In the world of marketing, the only certainties are uncertainty, constant innovation and rapid change. In previous decades, businesses would approach advertisers, then pay them for their big ideas and creative concepts. With this system, the ability to measure effectiveness of the campaigns was severely limited—subway posters or billboards didn’t provide any analytics or audience insights, after all.
Then, when the internet age was in full swing, the potential channels for brands to reach consumers were seemingly endless—popup ads, social media ads, search engine ads, email campaigns, the list goes on and on. Yet, because the digital marketing landscape was so new, many underhanded, seedy tactics from nefarious publishers ran unchecked. Any sort of regulation or technology to combat these blackhat methods proved too slow to keep up.
Both of these scenarios have a common thread: they put power into the hands of the publisher as opposed to the brands or consumers. If an agency isn’t able to quantify the efficacy of their campaigns, they won’t be expected to uphold any sort of standard or success metric. If an agency is able to use underhanded, blackhat techniques that could be perceived as deceptive in order to convince consumers to buy products, the agency is in the driver’s seat.
All that being said, thanks to a number of innovations, the tide is certainly changing. With the rise of platforms that fight invalid traffic, SMS platforms with high deliverability rates, and performance marketing that guarantees ROI—brands are starting to meet consumers where they’re at, and publishers are being held accountable when it comes to performance. This puts the power into the hands of brands and consumers. Here’s more on the specific technologies paving the way for the future of marketing, and the movers and shakers behind the movement.
#1. The Rise of SMS Marketing
With the proliferation of email spam filters, ad blockers and more, it’s no wonder why SMS marketing is currently receiving a wave of public interest. People look through nearly all of their text messages and check their phones an average of 80 times per day, making for favorable open rates exceeding 90% as opposed to email marketing’s consistently dwindling open rates—which currently hover around 25%.
Another reason for the renewed interest of SMS marketing though is it gives influence back to consumers. Instead of sifting through countless emails from lists someone might not even remember subscribing to, individuals have the information they want at their fingertips with SMS—whether it’s letting them know about a flash sale or an upcoming event. Recipients can also easily unsubscribe by replying with “Stop”. Lastly, because text messages are a more intimate communication channel compared to email or social media, it’s unlikely a consumer would opt in to receive SMS notifications from a brand they don’t have an affinity for. This ensures your mailing list for texting is relevant and engaged.
The surge in popularity of SMS platforms like Sendii.io, Avochato and SendHub all illustrate the rise of texting as a legitimate marketing channel. These platforms can help businesses meet customers where they’re at and not disrupt their everyday behaviors, which is why SMS will have a place at the table when it comes to the future of marketing.
#2. The Rise of Performance Marketing
Defined, performance marketing is centered around the principle of paying publishers only when a specific action (a click, an online sale, etc.) is completed rather than through an upfront charge or a rate based on impressions driven. This is different from more traditional forms of marketing and advertising, where companies pay a flat rate for content created, a retainer fee on a recurring basis or a different form of an upfront cost. The main reason for performance marketing gaining popularity in recent years is because of its guaranteed ROI. Unlike other types of campaigns, performance marketing guarantees results because if none are driven, you don’t pay.
One individual making head way in this space is serial entrepreneur Gustavo Geraldes. As the founder and CEO of Milkit—a renowned direct response marketing firm that specializes in lead generation—along with a number of other ventures, Geraldes has been able to use performance marketing techniques to help brands across a variety of industries meet and exceed their business goals. By utilizing well-targeted, persistent direct response campaigns on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Google, his own proprietary SMS marketing platform Sendii.io, and more, Geraldes has been able to drive tens of millions of dollars worth of sales, countless website visits, email signups and other down-funnel results for his clients.
Gustavo’s success as a publisher in this space is, of course, because of his skill as a marketer, but is also evidence of a much larger trend in the marketing landscape where brands embrace performance marketing and turn a cold shoulder to the less measurable forms of advertising. These sorts of results-driven, data-centric campaigns empower brands to hold advertisers and publishers accountable to succeed—and only seem to be gaining more popularity as time goes on.
#3. The Rise of Valid Metrics
The increased demand from brands for online traffic has facilitated the underground industries of click fraud and invalid traffic. One such example is click farms—which are businesses (typically located in developing countries) where low paid workers are hired to drive traffic to a piece of content or web page. Many influencers have been known to use click farms to increase traffic to their sponsored posts, making it appear like it’s performing better than it is. Another example is bot traffic on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, which are typically used for similar means or to bolster vanity metrics for influencers and agencies alike.
Because of this, brands are beginning to invest in platforms like MOAT, which help fight fraudulent web traffic by ensuring only valid clicks are counted when paying publishers, advertisers or influencers. In fact, MOAT actually sold to Oracle back in 2017 for a whopping $850 million—highlighting the value and the necessity of brands combating invalid traffic.
Technology has set the stage for the unprecedented innovation we’re currently seeing in the digital publishing and marketing space. As a byproduct though, the technology has also enabled blackhat, ill-willed marketers to gain influence, while eroding authority away from brands and consumers.
That being said, with the current wave of solutions being developed, the pendulum seems to be swinging the other way with fraudulent methods being policed, businesses meeting customers where they’re at, and guaranteed ROI being a priority rather than a bonus. As the dynamic continues to shift, in order to succeed, businesses will need to be ultra-mindful to target effectively and marketers more calculated in their efforts than ever before.