The Path Towards Digital Marketing Framework 4.0

Disruption is the Practice definition of having 99% of companies following a framework that used to be working 12 to 24 months ago — but then things changed. They have been challenged and disrupted by a more effective framework. Flawless Inbound held a workshop on Inbound Marketing recently. Now, you may ask why would 30 CEOs/CMOs/Marketing managers attend a Digital marketing workshop? Simply disruption!

The main core subject of the workshop was, “Great Marketers ruin it for everyone else.” And now, we’re going to look closer at the lessons learned from that workshop and offer a few tips on how to rise above the noise in today's crowded online marketplace. 

Looking at the formative years of digital marketing which, (started around 1996) you have an email list, with an open rate of 95% and a click-through rate of 85%, And if you add a website as well then you are the king, but that was Digital Marketing 1.0.

Then came Digital Marketing 2.0 with all the glory around search engine optimization and the deep science behind each search engine algorithms.

Now, you had to add a few more components to your Digital Marketing strategy 2.0:

  • Multi-page website+with nice pictures (stock photos)
  • Email list + Email campaigns
  • Search engine optimization and keyword analytics, understanding meta Tags. H1, H2, H3 building more copy on each page to influence the algorithms.
This worked perfectly for Digital Marketing 2.0 but then when marketers become great at it and ruined the framework for everyone else.

Then came Digital Marketing 3.0 with all the glory of the mobile friendly website and mobility experience so you had to go and add to your digital marketing strategy:

  • Mobility as top priority
  • Social media Channels + Blogging “hopefully done the proper way” + guest blogging+ backlinking
  • SEO, keyword structure
  • Media-buying and google AdWords, Retargeting, Pay-per-clicK
  • List buying and outbound calling
  • Traditional print/mail marketing came back to the picture
  • Very expensive video campaigns that are embedded on your website, YouTube, other video platforms
  • Mobile retargeting (based on location)

Once again, this all worked perfectly fine till late 2013 and the big betting war began…

Up until this point, smart CMOs were spending a lot of money on Retargeting and Media Buying campaigns and they were only hoping for an ROI which they might see in the first few months. It was a case of the “Spike Effect” but then the traffic drop down again quickly, why? Because, your competition, (sometimes with deeper pockets) will be doing exactly the same thing and outbidding your marketing efforts.

So, what really happened in late 2013. There were a few really critical changes:

  • Buyers become more informed
  • Buyers who had grown to hate Retargeting ads started installing Ad-Blocker software on their browsers, even through Marketing manager are still spending tons of money on Retargeting an Ads to an uninterested audience
  • Funny enough, Marketing Managers and CMOs were pitching the idea of mass mail marketing, (or Junk Mail), yet were still being allocated budget for it.

Also, that was the time of the Entrepreneur fever when Uber/Airbnb became mainstream so everyone who knew a developer wanted to be an entrepreneur. But that then at the same time, the Cloud infrastructure models because very affordable: “AWS, Azure, others.”

The transition to the Cloud caused a big explosion of marketing automation tools that can run fully from the cloud. As of April 2017, instead of having your tradition, big giant, vendors playing monopoly, SMBs could choose between 4000 software marketing tools. This is when Digital Marketing 4.0 was born.