What are the major issues digital marketing may face in the future?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - digital marketing

The start of 2020, characterised by the global pandemic that began late-2019, was one of the most challenging times in history. This event brought economies to their knees and killed countless businesses in a matter of months. The digital marketing industry did not see the 2020 Great Lockdown coming, which has re-ignited the conversation around industry future-proofing. Planning today for what might come tomorrow has just become way more important than it was a year ago. This article takes a look at a few serious issues that digital marketers are likely to face moving further into this new decade:

1. The fall of third-party cookies

Digital marketers can expect a disruption to the targeted advertising sector, as third-party cookies are becoming more and more unpopular. These little invisible tracking codes are responsible for that Nike advert you see on a website after Googling new shoe prices. Web browsers are becoming more averse to third-party cookie tracking, and marketers will need to compensate for the losses this might cause.


2. Rapidly changing interests

Think about the 2020 Great Lockdown. In a lightning second, people went from planning beach vacations and polishing up their surfboards to being locked indoors while an invisible, deadly virus swept across the planet. People’s interests changed completely, and 2021 advertising campaigns which had been planned months in advance had to be changed to fit the global narrative that was unfolding.


3. The cash-grabbing reflex

In many parts of the world, but especially in South Africa, the COVID-19 crisis was seen by many as an opportunity to make money and capitalise on a tragedy. This knee-jerk reaction by brands to capitalise on the situation, and milk consumers for their last drops of income, is now coming full circle, and brands that have been caught out are being chastised publically. The people won’t forget the brands who tried to take advantage of them when they were in trouble.

4. Ineffective use of channels

There are multiple digital marketing channels that brands can use to promote their services and products, and many brands use as many of these channels as they possibly can. This shotgun approach to marketing is starting to become stale, with content being duplicated across multiple platforms which causes message fatigue among followers. Brands will need to decide on a few digital marketing channels that are working for them, and learn how to use them effectively.


5. Channel monopolisation

Capitalism is alive and well in the digital marketing world, and where 10 years ago there were countless new brands competing in the marketplace, there are now only a few corporations who run the whole show.

Privacy concerns seem to be playing right into their hands and, as it appears now, a tiny handful of companies will own the entire global online advertising industry. This is cause for concern, but we know now – from experience – that monopolies don’t last long when there is constant innovation at every level.

Marketing and advertising disciplines and techniques are constantly changing, and thus digital marketers are compelled to upskill themselves every so often – with accredited digital marketing qualifications and courses.

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