5 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Disrupt Your Business

5 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Disrupt Your Business

You have been running your business for a long time. Life is good. Sales are holding up.

The admin processes and technology systems are nailed. You have your eye on your competitors and the industry. The business model is stable.

Or is it?

A small start-up starts selling direct online to your customers. From London….

A potential competitor doesn’t do distribution like you do. They go straight to your end customer….

This digital disintermediation model is only going to get worse…if you are a traditional business.

The frog thought things were cool when it jumped into that pot and was just chilling. The water was a pleasant swimming temperature. Did a few laps.

But someone had started a small fire.

A raging digital fire

It was only few years ago and  the web, technology and business started changing faster than ever before. Social media was ignored by most except the teenagers and the early adopters.

Facebook was frivolous.

Mobiles were for the corporate chiefs and senior executives. The devices were nicknamed “Crack Berries”

Apple brought out the iPod, iTunes and the iPhone. Vinyl died and businesses disappeared.

A digital fire had started.

Those little icons downloaded to your smartphone hide powerful technology and new business models.

Apps are now redefining business….

Uber’s app has the taxi monopolies and authorities running scared.  But their business model is not just about technology…. it is much more about building a trust network and adding more value.

Here is a quick comparison between a taxi in DC and UberX

Digital marketing trends

Source: Districtsource.com

On demand apps are pushing into many industries. Is yours next?

Capture the data

Facebook captured almost every intimate detail from your relationship status, to brand preference, gender, location and much more.

It collected the data and now they sell it back to us.

Granular data will give you the power to do what seems to be “one to one” marketing. When visiting websites are you seeing the same banner ad popping up. It’s no coincidence. You have been targeted!

Here are some digital marketing trends that will disrupt your business, whether you are disrupting yourself or you are being disrupted.

Don’t ignore them.

1. Digital marketing automation platforms

The splintering of media has made marketing at scale a nightmare. There is..

More media..

More digital channels…

More social networks…

Yes, there is lot of moving parts. But there is a solution.


Marketing used to be a creative pursuit. That has changed. It is much more. You need a digital marketing platform. A new approach called “marketing automation“.

digital marketing trends

Image Source: Responsive inbound marketing

The race is on to own the platform. The players?…many. Hubspot, Ontraport, Infusionsoft. Then you have Social Sprout, Marketo and Hootsuite. The list is growing…fast

 The marketing automation race

It doesn’t matter whether you are a…

content marketer..

social media marketer..

blogger who wants to scale and monetize their platform..

or just a digital marketer…

You will need a marketing platform sooner rather than later.

This scramble for the high ground and platform domination is coming from start-ups and the established Enterprise technology giants.

It is a challenge for big and small.  But the the complexity increases at the big end of town.

To manage marketing at scale in a digital world requires a new breed of marketer. The data scientist. Previously they were kept in a cave and tossed scraps.

Now they will be your secret Ninja weapon.

2. Big data for personalization and identifying influencers

As the web exploded, the tools to manage and measure the noise and information were non-existent. We cobbled together software, technology and amateurs. You need professionals. And you need to capture the data.

Data is going to be your secret weapon.

Knowing more about your customer than they know about themselves is marketing power. Natural language processing will identify influencers, customer preferences and content that works and is viral. There is another aspect to this.

Identifying influencers

Identifying global influencers in your industry or niche is starting to go mainstream.

I was surprised the other day to find that technology that sifts through 6 million web properties per day over 90 days had identified me as the “#1 content marketing influencer”. This technology big data engine called “ScribbleLiveInsights ” has been developed over 10 years at Cornell University. It provides insights into what is influence in a digital world.

Apparently influence is not based on my amazing smile or good looks but “data”.

digital marketing trends

Data source: Appinions

Platforms such as BuzzSumo, Appinions and Simply Measured are all using data to help you calculate your next marketing move. It also includes identifying and creating great content.


Enterprise platforms like Teradata allow companies with 10 million customers like the Qantas Frequent Flyer Loyalty program to dissect the data. Then they target them with an email or even that print piece in the snail mail that is relevant and personal.

Expect the smaller end of town to use data more effectively to produce powerful marketing results. Let’s look at an example.

When someone registers for a LinkedIn Webinar. Then they are maybe in the market for a LinkedIn course, lead generation or other relevant training. It should be tagged by your marketing system and used for future targeted campaigns.

But it’s not the data that is important…

It’s what you do with the data…

3. Paid social media advertising

When Facebook wound back its organic reach the game changed.

Building likes wasn’t as important anymore. But using its paid and very targeted advertising data now is.

We are moving on from just chasing fluffy likes.

Now re-targeting and Facebook custom audiences allows you to get a good return on your advertising dollars. Facebook is now dominating the social media advertising budget. It’s on target to hit over $14 billion in advertising revenue in 2015.

It is now becoming a serious rival to Google.

digital marketing trends

Source: Wordstream.com

Return on investment

But what it means is that if you are spending $10 on an “Ad” you better be sure it is making money not losing dollars. So measurement of ROI is gaining serious attention.

Google+ tried to disrupt Facebook’s social network domination but failed.

Twitter has it’s place in paid but it doesn’t have Facebook’s discrete data. It is more about creating top of the funnel brand awareness, driving traffic, breaking news and powering viral content.

Don’t ignore this trend.

Targeted social advertising on desktop and mobile is here to stay and some of your competitors are already using it..

