3 Evolutionary Stages of Digital Marketing - What's Next? | Small Biz Marketing Specialist
3 Evolutionary Stages of Digital Marketing - What’s Next?

3 Evolutionary Stages of Digital Marketing – What’s Next?

If you are a small business owner and want to stay on the cutting edge and know what’s next in digital marketing as far as the overall evolution of digital marketing, listen to this episode where “Small Business Stacey” and “Digital Dave” forecast Digital Marketing 3.0 and 4.0.

Episode Transcript

Today we’re talking about Digital Marketing and, specifically, the three stages of Modern Digital Marketing and how you can incorporate it into your marketing plan. I’m really excited to have Digital Dave here, because no one has seen as much change over the past few years in small business marketing than Digital Dave. So, welcome.

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Dave: Yeah. Thank you, Stacy. I want to just start off by saying, “Happy New Year” to everybody. This is our first episode of 2018.

Stacey: Woo hoo!

Dave: … and we’re excited. I also want to say that it is freezing here.

Stacey: I’m bundled up.

Dave: Yeah. We’re wearing sweatshirts just to stay warm inside; so, it is that cold here in this first part of January. Welcome, everybody.

Stacey: Welcome. Digital Dave, when small business owners start putting together their marketing plan, they always want to incorporate online marketing, right? Everybody wants to be online. At the same time, I’ve heard so many small business owners use a four-letter word starting with F to describe that. Know what that word is?

Dave: It’s not ‘fun.’

Stacey: No. We can’t say it.

Dave: It’s not ‘fun.’

Stacey: Actually, the four-letter F word is fast, because that really would summarize digital marketing, right? Haven’t you seen a lot of change happening?

Dave: Absolutely. We’re going to talk about today what I consider the three stages of digital marketing that have occurred over the last 15 years or so, and what stage we’re in right now, and what you should be doing in your marketing to be proactive and marketing within that stage of evolution of the marketing cycle.

Stage 1: The Transactional Stage of Digital Marketing

We’re going to start with stage number one. This goes way back. Stage number one of digital marketing, from our perspective, was really a very transactional stage of digital marketing. You would put your website out there, and you would expect people to automatically just buy because your website was out there. It was the equivalent of, say, a digital brochure. That’s kind of the first stage of digital marketing that hit the internet.

3 Evolutionary Stages of Digital Marketing - What’s Next?

This ties in with the internet stages as well. I think everybody’s heard of Web 1.0, and Web 2.0, and now Web 3.0. The three stages of marketing have kind of followed that transition in its own way. In the transactional stage, what did that look like during that stage, and what were the tools being used back then to do digital marketing? Stacy, do you have some examples that you can share with us, maybe from your clients or our businesses, where you can share with our listeners that would help them build a picture of what Marketing 1.0, that stage, looked like?

Stacey: Sure. I think you alluded to it perfectly. 1.0 being transactional-based was sort of like “Build it and they will come,” throwing up an online brochure. We did this in our coffee and smoothie business, where it was pictures of smoothies and it was very transactional-based. It was sort of like our online brochure.

Another example would be: We had a client who does Hawaiian products, and they would just throw up the store and, “Buy our shirt. Buy our Hawaiian products.” A lot of small businesses, unfortunately, that I see are actually still in this Web 1.0, right? They throw everything up online and then expect everybody to come and buy from them, and know all about them, and just be so excited to do business with them. But that’s not how it works, right?

Stage 2: Build A Relationship

Dave: Yeah. That doesn’t work anymore. That’s where the evolution of Marketing 2.0 started is that the Marketing 2.0 phase was to build a relationship with people online. This was the initiation of social media and engagement on your website. This includes things like providing comments,social proof, being on social media and getting reviews, and showing great pictures and images, not necessarily of just your products, but your experience and your business as well. It was the evolution of building a relationship with the customer to get them to buy. So, it was no longer just a brochure. You had to get engagement from them to get them to trust you and buy from you.

During this stage, we saw the rise of social media and all the different ways to reach customers through that. Again, what were some of the most effective tools that you saw clients using or us using during this Marketing 2.0 phase, Stacy? What are some of the things you can share with our audience here regarding that?

Stacey: I love this 2.0 phase, because, really, marketing is all about building a relationship. I think of a quote from one of my mentors, Dan Kennedy. He has this saying that, “Most small business owners get a customer to make a sale, and it really should be the opposite. You want to make a sale to get a customer.” Otherwise, we’re sort of back in Web 1.0, where it’s all transaction-based. They’re in the door; they’re out the door. They’re in the door; they’re out the door.

