It’s no secret that digital marketing has taken the world by storm. With its ability to target specific demographics and track user behaviour, it’s a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes.
However, there is a dark side to online marketing that we must address: the erosion of creativity. Ads are becoming more and more formulaic as marketers rely on data-driven models to make decisions instead of trusting their gut instinct. This can have an unfavourable impact on both consumers and businesses alike.
In this blog post, we will explore digital marketing in-depth and ask the question: is it possible to achieve a balance between data-driven decision making and creativity?
Also, if you want to catch a detailed conversation on this matter, then tune in to the latest episode of The B2B POD. Now available on all the leading audio streaming platforms like Apple Podcatsts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
What’s digital marketing today?
Digital marketing today is all about data. Marketers are using data to track user behaviour and target specific demographics. This has led to a more formulaic approach to advertising, which can be bad for creativity.
Today, the B2B marketing goals are heavily centred on ROI, rather than creativity. This is because data-driven marketing is seen as more efficient and effective. However, this approach can often lead to ads that are not very creative or original.
This shift towards data-driven B2B marketing has also had an impact on the sales funnel. The sales funnel is now more focused on conversion rates and leads, rather than building relationships.
Online marketing has also had a big impact on influencer marketing. Influencers are now seen as a valuable commodity by businesses, and they are often paid large sums of money to promote products or services. However, some people argue that this is bad for the consumer, as it can create false impressions about products.
This brings us to our first question.
Is digital marketing isolating creativity from ads?
There is no doubt that digital marketing has had an impact on creativity. The rise of data-driven B2B marketing has led to a more formulaic approach to advertising, which can be bad for creativity. However, it is important to remember that creativity is not the only factor that determines the success of an ad.
Data-driven marketing can be very effective, and it is important to remember that it is only one tool in the marketing toolbox. There are many other factors that contribute to the success of an ad, such as the target audience, the message, and the overall strategy.
It is also important to note that not all online marketing is data-driven. There are still many opportunities for creativity in B2B online marketing. For example, social media marketing allows businesses to connect with their customers on a more personal level. This can lead to more creative and effective ads.
When asked the same question to our recent guest in the B2B POD, Karim Fahmy answered:
“Definitely this is quite an interesting and touchy topic and whatever I say will be debated depending on your school of thought from my point of view. I think on the one hand there’s been a lot of innovation. A lot of creativity on the technological front like the introduction of new algorithms and neuroscience and mind mapping techniques for measuring emotion.
So some crazy, crazy stuff but on the other hand because digital is basically where most investments are by virtue of the assets that you’re investing your money in, be it search or display or social media, you’re quite limited in terms of visuals and text. You’re just quite limited. So there isn’t really that much thought being put in terms of creating these crazy insight-driven visuals or interesting TVCs, which are tongue in cheek by virtue of where your money is going.”
Impact of data-driven marketing on the sales funnel
Data-driven marketing has had a big impact on the sales funnel. The sales funnel is becoming more focused on conversion rates and leads, rather than building relationships.
This shift towards a more data-driven approach to B2B marketing can be traced back to the rise of online marketing. Digital marketing has made it possible to track user behaviour and target specific demographics with laser precision. This has made data-driven marketing very effective, but it has also led to a more transactional approach to the sales process.
The focus on conversion rates and leads can often lead to short-term thinking and a lack of focus on customer retention. This can be bad for business in the long run, as it is important to remember that the customer is always king.
It is important to strike a balance between data-driven marketing and more traditional approaches, such as building relationships with customers. Both are important, and neither should be neglected.
However, with the rise of marketing practices like influencer marketing, one might think – are these digital marketing strategies really centred around customers?
Influencer marketing: Good or bad?
Digital marketing has a big impact on influencer marketing. Influencers are now seen as a valuable commodity by businesses, and they are often paid handsomely for their services.
However, there is a lot of debate about the effectiveness of influencer marketing. Some people argue that it is a waste of money, as it is difficult to track the ROI of an influencer campaign. Others argue that it is an important part of building relationships with customers and creating brand awareness.
