Technology moves fast, so it’s no surprise that a lot has happened in the world of marketing since 2010. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest changes that shaped the marketing industry into what it is now.

Social Media

Instagram – Launched October 2010.

On the first day, 25,000 people signed up for Instagram. In just over a year, the network grew to over twelve million users, and by 2013, it had 100 million users. In 2018, IGTV was launched for sharing longer videos. Now, they have over one billion monthly users and over 500 million daily stories. For more on the history of Instagram, see their story here.

SnapChat – Launched July 2011 for iPhone users.

Android users joined in 2012 and by the end of 2012, Snapchat users were sending 50 million snaps per day. Snapchat now has over 210 million daily active users.

Siri and Voice Search

Apple launched Siri in October 2011 which kicked off the growth of voice search, which required a reaction from content marketers. In the last several years, we’ve written a decent bit about voice search and how it has impacted the industry as its use has increased:

Google SERP Changes & Updates

Panda – 2011

The purpose of the Panda update was to reward high-quality sites and limit the presence of low-quality sites in SERPs.  For marketers, it meant going back to the drawing board for a fresh SEO strategy and reassessing linking practices.

Penguin – 2012 – 2013

Similarly, the Penguin update also brought a change to Google’s algorithm that would help to return more relevant and high-quality sites in SERPs. It also included changes to spelling prompts, instant preview, language relevance for navigation and returns for snippets and titles.

Penguin 2.0 took an even greater step against spam in May 2013.

Google Mobile Update or “Mobilegeddon” – 2015

In this update, Google changed the way it ranked mobile-friendly sites on mobile devices. It was not nearly as big and scary as its nickname made it seem.

AdWords SERP Update – 2016

Google used this update to remove right-column ads and replacing them with the 4-ad top blocks above organic results instead. This fundamentally changed the appearance, placement, and thus the CTR of both those ads and of the organic search results that show up near those ads.

Mobile-First Indexing – 2018

“Now, Google will use your mobile version as the primary version of your website and, if you do not have a mobile version, it will use your desktop version. This means the content on your mobile version will be used to determine your rankings in Google on both desktop and mobile search results. Content that is only on your desktop site but not your mobile site will probably not appear in search. There are not TWO indexes. There is just one, mobile-first index.”

– Laura Lee, EVG’s SEO Director

Fyre Festival Fallout & Social Media Influencer Lawsuits– 2017

Hopefully, by now, you’ve watched at least one of the documentaries on the Fyre Festival debacle. A lot of lawsuits came out of it all, but the ones most relevant to the marketing industry were those surrounding influencers and how they deceived and defrauded people.

Now, we have FTC rules and guidelines for influencers to prevent a similar situation from happening again. Influencers must disclose when they are being compensated for promoting a brand and make it clear that it is a paid advertisement rather than just a recommendation/review from a regular user.

ADA Lawsuits – 2017 – 2019

While website ADA compliance lawsuits were introduced before the 2010s, they certainly grew in numbers during this time, forcing marketers to update their websites to be ADA compliant. From Target to Beyoncé to Winn-Dixie to Hooters, we’ve seen company after company get caught up in lawsuits over ADA compliance. Most recently, the Supreme Court struck down an appeal from Domino’s, upholding the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling that the ADA applies to websites and apps in addition to the accessibility of the physical business. We’ve discussed this topic a decent bit as we’ve tracked these developments through the years:

GDPR – 2018

Last on our list, but certainly not least, is the General Data Protection Regulation. According to its website,

“The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the toughest privacy and security law in the world. Though it was drafted and passed by the European Union (EU), it imposes obligations onto organizations anywhere, so long as they target or collect data related to people in the EU. The regulation was put into effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR will levy harsh fines against those who violate its privacy and security standards, with penalties reaching into the tens of millions of euros.”

The GDPR set precise guidelines on the collection and use of data under the following basic principles summarized by the Information Commissioner’s Office:

  • “Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
  • Purpose limitation
  • Data minimisation
  • Accuracy
  • Storage limitation
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Accountability”

In the aftermath of the GDPR launch, a number of companies faced steep fines for violations and data breaches:

  • Google was fined 50 million euros.
  • British Airways was fined 183 million pounds.
  • Marriott was fined 99.2 million pounds.

While these fines are steep, they did not reach the maximum 4% of global annual turnover, so there is still room for higher fines for future violations.

Ultimately, the decade was jam-packed with advancements in technology, changes to the way Google SERPS look and how they return results, the launch of new social media platforms that then spawned all-new marketing issues that the legal system had to catch up to, the establishments of new legal standards for data privacy and protection, website accessibility, and the disclosure of paid endorsements. Did we miss any other big marketing moments of the 2010s? Which one affected your business most?

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