The Future of Digital Marketing

The marketing world is based on building and enhancing relationships through communication to generate and maintain sales. However, every business, including marketing agencies, must adapt to societal changes to sustain and achieve each quarters goals and objectives by successfully using various communication techniques. It is a marketer’s newest side-job to stay up-to-date with communicative methods and learn how to use, and properly implement, them, as well as foresee and prevent potential problems that may occur using these new communicative efforts.

As human interaction is becoming highly virtual, “transcending space and time,” marketers must consider their current methods of communication and learn to adapt to societal changes as they attempt to communicate to their target audiences (Flew, 2008). With the decline in face-to-face communication among businesses, communication with target audiences are conducted through alternative tactics. In the fast paced working environment, it is often found that businesses rely on convenient methods of communication, which is generally non-direct communication. As a marketer, it is crucial to get across messages in a timely, and effective manner, thus it’s essential for businesses to learn how to use cutting-edge methods of communication adopted by the mass public and use these tools in their efforts of proper and effective communication. In global businesses, meetings and focus groups with current and potential consumers are now implemented using online platforms. For example, Youtube has a video on How to Use Skype for Business: Video Tutorial, which explains the ease and benefits of using Skype to ensure communication between businesses and consumers (Skypemaster123, 2008).


Skype and Apple’s FaceTime, are among two of the new communication devices that eliminates the idea that people have to be in the same space at the same time to communicate. Mashable’s inforgraphic, as seen below, regarding Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing, emphasizes that as “content is shared and spread through [various] networks… the reach of the content can grow virally,” (Durell, 2011).

These communication devices allows for marketers to stay in contact with clients, and consumers, thus increasing their level of reach and impact, causing for an increase in brand awareness, brand loyalty and an increase in sales.

However,as the number of devices and platforms increase in communication methods, it’s imperative to research ways of how to properly communicate, and prevent potential problems that may occur using these advanced methods. Using numerous forms of communication, including social media websites, can be confusing to new users, thus potentially generating confusion among the public about a business and its brand. For example, an American Red Cross employee attempted to use Hootsuite, a social media platform where people can share information on multiple sites at the same time, and accidently tweeted about drinking on the company’s personal account rather than her own (Segall, 2011).

This story is a great illustration of potential problems that could occur using new devices to communicate to target audiences, without the proper knowledge of how to use the device. According to Fox’s infographic, seen below, businesses should use “reputation- monitoring software to keep a close eye on how [employees] represent [a businesses] brand,” (Fox, 2012).

Like the Twitter case, it’s important for businesses to know how to communicate and prevent from any mishaps that may occur, to protect their brand image at all times. With the rise in social media as a communicative device, it is highly suggested that marketers and businesses create a crisis plan in case of circumstances, like a mis- tweet. As marketers use social media, and other methods, to communicate with their target audiences, they must become experts in managing and properly using these devices to their advantage, not to their demise. Thus,it is vital for businesses to remain on top of trending communication methods to ensure that a company remains on the minds of their target audiences at all times.

However, there are still many questions to be asked, including, “Will face-to-face interaction become obsolete in the marketing world? Will more people be e-mailing reports and conducting research from home? Should companies draw a line where the amount of virtual contact cannot be exceeded?” And finally, “Should companies create terms of use and rules to be followed during working hours regarding the internet, or social media usage, to prevent from privacy issues and branding misrepresentations?”


Durell, L. (2011, October 30). Retrieved from

Flew, Terry. (2008). New media: An introduction. (3 ed., pp. 207-210). Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Fox, Z. (2012, March 11). Retrieved from Everything Your Employees Need to Know About Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

Segall, L. (2011, February 17). Cnn money. Retrieved from section=money_smbusiness&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: rss/magazines_fsb (FSB Magazine)&utm_content=Google Reader

Skypemaster123. (2008, November 12). Retrieved from

Cyber Law: Coming Your Way?

