Marketing in a New Digital Age


We can all agree that the way people consume media has changed significantly over the last few years and continues to change still, but what are some of the immediate impacts on brands?

Social Media
The world is more connected than ever before; we have 4 billion internet users, 3 billion social media users and people spending 6 hours connected to the internet every day. Consumers, critics and brands have been given a voice like never before. However, with a new social media user every 15 seconds, 91% of brands using 2 or more social media channels and 30 trillion web pages, the internet is very loud. With all this noise and constant access to so many different things and so much information, how do brands get a message across and allow brand personality to stand out in a unique and memorable way?

Influencers are one new target for brands. Social media gives individuals a larger voice, which has created the modern day, home grown celebrity – the influencer. An influencer is simply someone who has an engaged audience of people and a voice in a particular area or space. Influencers amass the audience, and brands get them talking about their products – either sponsored or not.

Social media influencers have also been a new way for brands to reach younger audiences. The influencers as consumers bring authenticity, actual users of the products whom other consumers tend to trust more.

However, these social media influencers are not cheap. In 2017 marketers spent:

  • £760 million on Instagram influencers to reach younger audiences
  • On average £67,000 per sponsored YouTube video
  • On average £75,000 for a single sponsored Facebook post.
  • The singer Selena Gomez was the highest paid Instagram influencer, earning $550,000 per Instagram post.

However, we are seeing cracks in the influencer façade, as 36% of marketers are unable to claim whether influencer activity directly drives sales.

Video content continues to grow, rapidly accelerating and changing how brands and people connect with each other. Brands are wise to integrate this into their strategies now or risk becoming invisible to the next generation – a very visual generation. For video content to work well, it must be optimised for social media – short, concise, with subtitles, and delivered at the right and place.

Multi-media consumption also means that people are consuming multiple types of media, across many devices at the same time. Consumers may be watching TV, posting on Facebook on their phone, whilst shopping on Amazon on their laptop.

The future
Two exciting areas that may have an impact on brands in 2018 are Augmented Reality (AR) & Voice Search Technology.

Augmented reality

AR has the ability to impact every area of our lives and has begun with Smartphones. For example, let’s say you purchase a coffee machine but find it complicated and difficult to use.  Using AR, you simply download the coffee machine AR app and point your camera at the coffee machine to help you make the perfect Grande Skinny Mocha Latte. Your device will walk you through each step, giving you instant feedback, whether you have enough milk, your coffee machine needs maintenance, or which buttons to press. Think app plus YouTube tutorial on steroids.

AR can extend to online shopping for clothes or furniture. Users can view life-size renderings of a product on their lounge floor, or virtually try on a pair of shoes, or see if a blouse is your colour.

Voice Search
By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches according to Comscore. This is mainly due to the rising popularity of voice-controlled devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.

Brands are being challenged to optimise their content to rank very quickly on voice search. The types of searches that people would make will be very different, and this will affect SEO strategy. Firstly, unlike a browser search, voice will result in just one answer. How can brands make sure that they are the top result? Secondly, types of searches will also be different. Instead of searching “weather,” someone may ask “will I need an umbrella today?”

Take Burger King’s OK Google 15-second ad. It was designed to activate Google Home and call up Burger King’s Big Whopper Burger on Google.  Upon hearing the ad, Google Home was activated and replied with a list of the Big Whopper ingredients. The ad resulted in widespread criticism online, sparking privacy concerns about the invasiveness of a brand entering consumer’s homes. Yet, we must all admit, it was cutting edge and did exactly what they wanted – it got people talking about Burger King.

In Summary
We must keep in mind, media consumption patterns continue to grow and fragment as technology, new platforms and media channels deliver a wider choice of content, available 24/7. As a result, brands must approach consumers and aim to stay relevant and useful, rather than just disruptive.


Burger King Advert:
Social Media Usage Report:
Voice Search:
Social Media Statistics:
Instagram Rich List:
What’s the ROI of Influencer Marketing:
Snapchat Vs. Instagram Stories:

1 Comment

  1. Helen Cope on April 19, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    I think voice search is a really exciting new technology especially voice search.

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