The first banner ad ran in 1994, which means the digital marketing industry is on the eve of starting its third decade of life. At that time, just proving the efficacy of online advertising and waiting for widespread consumer broadband adoption were the most important trends facing marketers. Online video was still a dream, social media wasn't even a category yet, and smartphones and tablets were things you could only see on an episode of Star Trek.
A lot has changed since then...
As I reflect upon this list of trends shaping digital marketing, I see the clear signs that this industry is beginning to mature. Almost all of these trends have sprouted from seeds planted many years before, and our upcoming challenges aren't new developments but rather the evolution of existing trends that mark major pivot points of change.
While none of these trends alone should be a surprise -- when you consider them as a group -- it's easy to see that this industry's ready to move on from being a teenager into full adulthood.