The first CIM Marketing Club webinar of the academic year was held on the 12th of October 2021 with guest speaker Daniel Rowles talking about the Latest Trends in Digital Marketing.

The webinar started with Phil Preston, who is the CIM volunteers partnership manager, introducing the CIM marketing club and explaining there are 6 webinars as part of the club.

Phil also went on to promote the CIM marketing club updates available to sign up to. Regular updates offering tips for future interviews as well as up to date knowledge and insights in the marketing world. If you would like to sign up to receive updates, you can sign up to the list. 

Guest speaker Daniel Rowles is the CEO of Target Internet, an internet marketing service that helps individuals and organisations improve their marketing capabilities by offering training, podcasts and qualifications, to name a few. Daniel is also the Founding Director of Digital Leadership Programme, a course that teaches the skills to create leaders and entrepreneurs of the future, and he is also a programme director and lecturer in Digital Transformation and Digital Marketing at Imperial College.

Rowles covered a variety of topics related to trends in digital marketing such as unification, email, 3rd party cookies and analytics, which have equally important implications. Let’s review each in turn.

Rowles started with platform unification, explaining that Facebook, Messenger, Instagram to name a few are all starting to merge, for example, reels are now being shown and recommended within Facebook. The new merge will see cross app communication, new message controls, a new vanish mode, animated message effects and a new watch together feature. This new unification is likely to assist businesses moving forward making it easier to manage social commerce. Facebook will also be unifying some of its advertising options.

Following this, Rowles went on to explain how email is changing - Apple have been focusing on privacy - explaining that with the new update to IOS 14 Apple will be able to hide your IP address and location if an email is opened. Currently, when an email is opened there is a one pixel image that will load and this will tell the sender that the email has been opened - Apple are looking to hide this. Businesses may look to focus on click through rates more so than open rates when this is rolled out by Apple.

The next trend that was discussed was 3rd party cookies and all major browsers will gradually disallow 3rd party cookies. Lots of the advertising that will be seen moving forward will stop collecting your data for target marketing. So what does this mean for businesses exactly? Well it means that businesses need to be going back to the fundamentals of marketing. Email marketing, engaging with the customers as well as the community that your company or brand can bring together. Rowles explained that he sends a newsletter out to his subscribers and he gains the subscribers by offering 3 tips every week on his email newsletter. He also engages with his subscribers by asking personal and non personal questions at the end of his emails. He recommends businesses ask the question: what can I do for my audience?

The next Digital marketing trend and change is the change to analytics. Standard analytics or Universal analytics as they are called are going to be making a move over to new Google analytics, GA4. Businesses can currently have both running at the same time however some reports in Universal analytics are not yet available in GA4 yet.

Daniel goes on to explain influencer marketing and how it is taking off. We were shown a brief example of how, right now, 165,000 people per month search up to buy Instagram followers. However, 75% of Instagram influencers currently hide advertisement disclosures in their posts within the caption or hashtags.

Rowles went on to stress how businesses should not rely solely on automated targeted marketing platforms and to trial an advertisement with automated marketing and one without to compare the data accurately.

Rowles explains how Artificial Intelligence is shaping the future of marketing with Google Optimise and Console, conversational design, generated face websites and making chat bots useful.

So what should we do with all this change? Well, the main message that Rowles wanted to get across during this webinar is how important going back to the fundamentals of marketing is; taking a step back and focusing on the user’s journey. He explains that businesses really do need to understand who their audiences are.

Daniel Rowles webinar on the ‘Latest Trends in Digital Marketing’ was both informative and insightful, giving an overview on the latest trends that are due to take place which was backed up by some brilliant statistics.