As I enter my last quarter of college, I read an article called “U.S. Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016” by Shar VanBoskirk, as required by my Digital Marketing Professor, @DigiMark_WWU. I quickly realize how much I don’t know about the marketing world as it is forecasted to go almost all digital in the near future.
While I have completed the majority of business core classes and marketing concentrated classes as required by my university, this article made me rethink my prior inhibitions about feeling ready to start my marketing career. Today employers understand the importance of social media in their business and now expect grads to be experts in every social media platform, having grown up in the digital age of Facebook, smart-phones, and other emerging innovative technologies.
As estimated in VanBoskirk’s article, U.S. Interactive Marketing Spending is expected to increase from 19% to 35% of all advertising spending by 2016 and become more effective than traditional marketing channels (i.e. television, newspapers, direct mail etc.). Search engine marketing continues to be the leader, however it is significant to note that Social Media and Mobile Marketing channels take bigger pieces of the interactive marketing pie; their CAGR up to 26% and 38% of total spending, respectively.
So what does this mean? This means that users’ obsession over their beloved smart-phones and personal image on social media will lead to rapid change in search behavior, and marketers’ will invest more of their search budget to non-traditional search engines, most notably mobile and social networking sites (Facebook, Youtube etc.).
And for the graduating marketing student? This means that we need to become not only experts in all the different social networks, but become experts in Search Engine Marketing and invest time into learning about mobile marketing. It’s time to focus on the future of marketing and where it’s going, digitally.
But not to worry, since our time in college is limited, there is plenty to learn more out there in our careers. And as young, new business professionals, it’s up to us to continually learn about our customers and then steer our company’s marketing efforts to adapt to their evolving search behavior, in a rapidly changing digital world.