As the internet evolves, so do the challenges encountered in the marketing field. Looking back, Web 1.0 was a place where people read HTML, but Web 2.0 has evolved into a place for writing and sharing content. It is a place of converging ideas, thoughts, cultures, languages and ultimately, information. With the rise of user generated content being shared, there is a direct correlation to news topics and stories regarding its regulation in the cyber world. The “legal implications of the Internet’s rapid development are rendered even more complex by the specific features of its relationship to existing laws, regulatory frameworks, and the ideas that underpin them,” (Flew, 2008). Issues that have been brought into mainstream conversation lately regard legalities and legal ramifications of the cyber world. Marketers must be aware of cyberspace laws as they are becoming issued, especially laws regarding their extent to free speech and their use of intellectual property.

Increasing knowledge and content from citizen marketers has recently brought about the topic of free speech online. As citizen marketers criticize companies and generate and publish their content for the world to access, they are facing issues regarding the extent their information is deemed okay under free speech laws, and where it isn’t. For example, in response to BP’s oil spill in the Golf of Mexico in 2010, citizen marketers created an account on Twitter called #BP Public Relations, (“Twitter,” 2012). The cite has numerous contributors, and over 157,000 followers who continue to add content and remark about BP’s oil spill and the after effects and response, as seen in the screenshot below, (“Twitter,” 2012).!/BPGlobalPR

Unfortunately, the invisible lines that currently run the cyber world explaining what the extremes of free speech are not completely defined the same across platforms, thus there the confusion of where the lines are and where lines should be drawn. The question I pose is, if no one is in control or regulating content, will there soon be laws dictating the extent of a person’s free speech online that must be adhered to?

Similar to the confusion of one’s free speech online, citizen marketers and journalists are also facing copyright issues pertaining to the use of intellectual property. In many popular websites and social media sites under their privacy and conditions section, there is information about how the content published on the site can be used. Since many people do not bother to read through this information, they do not realize what they are signing away by agreeing to the terms and conditions.

  Wait… I am agreeing to what?

This case study that has recently been in the news is the new internet phenomenon, Pinterest. An article was released explaining that a lawyer interested in photography looked into the Pinterest’s copyright laws and found that under their terms and conditions that,“YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE, APPLICATION, SERVICES AND SITE CONTENT REMAINS WITH YOU,” (Shontell, 2012). Thus meaning that each pin that is uploaded must be original or give credit to whom it originated from. The story goes on to say that she closed her Pinterest account in fear. After the article was released, Pinterest co-founder, Ben Silbermann admitted that “there are issues with Pinterest and the fear of claims of copyright infringement,”(Shontell, 2012). On Youtube’s video, Pinterest and your rights- Tech Tonic, they bring up the idea that the “traditional copyright model is dead,” (ReutersTV , 2012).


ReutersTV (2012, February 27). Retrieved from v=PWMRbgrINe0

If traditional copyright is dead, what will be the newly adapted copyright laws?
With the evolving use and dependency on the internet for information, the problems marketers face are legal. What was once known as free speech is slowly becoming limited speech. Those among the marketing industry have to be careful of what they say and how they communicate online. Unfortunately, since the internet is a public domain there are little laws and enforcements as of today being done regarding these issues.As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and as we can see now, this is being applied to the cyber world; there is no such thing as free speech or free content.


Flew, Terry. (2008). New media: An introduction. (3 ed., pp. 207-210). Victoria,
   Australia: Oxford University Press.
Freepress. (2012, February 23). Retrieved from
ReutersTV (2012, February 27). Retrieved from
Shontell, A. (2012, February 28). Business insider. Retrieved from

Twitter. (2012). Retrieved from!/BPGlobalPR

Collective Intelligence in Marketing

The proverb, “two heads are better than one,” relates to the idea of collective intelligence.  Henry Jenkins defines collective intelligence as, “the kind of knowledge and understanding that emerges from large groups of people,” (2008). In industries that rely on creative and novel ideas, such as the marketing industry, people are now using the collective knowledge of consumers. While the field of marketing has evolved to focus more on relationship building, the role of consumers has drastically changed from the former, when consumers either liked a product or did not, to idea generators and product creators. In creative industries, like marketing, it is important to remain innovative within the business, which is why it is crucial for marketers to appreciate diversity and listen to consumers and use their thoughts and ideas, ultimately their collective knowledge, to create new products and evolve their business plans and strategies according to consumers wants and demands.

