Marketing Foundation: Competitive Market Analysis

The year 2018 was a landmark one for marketing. Not only did the industry finally shake off the remnants of the last pandemic, but it also saw the birth of a new marketing platform/paradigm.

Marketers across the globe, unconvinced by the ineffective and opaque practices of the past, flocked to adopt what Nick Bonomo, the Chief Marketing Officer of SapientNitro, calls the ‘4P’ approach to marketing: Personalized Communications, Performance Marketing, Predictive Marketing and Programmatic Marketing.

These tactics, which leverage data and digital technologies to optimize business performance in real-time, redefine the way marketing leaders can approach their work. This was evident in shifts in digital marketing spending from traditional advertising to inbound marketing and digital marketing automation.

If you’re interested in exploring the rise of the Digital Marketer, this post will guide you through an analysis of the key marketing trends that defined the year and offer insights into how you can prepare for the shifting balance of power in future marketing campaigns.


In the year 2019, personalized communications (or personal marketing as it’s often called in the industry) will emerge as one of the dominant marketing paradigms.

On one hand, consumers can and do play a greater role in the marketing process. Thanks to intelligent technologies that help businesses gain a better understanding of their customers (analytics and the like), marketers have access to a more comprehensive array of customer data. This gives rise to more targeted and effective campaigns.

On the other hand, customers have more power than ever before. Thanks to the growth of digital marketing, customers can effect change – sometimes in a negative way – through their discontent. So, while marketers can be more precise in their marketing activities, customers have the ability to be more vocal (and, at times, outright malicious). This places a greater responsibility on marketers to ensure that their efforts are not only targeted but also have the ability to create long-term loyalty.

Marketers can better grasp the significance of personalized communications with the backing of a few statistics. Thanks to the growth of digital marketing, consumers have access to a vast array of marketing communications from which to choose. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 82% of consumers have been exposed to an advertisement or a piece of marketing content and 70% of those have clicked on a link or called to action. The report also found that 20% of consumers have changed their shopping habits as a result of an ad, product or service offering or a recommendation from a friend or family member.

These stats highlight the growing importance of ‘brand evangelists’ – consumers who are passionate enough about a product or service to both champion the brand and persuade others to join the movement. To succeed as a brand evangelist, you first need to understand your target audience’s buying journey and the factors that influence their decisions.


Performance marketing, as the name suggests, focuses on driving business performance. To that end, it measures the effectiveness of digital marketing activities in terms of leads, sales and ROI (return on investment). In general, performance marketing aims to maximize the utility of a company’s online presence while also considering the cost-efficiency of these efforts.

It’s a marketing approach that makes sense in a world where companies can easily track the results of their online strategies. With performance marketing, you can measure the success of your digital marketing efforts in terms of sales and leads. This can then be relayed back to the rest of your organization to prove the value of online marketing to executives and stakeholders.

However, despite its prevalence in digital marketing, performance marketing will not replace traditional forms of advertising. Rather, it serves as a supplement to traditional marketing activities – helping to improve them.


Predictive marketing is, in essence, the use of marketing analytics to predict consumer behavior and tailor marketing activities to maximize conversions.

This practice enables brand managers to identify consumers who are more likely to make a purchase, register for a webinar or blog post, or fill out a form. Armed with this information, marketers can then take steps to increase the odds of converting this audience into paying customers.

This type of marketing allows marketers to operate with a greater degree of precision. Armed with user data and marketing analytics, marketers can predict the probability of a consumer making a purchase and take action before the customer even leaves their side. To succeed as a marketer in this arena, you need to consider which data should be used for predictive analyses, how this data should be interpreted, and what action should be taken based on the results of these analyses.


Finally, we have programmatic marketing, which encompasses all the automated, digital marketing activities carried out by software applications.

When talking about automated digital marketing, many people think about marketing automation. But that’s only part of the story. Programmatic marketing, also known as automated marketing, incorporates a variety of strategies including email marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing and more.

The term programmatic marketing was first used in a 2006 report from Forrester Research. Since then, the practice has gathered steam as marketers sought a way to streamline their processes while also taking advantage of the wealth of marketing data available to them via digital channels.

Thanks to technological advances and the advent of artificial intelligence, marketers can now automate many of the individual marketing tasks that were once the domain of humans. For instance, social media marketing has become so easy to manage from a software standpoint that many marketers have opted to outsource this function to improve their productivity.

This trend is clearly evident in the growing popularity of software such as Hootsuite, which offers social media management for businesses and individuals alike. And as we’ve established, productivity is one of the primary focuses of marketers in the year 2020.

The bottom line is that the use of marketing technology has drastically improved marketers’ ability to collect and utilize data in real-time. Armed with this information, they can easily identify the smallest details that make a difference in conversion, whether that’s optimizing the delivery of an email campaign or tuning the language in a Facebook ad.

In the next several years, we will see an increasingly digital approach to marketing. And with that, we will witness the birth of a new marketing era.