There has been a vast expansion in social media and online communication channels over the last two years. These new media channels and consumer devices have emerged due to advances in digital and mobile technology. This has had a big impact on the way the marketing, advertising and PR industries operate, creating a new digital marketing discipline.
Digital marketing uses blogs, mobile phones, social networking and content-sharing sites to promote brands, products and services (see Revolution, a quarterly supplement in Marketing dedicated to the field of digital marketing). As a consequence, it is likely that graduates will need to have a broader range of skills in multimedia and digital media/marketing.
Data can provide a valuable insight into how and when to connect with consumers. For example, someone may be happy to receive marketing information via email but not via text messaging. Being able to source, analyse and act upon this data is becoming increasingly vital to a campaign’s success.
Marketing, advertising and PR companies operate in a global market and campaign design is increasingly viewed in a global context. International campaigns are common for major clients, and graduates will need to have an understanding of different cultural values around the world and how this could impact on a campaign.
The use of behavioural advertising (also known as personalised advertising) is increasing. Advertisers are able to analyse a user’s online activity, looking at, for example, the websites they have visited or the searches they have made. They then tailor their adverts accordingly, choosing to display the ones they feel the user will respond to. It is likely that this practice will continue to increase in the future as it enables advertisers to target those they feel will be most responsive to a particular product. This raises a number of issues about, for example, the collecting of personal data and the user’s right to privacy.
With the digital age unfolding, mass marketing messages are decreasing in importance as more personal, one-to-one campaigns are becoming increasingly successful. These campaigns use cross-media concepts and real-life interaction, such as word-of-mouth campaigns, to complement the high-end technology. Those with creative flair and the ability to think outside the box are likely to become even more sought after by employers.
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