Back to the Future Day: Five ways Digital Marketing Has Changed Since Back to the Future II Premiered in 1989

By Marta Lawrence

Happy Back to the Future Day! A lot has changed since Marty McFly went galavanting around town on his Mattel hoverboard.

The year the movie was launched, Gameboy premiered, George H.W. Bush was president of the United States, and Debbie Gibson, New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul and Bobby Brown topped the charts. Oh, Joey, why did your angelic voice have to change? Curse you puberty!

Back then Mark Zuckerberg was just five years old and tweets were sounds birds made. A “text” referred to a book.

In the spirit of today, we thought it would be fun to take a look at the top-five ways digital marketing has changed since 1989.

Digital Marketing Now:

In 1989 there weren’t a lot of options for getting your news and information. Basically, if Tom Brokaw didn’t tell you, or you missed reading it in the newspaper, you missed a lot of important events.. The Exxon oil spill. Tiananmen Square. The Berlin Wall. Can you imagine how many memes Zsa Zsa Gabor slapping a police officer would have generated?

Now digital marketing is omnichannel. Our devices, physical world, and our marketing efforts are connected in seamlessly integrated ways, which means you can cultivate true 1-to-1 relationships with your customers wherever they are and on whatever device they’re using.

Email then:

Email now:

Today 73 percent of marketers say that email marketing is core to their business. Nearly half of all marketers use responsive designs for their emails — allowing for an optimal experience regardless of the device. Check out this blog post to see how Grammarly is using AMPScript to personalize emails in their flagship email product.

Mobile then:

Mobile now:

Back in 1989 Zack Morris was a trend setter. Pegged jeans? Denim on denim? A cellular phone the size of a small infant? He was the man.

In 2015 if you’re not using mobile to engage your customers, you’re basically the Saved By the Bell equivalent of Screech. (That’s 1989 Screech, not 2015 Screech…he might still be in jail.)

Mobile devices mean every marketing channel is now mobile. How are you managing the mobile journey for your customers? Send real-time push notifications from your mobile app to keep your brand top of mind. Use SMS messaging to ensure customers are getting important information at the time they need it most, like transactional items or insurance details for when you’ve fallen off your hoverboard. Geolocation enhances the customer journey with personalized mobile experiences, triggered when your customers are within a targeted geographic range.

Group Messaging Apps like LINE are changing the way you can market to billions of consumers in one place. Take it to the next level by getting your brand an official account on one of these apps.

Speaking of mobile optimization, are your emails responsive? Don’t mean to dis you, but dude, it’s time to step out of the 80s.

Predictive Intelligence then:

Predictive Intelligence now:

You don’t need to be the the Amazing Karnak to see the future of digital marketing. Predictive Intelligence gives you information on every open, click, purchase or search your customers are performing. Check out how The RealReal is using Predictive Intelligence to enhance the personalization of their email marketing efforts and drive sales.

Pepsi Ads then:

Pepsi Ads now:

Ok, so product placement hasn’t changed since 1989, but basically everything else in the world of ads has. When Pepsi rolled out their Back to the Future II spoof ad and announced they’d make 6,500 bottles of Pepsi Perfect, they didn’t put it on T.V. It was rolled out through an integrated online campaign.

Now your ads can reach customers on any device and channel with advertising powered by identity based targeting via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Platforms like Active Audiences help you use the data you already know about your customers from their email or mobile push interactions to their purchases on your site to securely sync with Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more about how digital marketing has transformed how you interact with your audience. Download the free Salesforce e-book.

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