Article The digitization of everything – its impact on the buyer’s journey and marketing’s roleFor nearly a century, the buyer’s journey was relatively linear. Advertising through mass media led to conversing with salespeople, friends and family. A purchase was made. But in today’s digitally networked world, studies show there are 3,000 different paths to purchase. How does marketing respond to this new reality? Brian Vellmure has answers.

With the explosion of digital media, people began to engage with each other – and the companies they did business with – in new ways. The relevance of traditional print and broadcast channels declined, completely changing the consumer-corporation dynamic. Digital channels opened doors for consumers. No longer passive participants in a one-sided marketing conversation, consumers became empowered authors, publishers and critics. The digital landscape is participatory, an area where consumers exchange ideas. Marketers no longer drive the discussion. Everyday consumers are now the style makers and trendsetters.
In the 1990s, the term Digital Marketing was first coined,.[10] With the debut of server/client architecture and the popularity of personal computers, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications became a significant part of marketing technology.[citation needed] Fierce competition forced vendors to include more service into their software, for example, marketing, sales and service applications. Marketers were also able to own huge online customer data by eCRM software after the Internet was born. Companies could update the data of customer needs and obtain the priorities of their experience. This led to the first clickable banner ad being going live in 1994, which was the "You Will" campaign by AT&T and over the first four months of it going live, 44% of all people who saw it clicked on the ad.[11]
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