Digital Marketing – History and Evolution

As we all know, Digital Marketing is the latest and most efficient way of promoting our business.

Globally, there are about 2.80 billion social media users in 2017 and 2.56 billion from it are “mobile” social media users, and on a daily basis, these people are consuming digital content. That’s also the reason why social media is considered as the best digital marketing vehicles that has helped many businesses succeed. As working professionals, we are expected to be familiar with its past, in order to have a genuine understanding of the subject.

Let’s travel back through time and discover how Digital Marketing came to be the most effective tool for your businesses success!

In the 1990’s, the term “Digital Marketing” was first used. The emergence of the internet and the development of Web 1.0 platform made the arrival of the digital age. Back then, Web 1.0 platform was a private database serving as a search tool, that delivers information to its users but it could not allow to share it to the ‘web’.

The first clickable banner went live, in 1993, upon purchasing a few banner ads for HotWired’s advertising. This action marked the start of the digital era.

The digital marketplace perceived the succeeding year 1994 with new technology, and so, at that very same year, Yahoo was launched. Yahoo received close to 1 million hits within its first year which prompted widespread changes in the digital marketing space. More search engine tools like Alexa, LookSmart and Hotbot launched later in 1996. Later in 1997, the first social media site, ‘SixDegrees.com’ was publicised.

In 1998, Google was born, while Yahoo launched Yahoo Web Search and for Microsoft, their MSN Search Engine. After two years, the internet bubble burst (dot-com collapse), wiped out almost all smaller search engines but some managed to survive – such as eBay and Amazon.

Search engine traffic surged to about 6.4 billion in a single month in 2006 which was the first growth in the digital marketing world ever recorded since the dot-com collapse.  Microsoft launched Live Search to compete with Yahoo and Google. Google saw this as an opportunity and began to expand and introduced their products AdWords and AdSense.

And then Web 2.0 came, which is an improved version of Web 1.0 where users are now allowed to interact with other users and businesses alike. The term ‘super information highway’ began associated with the internet. By 2004, internet advertising and marketing boomed worldwide.

Advertisers have begun to find other ways to benefit from this young technology and have come up with different techniques to track browsing habits and usage patterns of regular internet users and tailor promotions and marketing ads to their preferences. Cookies eventually changed over the years, and nowadays, it is coded to collect literal user data which in turn are offered to marketers.

There is no permanency in the digital market, as it keeps growing and fitting the constant demands of the digital consumers. Therefore, digital marketers need to find flexible ways to keep up with the constant fluctuation. After all, nobody wants to be left out in the competition.