Are You Ready for More Digital Marketing Disruption?

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Digital marketer reworking strategies in response to industry disruption.

Digital marketing best practices are constantly changing. When considering the frequency of Google algorithm updates alone, it’s clear digital marketers need the skills to adapt to cycles of disruption. A Master of Business Administration degree can give marketers a renewed perspective on the most up-to-date approaches for success in today’s digital marketing landscape.

Here’s a look at some recent sources of disruption in digital marketing and an overview of how an MBA in digital marketing can prepare marketers to manage constant changes in the industry.

The pattern of disruption in digital marketing

Every time the digital landscape changes in response to a new trend, advancement, algorithm, or regulation, marketers must shift their online strategies and engagement efforts to stay relevant in the ever-changing environment.

Here are some recent examples of such digital marketing disruptions:

Google algorithm changes

According to leading SEO software company Moz, Google changes its search algorithm 500-600 times every year. Occasionally the search giant announces upcoming updates, but it’s not atypical for Google to roll out an update and confirm it after the fact. Digital marketers have to follow these Google updates to change their search engine optimization strategies accordingly.

One of the latest major updates came in August of 2018 when Google confirmed a broad core algorithm update. While designed to recognize pages that were previously under-ranked in all niches, the update especially impacted search rankings for health and wellness sites. As a result, search marketers refer to this update as the “Medic Core Update.”

Other notable updates in 2018 altered search rankings based on Chrome site security, mobile page speed, videos, and search-result snippet lengths.

New European Union regulations

In May 2018, the European Union enacted its General Data Protection Regulation to better protect consumers’ privacy and afford them greater control over how companies can collect and use their data. Digital marketers had to adjust previously unregulated data collection practices to meet the GDPR’s constraints, namely by securing explicit user permission before proceeding with data collection.

The GDPR transformed several digital marketing practices, including consumer behavior analysis and targeted advertising. Consequently, some marketers shifted to contextual ad placements while others strategized different ways to work around the constraints.

Advances in technology

New technology developments affect the digital landscape and consumer behaviors, both of which impact digital marketing efforts. The Internet of Things, for one, allows for more in-depth data collection, more sophisticated market research, and better content optimization. IoT devices, such as smartphones, smart speakers, WiFi-enabled appliances, and home automation systems, are becoming standard purchases for most consumers. Digital marketers can use these lifestyle trends to better reach their target audiences.

Other disruptive digital technologies include machine learning and artificial intelligence. Consumers have access to AI-powered devices that affect the behaviors and interests digital marketers can target. Additionally, marketers can use AI software to automate certain tasks, such as:

  • Data collection
  • Keyword research
  • Content scheduling
  • Email marketing
  • Lead generation
  • Campaign measurement
  • Report generation

Digital marketers who are prepared to embrace technology developments can effectively reach their consumer bases and boost return on investment.

Marketing tactics to prepare for disruptions

While digital marketers have to respond to disruptions as they arise, they can also establish flexible strategies to prepare for upcoming changes. Success can come from an integrated marketing strategy that combines inbound and outbound tactics across multiple platforms. Leveraging a cohesive marketing technology stack is also important for staying relevant in the digital landscape.

Forbes further noted that marketers must understand how consumer access, engagement levels, and content customization drive disruption. An understanding of the likely causes along with refined skills and experiential digital marketing knowledge can help marketers prepare for inevitable disruptions.

Learn digital marketing with Northeastern University’s Online MBA in Marketing

The Online MBA program at the Northeastern University D’Amore-McKim School of Business offers a Marketing concentration, and a Digital Marketing course in particular, that can give students the expertise to leverage current strategies and pivot as new shifts arise.

Students can earn their MBA in as few as two years and continue to work while doing so. Completing the program online means students can apply the skills and knowledge gained in class to their current digital marketing positions immediately. An advanced degree can further prepare graduates to pursue leadership positions in the near future.

Online MBA in Marketing

The marketing concentration is designed to enhance students’ abilities with a detailed understanding of the latest trends, concepts, and strategic tactics. The marketing courses cover a broad range of topics, including:

  • Strategic consumer relationships
  • Technology’s impact on marketing
  • Social networks
  • Blogging
  • Big data
  • Opportunity identification
  • Idea generation
  • Market testing and adaptation

The digital marketing course specifically explores the latest trends in technology and new media and discusses how they can inform effective marketing tactics. Students examine mobile marketing and branding, online social networks and communities, technology adoption in emerging global markets, and customer advocacy in the online environment. The curriculum also covers the ethical concerns of digital marketing, such as consumer privacy and security.

Prepare for success

Companies need strategic digital leaders to make any significant headway with today’s consumers. Marketers who complete an MBA program tailored to digital marketing are prepared to develop a competitive edge for companies of various sizes and industries.

After earning their Online MBA in Marketing, and based on their professional experience, graduates tend to pursue management positions such as marketing executive, marketing director, brand manager, market research executive, and database marketing manager. Such high-level roles require an intimate understanding of the most current iteration of digital marketing as well as a preparedness to spearhead future changes and adaptations.

As such, enrolling in an Online MBA is an ideal way for marketers to advance their professional skills and knowledge while still gaining experience in their current roles.

Reach out to an enrollment advisor to learn more about how the Online MBA program and the marketing concentration at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business can prepare you not only for digital marketing disruption, but also for career growth.


Recommended Readings:

How you can succeed in digital marketing in 2018

Four popular Online MBA concentrations



Google Algorithm Change History by Moz

Google’s Aug. 1 core algorithm update by Search Engine Land

How GDPR will transform digital marketing by Harvard Business Review

How the Internet of Things is disrupting digital marketing by Digital Marketing Institute

What is the future of digital marketing? By Forbes

Online MBA by Northeastern University D’Amore-McKim School of Business