The Digital Evolution


How did the wild world of digital marketing begin? Where did it come from? Well, the term Digital Marketing was first introduced in the 1990s with the release of the internet. Back then, we had the Web 1.0 platform which was just an information hub. Nothing about it could be shared, and marketers were very much on the fence about whether their strategies would work on the internet.

Then in 1993, the first clickable banner ad went live. This was the beginning of the digital marketing era. All marketing strategies started transitioning to digital from that point. Then in 1994, Yahoo launched. This prompted wholesale change in the digital marketing space, with companies optimizing their websites to pull in higher search engine rankings.

1998 was the birth of Google, Microsoft MSN, and search for Yahoo. Two years later, the internet bubble popped and all the small search engines were made irrelevant making room for the bigger corporations to come in and dominate the market. 2001 saw the first mobile marketing campaign launch leading to what would become one of the most relevant ways of digital marketing today. Digital marketing saw its first real push upward in 2006, when search engine traffic took off.

Google wasn’t about to get left behind, so they began to expand by offering different products like AdWords, which are the paid top search results in Google, and AdSense, which is a cost-per-click display adverting strategy. Google was smart and saw the value in analyzing the content they received and then targeted ads based on the interest of the users. This was a major game-changer for the world of digital marketing.

Then came Web 2.0, where people became more active participants rather than remain passive users. Web 2.0 allowed users to interact with other users and businesses. The internet skyrocketed after that with high information flow volumes across all channels. Digital advertising and marketing in the US saw many increases bringing the total to almost $3 million in 2004!

Soon, social media was envisioned with the startup of MySpace and then soon after Facebook. With this new avenue of engagement, businesses saw a new opportunity. They began focusing on branding and content to reach consumers on social media. Social media continues to bloom into a diverse platform with many new channels like Instagram, Snapchat & Pinterest.

Another important milestone in digital marketing was the invention of the cookie. Cookies are a way the internet can track users based on their browsing habits. Then advertisers can use that information to serve targeted ads to those users based on their cookie history. Cookies too have evolved and now can collect user information that the advertiser can use in their data base.

With the launch of YouTube in 2005, video advertising was launched. This is currently the fastest growing medium for digital advertising as more traditional advertising dollars are moved to the digital platforms. Video advertising helps bridge that gap between the two by almost combining the two together via a TV commercial.

Then there is what you are reading right now, native. Native advertising is integrated into original content on publisher websites. It is made to look and act like traditional content by becoming engaging content written by advertisers. This can add to the publisher’s original content by having common interest advertising much like have a food recipe native ad being on a food blog’s website.

Digital marketing is in constant forward motion, and keeping up takes being on the tip of your toes to adapt to change fast. Keeping up with emerging trends and the development of newer and smarter search engine & social media algorithms sometimes takes a professional. KELOLAND Digital Marketing Solutions can help you keep up with the fast changing market. Email us at for a free consultation! Remember, no one can afford to be left behind in the race anymore.
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