Marketers will need to find new ways to tell stories that connect them with their consumers who are seeking information and value in anything they listen to, watch, or read.

Studying Collected Data To Drive Sales And Strategy

Businesses collect more and more data on their audiences, but it’s what they do with that data that really counts. As targeting gets more complicated, data becomes more valuable. It will help dictate how marketers go about reaching a targeted audience. Marketers able to reach their targeted segment through digital platforms are able to justify paying a higher cost per lead. Digital marketing will continue to be built on data – even more so going forward. Marketers will be focused on the following priorities:

  • Data Quality
  • Valuation
  • Monetization

Data Quality Still Rules The Future Digital Marketing World

Data will only become more critical to digital marketing in the future. Marketers need quality data to make the connection between audience and value. With third-party cookies going away, some marketers are shifting to using first-party data to collect information about consumers. Zero-party data is also gaining attention. Zero-party data comes from customer surveys and polls, but first-party data comes from customer web activity. Marketers can use both data types to personalize their ad campaigns.

Effective CRM management will also become more important to enable faster data access and analysis.

Marketers who improve their data quality and connectivity will be in a position to create more impactful campaigns and thus develop deeper relationships with their audience.

Valuation Methods Will Continue To Evolve And Improve

Now that the dust has settled on losing some digital identifiers that enabled marketers to target audiences (like cookies), we see that today there are even stronger tools for making identity connections with audiences that enable marketers to find extra value in the data that is collected. Marketers must remain open to change and stay abreast of changes. With heightened consumer expectations, new end-to-end experiences will need to be developed that are relevant, immersive, and frictionless at every touchpoint – from acquisition through engagement and retention.

Data Is The Future Of Monetization

Limits to third-party tracking have led to an accelerated need to access granular user data and powerful algorithms to drive effective targeting in order to personalize and monetize content experiences. Marketers must evaluate data collection methods and results on an ongoing basis, making adjustments when necessary. Having a good understanding of the data collected primes marketers to be able to monetize it by creating effective digital marketing. When marketers improve their data quality, they can build better campaigns, which leads to better relationships, which leads to sales. Also, marketers who feed their funnel with better data have higher user satisfaction and retention rates and more effective audience acquisition strategies.

We’ve seen major shifts in the digital marketing ecosystem, and more are certain to come. As marketers, we must view them as an opportunity to do our job more effectively and efficiently. What’s to come in digital marketing will help marketers enhance and connect first-party data in the evolving digital platform. Advanced tools will aide marketers in valuating audience data and unlock new ways to monetize it.