Emerging media channels and technologies often follow a similar path — establish a value proposition, gain buy-in, experience rapid growth and then level off while it finds its footing. After hitting their peak, these channels inevitably reach a point of diminishing returns or encounter scalability issues, and this is when they finally settle into their roles as part of the marketing mix.
For example, display was the standard in online advertising for several years, but the emergence of search giants Yahoo and Google promised a solution that weakened returns from display and search became the channel of choice for the entire industry. The explosive growth of search made display obsolete, and it maintained that market share stranglehold for many years until it eventually leveled off.
Social media is the most recent element in both the ad industry and consumer zeitgeist. Following the explosion of social-media adoption in the late ’90s and early 2000s, the advertising industry finally caught on that “those sites for kids and cat videos” could actually become a viable marketing channel.
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