Most small business owners get a customer to make a sale, and it really should be the opposite. You want to make a sale to get a customer.

Dan Kennedy GKIC

Now, coming full circle to Web 2.0, we can build a relationship, and doing that online is so easy today with the proliferation of social media. I mean, so many clients have come to us to help us manage their social media, because that’s what it is, it’s about being social. They may not have the time to do it every single day, so we will do that for them. The great thing about social: it allows you to build a relationship. You can engage. You can have conversations. You can even listen. You can learn so much, not only about your customers but your competition.

I just have so many examples of how you could use this in your business. In our coffee and smoothie business, we’ve done this by incorporating social proof into our website, whether it’s awards that we’ve won, or we literally pull in a stream of reviews and ratings that people have left us on other social media platforms like Yelp or Google My Business, and we feed them into our website. Or, just even as we’re out at events, we will get customer and client testimonials, whether something is written, or even now we do it on video. There are so many different ways that we can be social and build relationships.

One more example is, we have a company who’s a vitamin supplement company … again, transactional. Right? We’re selling a product. They came to us, and now we’re helping them build relationships by using email marketing, which is another way to be social, because people are always checking their inbox, always reading their emails. As long as you are using email in a way to build a relationship and not always sell, sell, sell, that’s another way that a small business owner can incorporate Web 2.0 relationship into their marketing plan.

Dave: Right. I’m just going to correct real quickly here. It’s Marketing 2.0.

Stacey: Oh.

Dave: It’s mostly the same things.

Stacey: That’s why I have Digital Dave.

Dave: Yeah. The internet and marketing stages kind of follow each other; but, for this episode, we’re talking about marketing stages.

Stage 3: Creating A Story Brand

All right. This kind of leads into the third stage, which is just evolving now, and that is about branding. In the third stage, Marketing 3.0, it’s about getting people involved in your story, in your branding, in your mission, in your business, having them believe in you as a business by telling them the story. This includes things like having them out and maybe coming to see your kitchen if you’re a restaurant, even to help make something with the cook or something just for fun. It’s about sharing your experience and why you do and you’re so passionate about what you do, and sharing that mission, and having them be a part of that mission with you.

This is the third stage of marketing that’s evolving right now and very critical that you get your marketing into this stage as soon as you possibly can. You still want to continue what you were doing during the 1.0 stage and the 2.0 stage, if you’ve been in business that long, but now you have to evolve into the third stage, which is to really bring people into your business and make them a part of your business. So, this is a little different.

Again, do you have any examples of some customers or just some ideas that you can share about the Marketing 3.0 stage?

Stacey: Yeah. This is really exciting, but it’s also where I see a lot of small business owners just want to run under the rock and hide, because they feel like, “Oh, I have to present this aura. I’m perfect. My business is perfect. I can’t let people see what we’re really about.” But that’s what people want, right? I mean, people do business with people. That’s the reality.

Dave: They want transparency.

Stacey: Yeah. You need to show the human side of what you are. I’ll be transparent with you. Digital Dave and I, we are using video so much more. I think last year … what did we do? 100 episodes of video?

Dave: We did over 100 episodes on video.

Stacey: We are getting such positive feedback, because people relate. They relate to our story. They can see our face. They get our energy. Most importantly, they buy into our mission, which is to help 10,000 small business owners earn seven figures or more. Now, if we were just to put that into a blog post and maybe write an article about it, are we going to have the same engagement and excitement? No. We don’t really like getting on camera. Of course, we’re nervous about doing it, but we’re more passionate about it and sharing our message with you. That’s why we do it. So, bring the camera into your business.

Let me share with you some examples of how we’ve helped our clients in doing that. I can think of an example. I have a client that’s a travel blogger. She was out on social media and she was posting pictures of everywhere that she went, but I encouraged her to start doing storytelling, sharing the before the trip, during the trip, while she’s there. This thing went viral, because it was sort of her storytelling, and people felt like they were there, although they weren’t there.

This is great even for a business that can be viewed sort of as a commodity. For example, I have a realtor who’s a client. Buying and selling real estate is a transaction; it’s a commodity. I helped her differentiate herself. We came up with some storytelling and branding, where she’s not just a realtor; she helps people make great real estate decisions. It’s so much different than just a transaction. She doesn’t sell or help people buy real estate. She helps people make great real estate decisions.