Here’s what our guest, Karim Fahmy thinks about influencer marketing:
“I’m not the biggest fan of influencer marketing. Some people would say, yeah, but it works. And that’s exactly the problem because if something works does it mean that it is good. Influencers push any product that you pay them enough to basically promote.
If you’re relying on somebody to basically just promote you. And at the same time, I would say that you’re also hostage to the influencer because they can talk good about you or they could talk bad about you.”
If data-driven B2B marketing has so many adverse effects, then what can we do to limit its use? This brings us to our second question.
Will EU regulations and the Digital Service Act( DSA) limit the overuse of data-driven marketing?
The EU has introduced several regulations that are designed to protect the privacy of digital users. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is perhaps the most well-known of these regulations.
The GDPR was adopted in 2016 by the EU, and it requires businesses to get explicit consent from users before collecting or using their data. This regulation has had a big impact on data-driven marketing, as it has made it more difficult for businesses to collect and use user data.
Let’s look at the various regulations the EU has implemented to this day.
An overview of EU regulations
The European Union is known to be the pioneer in the field of data privacy. The organization has been at the forefront of data protection for many years, and it has implemented a number of regulations to protect the privacy of digital users.
The EU has also introduced the digital service act, which is designed to regulate the online platform economy. This regulation will have a big impact on data-driven B2B marketing, as it will make it more difficult for businesses to collect and use user data.
However, with data being decentralized, one often thinks…
Are these regulations adequate?
The digital service act is still in the early stages of development, and it is not yet clear how it will impact data-driven marketing. However, it is clear that the EU is taking steps to regulate the use of data-driven marketing.
These regulations are a good start, but they are not enough to limit the use of data-driven models. Businesses will still be able to collect and use user data, and they will still be able to target users with online ads.
Here’s what Karim Fahmy has to say about these regulations:
“The EU has gotten away with something that is very hard to get away from – To hold big social media companies accountable for content on their platforms. This is very tricky because social media platforms have been playing in this grey area where they say, we are not a publisher. But the EU is holding them accountable for whatever is on their platforms. So that’s a very tricky proposition.
Plus, with the introduction of the Digital Service Act, these platforms have to understand that whatever is illegal out of social media in the public domain is also illegal on their platforms. So, they can no longer get away with stuff like hate, hate speech or incitement, etc.”
So, this brings us to our last question.
What are the solutions to achieving a balanced digital marketing model?
It is clear that the EU is taking steps to regulate the use of data-driven B2B marketing. However, these regulations aren’t enough. So, the solution is to have a balanced online marketing model.
This means that businesses should use data-driven marketing, but they should also use other methods, such as content marketing and creative ads.
Content marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating and distributing high-quality content to attract and retain customers. Meanwhile, creative ads are designed to capture the attention of users and create an emotional connection with them.
So, if businesses want to achieve a balanced digital marketing model, they should use data-driven B2B marketing, but they should also keep an eye on more humane methods.
Karim Fahmy shared his thoughts on this matter in our latest episode of B2B POD. Here’s what he had to say:
“I think there should be some wise, ethical, smart, tech people on the psychology front who see the big picture. Who are not motivated by the bottom line, not motivated by money, not motivated by business, just motivated by what this technology means for people. There needs to be some sort of parameters to which these platforms can operate. There needs to be a limit on the number of times you are bombarded by advertising.
I think that there has to be a limit in terms of what you’re subjected to because I would say that falls into the realm of subliminal marketing, and falls into this realm of being, is it ethical or unethical?
So I think that this has to come from these very smart people to sit down and say, well, is this really good for humanity as a whole in terms of what we’re doing and where we are going.”
Let’s recap what we’ve learned in this blog post.
- Digital marketing has come a long way in recent years, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
- However, with the rise of data-driven B2B marketing, there is a danger that businesses will overuse data and target users with too many ads.
- To avoid this, the EU has introduced regulations to limit the use of data-driven marketing.
- However, these regulations are not enough. The solution is to have a balanced digital marketing model that uses data-driven marketing, but also content marketing and creative ads.
We hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to us on social media.
Also, for more B2B marketing-related content, don’t forget to tune in to The B2B POD. It’s available on all leading platforms like Spotify, Google podcast, Apple podcast, and Stitcher.