Businesses and employees with digital marketing expertise will thrive more than ever before.
While many small and large companies closed temporarily or permanently due to the covid-19 pandemic, those still in business today can attest to one factor that contributed to their permanence: digital marketing.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), online sales in the European Union climbed by 30 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, while online retail’s proportion of total accumulated sales in China reached 24.6 percent.
Bank Negara revealed last year that internet sales in Malaysia nearly doubled during the outbreak.
In addition, the OECD anticipates that since online sales demand an investment, many of the companies who increased their engagement in e-commerce during the height of the pandemic will have a long-term incentive to capitalize on their gained infrastructure or expertise.
“According to Deloitte’s 28th edition of The CMO Survey, between 2021 and 2022, investment in digital marketing activities increased. The majority of companies are investing in data analytics (78 percent), website optimization (74 percent), and digital media and search (71 percent),” says Dr. Kimberley Khoo Kim Leng, lecturer at Taylor’s University School of Management and Marketing. She adds that digital marketing is an essential tool for the savvy businessperson and marketer.
Lim Con Nee, a colleague from the School of Management and Marketing, argues that those who fail to acquire digital marketing skills risk exposing their careers and organizations to change and vulnerabilities.
“If we do not advance technologically, we will be left far behind, as firms are already adopting omni-channels to operate their businesses,” adds Lim.
She provides instances of companies that effectively adapted to the consequences of the epidemic and maintained their relationship with consumers while continuing to generate sales: We observed how AirAsia developed a super app during a downturn in the aviation industry, how AEON transitioned to online shopping delivery, and how Zara and Ikea used augmented reality in their retail companies.
With the acceleration of digitalization, businesses can now do far more than simply sell things on a website or platform. According to Lim, digital marketers have begun refining current technology to offer a personalized experience for certain audiences and consumers.
“Many firms are increasingly focused on novel technologies that are outside of their comfort zone, such as utilizing artificial intelligence and analytics to gain a deeper understanding of their prospective customers,” adds Lim.
In addition to rich media advertisements and social media networking sites, they are now utilising influencers and other interactive aspects on their websites.
In fact, marketing is largely about creating relationships with consumers, and it has been compared to “online dating” in that it is driven less by random encounters and more by algorithms and data.
Lim notes that relationship development also requires knowledge of the social patterns of target consumers and meeting them where they congregate.
“I anticipate that the use of social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter will skyrocket,” she says, adding that the social aspect of marketing is crucial because successful digital marketers understand their target audience well and build a positive rapport with their followers and networks over the course of several years.
Khoo believes that in the future, digital marketing will have the capacity to provide consumers with a novel and immersive experience, as organizations aim to attract “digital native” young consumers.
Web 3.0 and the metaverse have the potential to alter digital marketing trends. It is projected that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will be essential components of the life of digital natives, thus many businesses have begun to consider immersive marketing,” she says.
Both Lim and Khoo teach a digital marketing module for Taylor’s MicroCreds in which students can learn marketing theories, digital marketing and social media knowledge and tools, digital marketing tactics to produce more traffic for online enterprises, and acquire practical experience.
Taylor’s MicroCreds is an industry-recognized, credit-bearing certification of learning that is shorter and more flexible than a standard degree and built in accordance with current market trends in a variety of sectors and professions.
Some MicroCreds are stackable and can be applied toward the required credits for a degree, should the student choose to finish a degree program.
These courses are instructed by industry professionals and seasoned academics. Graduates will receive an e-certificate and a digital badge upon completion.