I have a new client that just came on board, again, sort of basic commodity does tax and bookkeeping services.

How many businesses are commoditized doing that? So, we are positioning her, not as tax and bookkeeping. She is now going to be the small biz profit defender because that’s what she does. She helps small business owners save money and make a profit by doing their bookkeeping and their taxes because she knows where and how to save them money. It’s all in the storytelling, and so video is a great way to do that.

Dave: You can do it in content, too. With a good copywriter, you can tell a very good story in writing as well. I think people gravitate and respond better to video than to written content in a lot of ways. Both can be effective, though. You really have to do both. You have to do all of it. The point is, is that you really need to get your customers engaged with your story. Why are you in business? What is your mission that makes you unique and that they want to be a part of that experience that you’re giving them? That’s really the Marketing 3.0 stage.

Now we’re going to have some fun because we are going to try to be prophets here and pick some of the things that we think might evolve into the fourth stage of marketing. I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to Stacy and see if she has any specific ideas about what Marketing 4.0 might look like.

Stage 3: ???????

Stacey: Well, I hem and I haw, because while all of this online stuff is great, I am still kinda old school. As I said before, people do business with people. A lot of times, when small business owners think of digital marketing, they just want the easy, push-the-button automation. It makes you seem … I can’t think of the word … not unprofessional; but, if you’re getting an automated text from somebody, it doesn’t present a good image for your company.

So, I think that some of the things that are going to happen … whether for good or for bad, I think privacy is going to be a big thing as we head into this next year because on the one hand you can do amazingly targeted marketing. Now we have so much data that we really didn’t have before, and small business owners can use that to their advantage. Instead of just throwing up a billboard on the side of the road, now you can get really specific of people within three blocks of your business who have a cat and moms who stay at home. You can be that specific.

On the other hand, people are getting really weary of these big companies having all this access to their data, and so I think that may create some challenges for small business owners as we head into the next phase of digital marketing.

Dave: I agree. I agree 100%. It kind of leads into somewhat where I think Marketing 4.0 is going to be, and that is somewhat related to that. You’re going to see bots, different kind of bots that do different kind of things for you. Now, that’s where I think it’s really going to lead into machine learning and really studying your niche, and who your customers are, and really delivering a very specific message to them without invading their privacy.

I’ll give you a perfect example of this. I got a Happy Birthday message from Betty Crocker. Great timing. Great idea, I think, but I took it wrong. I took it like, “What the heck?” I’ve never bought anything from Betty Crocker that I can remember that they would have my birthday, that they would send me a personal message, and I really kind of got offended by that. So, I think you can use these tools to engage people in your marketing without invading their privacy. I think that’s really the fourth stage of where this is going.

You’re going to have them involved in your business. You’re going to have them involved in your story. Then you’re going to figure out the right things and the right hot buttons for them and timing for them without invading their privacy. That’s going to be the challenge in the Marketing 4.0 stage that I see. I just wanted to have some fun with that today.

Stacey: Yeah. We’re in interesting times. We would love to hear from you. What do you think 4.0 is going to look like? Will you leave us a comment below and sort of share? If you’ve listened to this portion, if you’ve listened this long or watched the video this long, I have three favors of you: one, if you will leave us a comment because we really love hearing from you. We’d love to know your sort of big “Aha,” or if there was a question that you have that we didn’t answer for you, put it in the comments. We’ll certainly answer it, but maybe we will address it in an upcoming issue of Where Marketing Meets Technology.

Number two is if you really liked the episode, would you please leave a rating? We’re not sure if you’re watching this or listening to it on a podcast; but, whatever platform you are, we’d love your highest ratings that you can give us. That helps other small business owners understand that it’s valuable information that they can benefit from.

Number three is to share the love because we’re on the mission to help 10,000 small business owners earn seven figures or more. So, if you found value from this episode, please share it. Tag somebody that you think can benefit from it.

Any closing words, Digital Dave?

Dave: No, just Happy New Year.

About the Author smallbizmarketing

Stacey Riska, aka “Small Business Stacey” is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money.

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  • Ruth says:

    Great insight. I agree that so much is about personal relationships and personal branding – both sides of the transaction getting personal. Doesn’t that seem counter intuitive in the digital age?

    • I couldn’t agree more. People do business with people and there is NO technology that will ever replace that. Technology has its place in business and marketing, but I encourage my clients to use KISS. “Old school marketing” like picking up the phone and talking to someone, sending a hand-written note will go so much farther in building those relationships than technology will.

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