As humans evolve, industries follow in their footsteps, which remains to be one of the great marketing challenges: to market to an ever-changing population. In the era of social media, there is now a significantconvergence of ideas among a diverse population. Like any business professional, marketers must understand the population and learn to use their many resources and combine their knowledge with others, to somehow create revenue-generating marketing campaigns and strategies. As Jenkins said, “the greater diversity of inputs into the process, the richer the output,” (2008). One company who finds the importance of diversity and creative collective intelligence is Proctor and Gamble. P&G creates teams who attempt to solve business challenges, who “tap into their own unique gifts, [but] also harness the collective intelligence of a diverse multifunctional team… [which] impacts the way [their] teams view the world, work and interact,” (P&g, 2011). Collective intelligence “recognizes that there are diverse forms of expertise and that we learn more if we draw on as many different minds as possible rather than placing our trust in singular minds” (Jenkins, 2008). Gathering and merging information from diverse sources and a mixture of populations, we can become more knowledgeable of target demographics within the world, especially within certain marketplaces, which is key for marketers when creating and adjusting their marketing strategies, products and brand image.

In an industry that is embraces creativity and uniqueness, it is essential to use open and collective networks, platforms and other sources to collect information about how people feel towards a brand or product to then enhance or alter those feelings. “Collective intelligence has turned age-old marketing principles upside-down… the flow of information about a company is almost entirely in the hands of consumers…. But the smartest brands are embracing this openness and involving the consumer as never before,” (Montgomery, 2008). Pierre Lévy’s Youtube video on Collective Intelligence Literacy, says that collective intelligence “can enhance our perception… also our ability to collaborate, cooperate, to dialogue, to accumulate collectively some memory,” (Howardrheingold, 2011).

Being knowledgeable about the market, consumers and people in general, is essential to the job of a marketer and a marketing agency. Having one view or idea of something does not permit creativity when brainstorming new ideas for marketing strategies and campaigns. One company who embraced collective intelligence and utlizes their consumers as a resource was Mountain Dew. They created a marketing campaign that allowed customers to collectively contribute their names for the next Mountain Dew flavor. One campaign to collect the populations information and ideas was called “DEWmocracy 2,” (“”). On this site, consumers were able to contribute and vote on their own, as well as other contributor’s ideas. This social media initiative put a “call to action to get fans of the brand to use social media to tell Mountain Dew why they should be selected to help the company craft a new flavor,” (Van Grove, 2010). After the ideas were contributed, Mountain Dew chose the top flavors and launched the products. This marketing strategy saw immediate results through due to word of mouth communications. Mountain Dew products saw changes in their social media numbers, with their Facebook fans increasing from 800,000 “from the time [the program started] in June 2009 until today, where we are at 920,000 Facebook fans,” (Wong, 2010). Although Facebook fans may not directly correlate to profits, Mountain Dews’ marketing strategy captured consumer’s attention and communicated to consumers that they aim to please consumers, whether they are already customer or not.

While marketers face the continuous challenge of understanding and communicating with their target audiences, they should first aim to understand the diversity among them. Understanding consumers is key to today’s marketing environment, because consumers are now idea and product generators for businesses. Reacting to this change, marketing professionals must use collective knowledge from within the industry and outside the industry to create new products and evolve to fulfill the wants and demands of consumers. Combining a diverse set of knowledge, will also help marketers gain multiple perceptions from their consumers, which will help to build their relationship with their target demographics and other potential consumers. Since knowledge is one of the largest resources we as humans have, why not collect the information and knowledge we have and use it productively?

Appreciate Diversity                                Listen To a Diverse Set Of Consumers

              Combine Your Knowledge and Others Knowledge For The Best Results!

