My new column is out at The Drum:
Say that on an average day, 10,000 people enter a specific Walmart in the US or a Tesco in the UK. Except in the case of highly targeted direct response campaigns, the company’s marketers will never know exactly why each of them decided to go to that location at that particular time.
The digital marketing world will soon find itself dealing with that same issue as people become less and less likely to know precisely why a particular person arrived at a website – or even if it was a flesh-and-blood human being at all. Digital platforms have created more uncertainties than solved them.
The promise of the internet for marketers has always been that everything would be trackable and that the “buyer journey” would be optimised for maximum efficiency. Well, for better or worse, these two foundations of the philosophy of so-called “inbound marketing” are looking increasingly flimsy.