Leeds agency’s managing director looks back at the digital decade

Chris Jackson.
Chris Jackson.

Leeds-based digital marketing agency Enjoy Digital has just turned 10 and here managing director Chris Jackson writes for Digital City about the developments of the last decade.

We’ve seen significant growth of the industry since 2008 and, in more recent months, there’s been a strong media focus on digital due to government attention on the sector, encouraging more brands and businesses to seriously consider their digital approach and whether they’re digitally compatible.

Due to the rise in popularity of social media, and mobile and tablet use, the way we consume information has changed monumentally in the last 10 years.

Marketing practices that were once very traditional in their approach, such as PR and advertising, have had to adapt to become digitally focused, ensuring they don’t get left behind and lose their audience.

We’ve seen some of the most reputable print publications, such as The Independent, become solely digital due to dropping ad revenue as readers turn to online outlets for information and advertisers follow suit.

Aside from speed, digital also has the added benefit of being able to more accurately track and report on visits, referrals and conversions.

Print coverage and advertising has historically been a challenge to attribute, but online advertising (whether that’s display, PPC, e-mail or influencer partnerships) can be easily traced and credited back to the source using digital marketing tools.

In turn, having access to more reliable measurement data has led to an integrated, multi-channel approach to marketing becoming more prevalent, with marketers being able to clearly see how various channels assist one another and the benefits of a united approach.

Earned and paid media and SEO teams have become the driving forces behind many strategies as their audience insights shape the approach of the rest of the marketing department.

Google’s evolution and dominance means that search marketing has grown and an online presence is now the number one focus for brands.

And the question everyone wants the answer to is, ‘how do I rank in the top five?’.

A fully integrated campaign of SEO research and insights, quality on-site content, CRO and UX considerations, well-planned digital PR activity and a paid media strategy that complements the overall approach.

Social media too has changed from the friends and family platform it once was, to a place for brand advertising, influencer engagement and remarketing.

It’s led to a new form of advertising that’s yet to find its feet as regulators are increasingly paying more and more attention to influencers and the products they promote.

The recent controversies surrounding Facebook and Twitter have resulted in a backlash against social media, a far cry from the industry’s heyday back in 2010 when Instagram was launched.

Digital marketing is now no longer just about form filling or completing purchases – although this is the end goal for many.

The focus is now on how digital can generate a strong return on investment for businesses while building brands and creating an experience that makes customers want to return time and time again.