Digital marketing seems to be so evolved but the truth is that it is at a very bad state. In fact, the exact same thing can be said about marketing as a whole. And, it is very sad to see.
I have been involved in marketing for so many years now and it seems that every single year it is getting worse. I will try to explain why but first, let’s take a few steps back.
A Little Bit Of History/Context
I started working online in 2003. I will always remember my first online job, which was to write informative articles about fjords in Norway. Eventually, I started learning more and more and I expanded.
Initially, most webmasters made money with AdSense. If you couldn’t use AdSense, there were many similar networks available. Then, affiliate commissions started to appear and bartering became a way of discussing what should be done and what should not be done when trying to make money online.
After some years, bigger and bigger brands started to figure out how important the internet is for them. This led to the appearance of what could be labeled as being modern marketing. However, along all these years, there was a problem that kept appearing:
Most people copied what others did!
This brings us to the current state of digital marketing. Universities from all around the world started to offer marketing and management classes. Countless online courses appeared too. Basically, we now have hundreds of thousands of marketers and the demand increases since people think this is a great way to make a lot of money. Most make a lot less than they initially imagined.
It Is Always The Same
The truth is that most people that work in marketing these days never worked for a really good marketing agency. Even if they did, they still rely on doing things that others told them to. This is why it is so important to realize that evolution simply stopped.
What do you do when you do marketing work? Be honest with yourself! Don’t you do the same things over and over again?
Unfortunately, most people do not really understand what marketing is all about. Instead of working with everything that is available and creating a good all-around strategy, marketers started to define numerous types of marketing. The latest number I am aware of is 163.
There are 163 types of marketing.
This is wrong!
Many of these are just a way to make people look cool. Like street marketing, which is basically just a different way to say advertising in most cases or growth marketing at the very best.
Modern Digital Marketing
What in the world is modern digital marketing? Do marketers even know anymore?
In reality, modern and contemporary marketing, digital or not, is just what works at the moment. Unfortunately, when someone figures out a strategy that works, others try to copy and do the same thing.
Let’s think a little about what happens with the current Black Lives Matter movement. It is a given that brands need to respond and react to something so serious. But, have you noticed how similar all the responses are? Most have a black background and white writing saying pretty much the same thing, that the brand is against discrimination and that, well, racism is bad.
These BLM responses are almost all the same, without anything original popping up. Sure, there are some good responses that are original and that show personality, but they are so few that they get lost in the crowd.
Why is modern digital marketing so boring? There is no other way to describe it.
It is because marketers do not adapt. They are always in search of results and it does not seem that they understand the fundamental part of it all: research.
In order to be a good marketer you need to master research. Also, you need to adapt everything that you do to the audience you have. Instead, most marketers today copy campaigns done in the past, usually in the same industry, and expect results. Results can appear but this does not mean that they are the best ones possible.
The Smokescreen Of Marketing Agencies
Let’s admit one very important thing:
Most people know nothing about marketing.
Due to this, marketing agencies start to use numerous terms to convince businesses to become clients. This is why so many types of marketing appeared. It sounds cool when you say that you will use street marketing campaigns, right? In reality, you might just create ads that are placed on a street.
In order to evolve as an industry, I feel we need to get back to basics. We need to get back to the fundamental parts of marketing AND acknowledge the fact that we have to adapt.
Why Do I Blame Marketers?
There are 2 reasons why I say that digital marketing sucks right now:
- Marketers copy campaigns instead of coming up with something original
I already talked about this and I do not feel that there is much more to be said. The work of the marketer is not to copy a campaign. It is to analyze what is available and figure out new ways to do something that will lead to the desired results, usually sales.
- Marketers suck up to clients
Let’s face another thing. There are thousands of marketing companies out there. As the internet grew, many managed to be able to offer digital marketing services all around the world. This means the competition is huge.
As a result, I see marketers that simply suck up to clients. The role of the marketer is also to offer advice. This simply does not exist anymore. Many marketers lack the courage needed to say the tough things that clients need to hear.
For instance, I know of someone that once said in an interview that the biggest mistake she did was to mention it to the client that the name chosen for a product was the same name as a porn website. How is that a mistake? It is not.
Marketers need to become more courageous. When something is wrong, they need to talk. Also, they need to decline clients when there are alarm signs and work with those businesses that are open to innovation. This is the only way to move forward.
I So Hate Modern Digital Marketing
I know a rambled a lot in this post. It is just a personal frustration and I know I did not properly organize it to fully make my points.
At the same time, I am disgusted by the current state of the digital marketing industry. The entire industry. Instead of moving forward, implementing PR, improving research, and properly coordinating with other departments in a company, marketers simply look for excuses and make half-hearted decisions.