Predicting the Digital Future; Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

As we take a look at the Digital Marketing landscape in the then, now and future, we make some predictions about what we think will happen in the Digital industry…

If anyone ever happens to invent a time machine, please return to the moment at which I am typing this sentence to tell me what happens to Digital …

No? Well that was disappointing. I guess we shall attempt to predict it then; fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

To coincide with the BBC’s recent “Make It Digital” season, encouraging more people to become tuned in with the crazy world that is Digital, we have put together a brief highlight of where the industry is presently; the developments which are currently happening; and what changes we may see in the near future.

Of course, all of the following must be taken with a pinch in salt, we are not certified clairvoyance practitioners nor would we honestly claim to own a Tardis (although a blue box keeps moving around our office which is slightly confusing).

The Then


Digital has clearly come a long way since its early beginning. The hardware has got dramatically smaller, the software has become simultaneously simpler and more complex, and the sheer quantity of people involved has shot up! Last month saw Google (Lord and Overseer of the World Wide Web) have its 17th Birthday! Which means that here in the UK it can now legally drive (not the Google Driverless Cars however, given they are not allowed yet!). Many happy returns!

The Now


At this very moment, the world is using their smartphone more than any other device to connect to the internet; scrolling through endless updates on Twitter and squishing green things with some Angry Birds. Consumption of digital media on mobile devices has climbed from 18 minutes per day in 2008 to nearly 3 hours in 2015, as reported in a recent article. Impressive statistics indeed, and the trend suggests this pattern will not change.


In terms of Digital Marketing as a profession, SEO, PPC, Social Media, Content and Web Development, and everything in between, the methods behind the madness change at a rate of knots. Content was King. It ruled the roost and sent websites to the top of Google Searches. Quantity over Quality was the argument. Yet as the algorithms behind search results consistently change, we have all had to alter our approach.

With many companies having recognised that the real focus should be on Quality over Quantity, we’ve seen a huge uplift in the use of audience data and consumerist characteristics to dictate the creation, targeting and distribution of content. The result is we are enjoying more personalised and appropriate content in places we want to see them. From a recruitment perspective, we’ve seen a significant increase in the hiring of “Data people”, professionals who are proficient in machine learning and big data (Data Scientists as they are also known). This role is then supported by those who make sense of the data before offering comprehensive interpretations for relevant parties (Insight Analysts). Not to mention those who are able to make the software which encompasses these processes (Python Programmers / Developers).

In recognising the Quality of the Content is now KING, we focus also on where we put our content. Employers hasten to bring on board experienced Link Builders, people with experience in knowing where and how to get the links for their content in the industry; people with Journalism skills, a network in the Publisher and Blogger communities.

This is now, and there is a huge demand for these type of roles to be filled across the UK and overseas. What comes next is up for debate, without a definitive answer upon the horizon.


The Next


Wearable Technology and Glancing Adverts (as we have discussed before) is the rapidly evolving nature of consumer culture; with targeted advertising ever more important as instant data can be collected, interpreted, manipulated and turned into appropriate content. You may be sent a coffee voucher at 1pm on a hot day when you are about to walk past a specific coffee shop. Wearable Tech allows for content to be exceptionally personal, and as suggested in another article discussing a similar topic: “67% of consumers say custom content helps them make better purchase decisions”.


Not only is instant data going to be important for marketers, but this new generation of consumerism will require as much interaction from a brand as possible. Wearable Tech is most likely going to be consumed in a distracting context – where everyday life will get between company and customer. With this in mind, it will be imperative that marketing is as interactive, brief, unique and informative as possible. This may be the biggest challenge for future marketing, creating this new form of content appropriate for glancing consumption.

The quantity of content has already dramatically slowed down, and the figures suggest it will continue to do. The quality has increased and will continue to do so. This sliding scale is what we predict. The sheer amount of finer data accessible to Data Scientists and Insight Analysts will instigate personal, targeted content. The job of the marketer is going to be a tough one; but the resulting content could be truly brilliant.

As a recruitment agency who solely works with and for the Digital Industry, we get to witness these changes from the side-lines. We helped find Brands and Agencies their perfect Content professionals, we are now helping them find Developers, Data Scientists, Insight Analysts, Link Building and Outreach professionals. Whatever comes next, we will be prepared to help both clients and candidates find their ideal employee / career.

We would love to hear your thoughts as to what you think will come next… Leave us a comment here or get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+!

In the meantime, if you want to join the Digital Steam Train, get in touch: Job Seeking

If you are looking to hire a Digital professional to help you keep up with all these crazy innovations in our Industry, then you too should get in touch: Recruiting

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