4. Mobile assets and advertising

We knew sort of knew how important mobile was. But as the second screen has become the first screen we are scrambling to adapt.

The growth of mobile advertising is stratospheric.

Here are the predictions by emarketer.com on where mobile is heading compared to desktop.

5 Digital Marketing trends - 1

Some more perspective on the scale of where this is heading.

73% of Facebook’s $14 billion this year comes just from mobile advertising….that is over $10.2 billion from mobile alone.

Facebook also has barely tapped mobile advertising on its 1 billion users on WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger platforms.

Look for that to change over the next few years.

So what is important here?

Making mobile a priority in your marketing and media focus.

What you will also need to consider is that mobile requires a different approach in how you create your digital assets and use the screen to display media and calls to action.

With mobile less is more. What are you wanting them to achieve?


View a video..

Capture an email…

Contact you..

Maybe those four are enough for mobile. You cannot do everything on mobile that you can do on a desktop. You need to focus on what is the most important and prfioritize.

5. Visual media

We have been watching it for a few years now but images, photos, embedded video in social networks and now streaming video (Meerkat and Periscope) is changing the engagement landscape.

This has happened because of the rapid rise of mobiles with cameras that are fast rivalling professional Digital SLR’s.

How important is visual content?

I grabbed this chart off my “Simply Measured” tool the other day that measures the metrics for social media networks. It shows an increase of 59% more engagement when a tweet includes an image.

Digital markting trends

This trend will only continue to consolidate as more people move to mobile as their primary screen as developing countries purchase smartphones. India is predicted to have more mobiles than the USA in the next couple of years.

Over to you

So what marketing automation platforms are you considering? Is mobile on your radar? Are you already personalising advertising and using Facebook’s targeted Ads?

Look forward to reading your insights and stories in the comments below.


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  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Thanks David for the lengthy comment and look forward to seeing how your journey unfolds. Will take a peek at your platform over the next few days. Jeff

  • http://c-squaredcreative.com Kendra Bullen

    Great post Jeff! Business disruption indeed. We are using HubSpot, great tool! Seeing great results for the agency and our clients.

  • http://www.jimweix.com/ Jim Weix

    Great article! In the real estate industry, this trend has really changed how we market properties, ourselves, and even recruit new Agents.
    Jim Weix, Broker/Owner
    The Real Estate Company, Inc.
    734 Colorado Ave.
    Stuart, FL 34994

  • http://www.bizlabonline.co/ Kim Matheson

    Jeff brilliant post. Not wrong about it being a business disruption alright. I ready an article on Entrepreneur.com which mentioned Periscope and Meerkat, this particular article mentioned suitable industries for these. I personally use Hootsuite. In think 2016 is going to see some huge game changers come into effect. Thanks for the information. Cheers Kim 😛

  • Bill Wood

    As new to Twitter as I am, 7-8 months and only 2 weeks really diving in, I see Twitter getting another boost as FaceBook monetizes ads and organic reach is lost to business profiles. I cannot easily do the same kind of networking on FB, as I do on Twitter. Also, FaceBook has cornered personal social networking, but perhaps they went too far by restraining business profiles. how can you grow your business on FaceBook, now? Ads only?

  • http://www.denisegabbard.com/ Denise Gabbard

    Not surprised to see you at the top of the list for content marketing– thanks for sharing your insights on the current state of affairs. As always, you are right on the money!

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Denise :)

  • Debendra Nandi

    Thanks Jeff for the brilliant piece of article- Information. This is indeed very useful.

  • Satyajeet

    Great write up Jeff. I especially agree with you on $10 spent should be measured to measure the marketing effectiveness.
    Big data is definitely here and growing, but with big data I reckon analytic plays an vital role as we need to make meaningful output from the data. Marketers need to pull up there socks to embark on the journey of running more meaningful campaigns using big data and analytic. Analytic’s has always been thought of to be done by data miners or data analyst guys, I reckon it is time to make these simple and easy to consume for marketers. Your thoughts?

  • http://nummero.in/ Nummero

    Awesome Stuff Jeff. We Really appreciate your Blog information. Its really useful to making our digital strategy.

  • Marketing Sweet

    Thanks for the insightful article Jeff! The growth of business partnerships with digital influencers is amazing. Marketing methods certainly have changed dramatically in the past year. Since there is so much advertising on the internet, it is important for businesses to develop trust with their potential consumers, and advertising via celebrities they trust is certainly successful.

  • http://www.knowinger.com Knowinger

    100% agree with all five points. We’re currently implementing Pardot and cannot wait to start using its full potential!

  • Haroun Kola

    I think mobile adspend is where I’ll be placing my attention on next. Its very topical and I’m seeing lots more of it at present.

  • http://www.dsdm.in Jassi Kaur

    I agree, ROI is an important factor for every business, Facebook ads are running at very cheapest cost if we run our campaigns in the right direction. It’s an awesome information shared by you “Jeff ” sir. Your articles encourage me to launch blogging website and I had learned many things about online marketing on your website.

    Jassi ( marketing executive at http://www.dsdm.in )

  • http://makethemclick.com.au/library Mark @ Make Them Click

    Even the platforms that you mention will be disrupted within the decade. Remember when analytics used to cost $1,000 a month just for entry level, then Google came along and offered it for free. Remember when websites and ecom sites used to cost hundreds of thousands even millions, now you can get on Shopify or dozens of similar solutions for a few dollars a month. This is an industry that eats its children.