Resources: . (n.d.). Retrieved from

Howardrheingold. (2011, March 05). Retrieved from

Jenkins, H. (2008, February 04). Sharing notes about collective intelligence [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Montgomery, G. (2008, June). COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE. Campaign: DIGITAL ESSAYS 19.  Retrieved February 28,

2012, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1515722221).

. (2011). Retrieved from diversity_inclusion.shtml

Van Grove, J. (2010, April 20). Retrieved from

Wong, E. (2010, June 16). Retrieved from

Diffusing Innovation And Marketing

The concept of innovation has been on the forefront of business’s minds with every minor advancement in technology that hits the marketplace. Since businesses aim to remain at the top of their market sector, they are continually facing the dilemma of diffusion of innovations, which is the rate of adoption [and] spread of innovation in the social system through communication via particular channels-influential individuals, related businesses social networks (Flew, 2008). The obstacle marketing agencies and employees have to overcome relating to the diffusion of innovations is being able to properly predict which technologies will be the most beneficial in effective communication and profitability, as well as adopting these new and advancing technologies as rapidly as their customer’s demand them.

Before marketing professionals and companies adopt new channels to market, they have to extensively research and consider the advantages, and potential challenges, to each new marketing opportunity. As seen in many circumstances, becoming the first to adopt a new piece of technology, can dictate the success, or failure, of a company down the road. The problem however is, that marketers have to know what pieces of technology, for example, social media websites, consumers use and somehow convert that knowledge into marketing strategy to either increase sales, maintain their current customers, gain new customers or explain a new way to use their product or service. Unfortunately marketers face another dilemma trying to predict what will be the new innovative ways they can communicate messages with society. David Norman discovered and labeled what is known as the technology S-curve, which can relate to the diffusion of innovations. Adoption of new methods in the beginning, related to social media marketing in this scenario, is typically slow, because marketers can not predict the future and know that one social media platform will be used more, or will be more effective, than another. This only adds to the challenges that marketers incur; they want to be ahead of the game, but it is challenging to know what new forms of communication will be adopted by consumers and other marketing professionals. Since profitability is key, a marketer does not want to waste time using a new method of communication, when it may not be the most effective form. As seen in the chart below (“,” 2009), the majority, about 64 percent, are the mainstream and late adopters, who lie in the middle (Flew, 2008).


This provides statistical evidence for the dilemma faced by marketers; if they use a new form of communication, they may not know if the communication will be effective or not until they have already invested a significant amount of time and funds into it, since others may not adopt new methods as rapidly as they are.

Once marketers have decided their new strategies they wish to adopt, they have to then use such methods quickly and appropriately to satisfy consumer demands. According to Moore’s Law, [the diffusion of innovations] does not actually define the rate … but rather how fast [something is] demanded.” (Malone,  2011). Businesses, like marketers, have to be able to listen to what their consumers are demanding and act accordingly. For example, many industry professionals are now “tweeting,” on Twitter and publishing blogs about the most recent industry news. It has been said that social media platforms are, “the marketing of the future,” (Engle, 2009). With this key insight, businesses have been responding to the demand for a larger presence on social media webpages and have become users of Twitter, Facebook and blogging websites to stay connected to their consumers. Businesses are working with their strengths and listening to their customers, overcoming what is known as the innovators dilemma (Flew, 2008). Companies have numerous new social media marketing channels to choose from, but the key is to choose which will be the most effective to communicate with their desired target market and target audience. By keeping up with what consumers are demanding via internet marketing channels, they can show their customers that they are at the top of their industry.

No matter the industry, a company must evolve and quickly adapt to consumer needs and demands. Businesses, such as marketing agencies, have to listen and observe the way in which the marketplace is shifting and adjust their business plans to fit these changes demanded by consumers. For now, marketers may feel comfortable using social media platforms to communicate messages, but the question others, among myself now ponder is, what will be next? 


Engle, Erika. (2009, August 23). Twitter is business and marketing tool for realtor. . Retrieved from

Flew, Terry. (2008). New media: An introduction. (3 ed., pp. 207-210). Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Malone, Michael S. (2011, May 08). Moore’s law lives: the future is still alive [Web log message]. Retrieved from (2009, December 10). Retrieved from