Conventional advertising methods are finding it harder to compete in the modern marketplace, with large-scale static options such as billboards and newspaper ads fast becoming a thing of the past. Even digital marketing is being forced to adapt as new and innovative ways of getting noticed appear with increasing rapidity. Now more than ever, it’s essential to think outside the box and explore options that have only recently become available.

Global internet users are still increasing, with 4.66 billion active users in January 2021. To stand out among so many, it is essential to be nimble in leveraging the latest developments. Many modern users find static advertising uninteresting, and the broad approaches used traditionally no longer work. Consumers are increasingly demanding more personalized and targeted advertising, and for advertisers, that means more data and innovative ways to appeal more directly to the audience. 

Innovations in digital marketing

New developments and platforms are creating new opportunities for marketers. These include techniques that were impossible until recently. For example, the online game Fortnite has publicized Avengers: Endgame, John Wick 3, and partnered with Nike Air Jordan. This kind of platform didn’t exist until recently, yet advertisers can now connect to 6 to 12 million daily players.

Social media platforms are more popular than ever and are frequently at the forefront of innovation. They are also a crucial part of most marketing strategies, with 65% of businesses using the platforms to increase leads

Static adverts are just the start. Shoppable posts, such as those found on Instagram and Pinterest, are incredibly effective. Influencers can show a product or service with a tag on the screen that allows users to link straight to the item or website. It has proved popular, with 72% of Instagram users having purchased a product on the app.

The Metaverse is on the way, and with it will come new opportunities in VR. AR is already here, with a Deloitte study finding 88% of mid-market companies incorporating AR in their marketing strategies. Predicting VR developments remains tricky, but maybe its time has come with Meta.

As Google and Facebook gather more information on users and hone their algorithms, their advertising is increasingly personal - although some are finding the unchanging banners less effective. However, there are new ways to improve even this.

Algorithms can automate a lot of the work

For example, there’s the approach taken by Oxford-based Vidliz, a data-driven digital marketing company. Co-founder Ohad Ben Artzi explains, “Consumers are getting bored of generalized advertising that might not be relevant to them in any way. Collecting data on a target audience should result in more personal offerings and change through ongoing analysis of consumer response to the campaign. This tends not to happen.

“Typically, traditional online marketing agencies create multi-platform campaigns that will appear as Google Ads, or on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and so on. But unfortunately, what often happens is the marketers will create the content, banners, and pictures, and once they are up and running, they are left alone. Or at best, manually optimized.” 

Ben Artzi continues. “This is inefficient. Advertising today needs to be highly targeted, and often marketers launching a new campaign are forced to guess the needs and wants of their intended audience. My background is in creative marketing and my co-founder, Jonathan Brin, is a data science expert. So with our combined experience, we knew the best way to solve the problem was with algorithms.”

“So, we developed the Vidliz algorithm to continuously analyze and test the contents of an advertising element to see what is working best. If a certain approach works – or doesn’t – the algorithm will take note and adjust as necessary. This takes the guesswork out of a campaign and minimizes the need for manual changes.”

While Vidliz’s algorithm can be used for any online business, Vidliz uses it for clients in the financial services industry, as its team’s financial background gives it a unique advantage in the field. The approach has been successful. The company was founded in 2018 and began managing marketing campaigns with an average of $3 million for the annual budget. This year, that rose to $25 million and is expected to more than double in 2022.

“People loved the Vidliz algorithm and what it can do. We are already working on version 2.0,” Ben Artzi says. “By continually assessing and optimizing campaigns, we can stay ahead of what our clients need a lot more easily. We can also tailor the output to a client’s specific goals and needs. The fact that all the data is measurable and quantifiable means we don’t have to convince clients that it works – we can just show them.”

Using algorithms has other advantages. “Purely from a business point of view, this amount of automation means that we only need around a quarter of the staff typically used by marketing agencies,” Ben Artzi says. “And our entire staff either has a financial background or has been received financial expertise while working with us.”

The number of advertising channels is in constant flux, and new solutions are created with increasing regularity. Some, like Vidliz, can be adapted to work for a variety of products. But even so, marketing campaigns need to pick what best suits whatever they are trying to sell. For example, an influencer with shoppable tags might be the best option for an entire fashion look, while algorithms might help decide the best messaging or placement.

It is almost impossible to accurately predict the future of digital marketing, especially with the Metaverse, VR, and AR making inroads. However, leveraging the power of data and technology seems to be a strong and likely trend as users demand more dynamic and personal recommendations. The more general approach of traditional marketing is too static, broad and on the way out. Change is coming, and it is happening faster than ever.