Digital Marketing in a Vuca World by Paid Search Association Board Member Anders Hjorth investigates trends in digital marketing, challenges to come and suggests directions digital marketing teams can choose to overcome those challenges.
“As children we looked for comfort and stability in our environment; as teenagers we looked for challenge and change. As entrepreneurs and business leaders we aim to be one step ahead of our competitors in a steadily changing environment by being better at predicting tomorrow. VUCA is an acronym that stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. “This research report is based on interviews of 7 experts and a deep survey including 87 questions to which 20 digital marketing award winners responded. Research carried out by Anders Hjorth and Lukas Adamec.”
Here’s how the authors describes the challenge we all face:
“Digital marketing has experienced a much higher pace of change than other business sectors ever since its inception. We believe it is a pioneering industry uncovering the shape and functioning of businesses in other industries of tomorrow.
Change is data. Fast change is more data. Data enables prediction and modelling of the future.
But then stability has started to come apart in our hands. Data suddenly stopped simply accelerating and came to a stop and a reboot – COVID-19. But there are other less visible disruptive forces in the world of data: consumer behaviour, ad blocking and the end of cookies. The evolution of digital marketing is no longer linear and accelerating, it is disrupted and chaotic.
Data science is a tool. He who has data science will only see data that is digital and tracked.
(He who has a hammer will see everything as a nail.)
Over the past few years, Google Adwords has become Google Ads, and Bing Ads has become Microsoft Advertising. We have also had changes to small legendary companies, like SEOmoz becoming Moz and Majestic SEO becoming Majestic. In our research, we looked at award winners in paid search, and they have all invested in an additional five or six digital marketing activities.
Search marketing has been the leading vertical in most digital marketing. It was where the click became the primary measurement unit, where the auction model was first introduced and where quality and matching became part of the digital marketing equation.
We set out in our research to explore state-of-the-art paid search in this crazy and volatile world we are living in; however, we realized that the data we had obtained did not only apply to paid search agencies, but rather was valid for most digital marketing disciplines. We decided to look at and interpret our data from the spectrum of digital marketing as a whole.”
Digital marketing is data marketing.”