“It’s difficult because we can’t track the return on investment…” My client was incredibly frustrated after spending $30,000 on a billboard placement designed to secure applications for his business franchise only to realize there was zero way of tracking the performance of the billboard. Even worse than a lack of attribution was the fact that there were no calls nor application coming in. He chalked it up to ‘seeds planted’. But the crazy realization I had during this entire process is that there is, in fact, a better way to get predictable results that are – wait for it – trackable.

Digital marketing isn’t a fad. It’s the Model T for the marketing industry.

The scary thing is that businesses who don’t realize it and implement may discover the power of online marketing too late – and may not be able to implement it before their business’ reliance on traditional marketing ultimately leaves them with few options.

I brought together some of the top marketers (and business owners) for an online roundtable discussion regarding digital marketing. They opened up about the results they’ve gotten for their own businesses, their clients’ businesses, and the trends that they’re seeing in the industry. Not only is digital marketing trackable, it is in many ways predictable and scalable.

Here are their stories:

“During my 11 years at QVC, I was a buyer and was responsible for purchasing quality products that connected with people and solved a problem for them, all while giving them a great value. This same skill set is what I apply to all of my social media clients. Whether I am promoting your brand or generating leads for my clients it has all come down to getting customers’ attention and then connecting with them. If you can learn the art and science of connecting with customers on social media, you can excel at Social Media Marketing, Facebook Ads, and Funnels. The thing I love about Digital Marketing is you CAN see results, measure ROI, drive leads to a business, see who your audience is, then grow that audience. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen with the right strategy in place.” – Megan Flanagan

“By moving from print ads in glossy magazines (where she had zero ROI) to highly targeted digital campaigns, I was able to secure my client 125x her usual sales in a single campaign.” – Melanie Diehl

“Digital marketing totally transformed my first business (designer handbag and accessories store)… Traditional marketing and word of mouth were limited in comparison to automating the sales process through email marketing. I sold the business because a competitor found me online… The experience definitely opened my eyes to all the opportunities digital marketing can bring us!” – Valeria Mead

“Before I became a digital marketer, I worked in traditional advertising for over 15 years. The difference is night and day. Digital marketing offers a much greater degree of control over every aspect of campaigns, from budgets to engagement to tracking. For example, I created print advertisements for magazines and newspapers and worked with big marketing budgets for sales and auctions. It amazed me how much money clients were willing to spend on advertising that they’d never know the effectiveness of. Unless someone who attended a sale straight out told them, “Oh, I’m here because I saw your ad in Livestock Plus,” the client would never be able to definitively say a purchase was attributed to a print ad. In contrast, with digital marketing, the pixel and analytics make it possible to not only track your traffic and calculate ROI and ROAS, but to interact and engage with the target market through social platforms.” – Christa Nichols

“Digital marketing continues to crush the meaning of marketing worldwide. We’re living in an unprecedented time where the little guys – small businesses, startups, digital products, businesses run by single moms and parents working from home – can dominate a space that prior to now was saturated with giant corporations and those with deep enough pockets to buy their customers through traditional marketing. Getting your message, your thought leadership, your product to the masses has never been more accessible and I’m witness to it every day.” – Marley Baird

“Throughout the years I’ve been using digital marketing within businesses, I’ve seen firsthand the transformational power it has. And fast! Unlike traditional marketing where you must design, upload, print, send, publish, or ship your material, all waiting to see if you get any ROI (which more often than not is zilch), with digital marketing we can produce 6 months of branded video content in 72 hours getting clients instant ROI, leads, and viral reach. In just one month I’ve helped one of my clients reach over 7.6 million viewers and was part of a campaign that executed a half-million-dollar digital product launch resulting in 17x ROI! That kind of attention and traction for a business simply doesn’t happen through non-digital means anymore – and it certainly doesn’t happen that quickly.” – Marley Baird

“In 2008, I started my first business – I was living in Perth in Australia, the opposite side of the world from my home in Ireland. Starting a business was a daunting process as I knew no one in Perth. I had been using Facebook to keep up to date with my family and friends, and before long I realised I could use this platform to market my services. I reached out to business owners in Ireland and sold them my Graphic and Web Design Services. The response was amazing and I quickly established myself as an “Online Business”. In 2009, however, the recession in Ireland was pretty bad, work had dried up; but, now I had the skills to market myself on Facebook, I turned my attention to the Australian market which was booming. The beauty of being an online business was it didn’t matter what geographic location you were in, it didn’t matter if the work dried up in one region, you just moved on to the next. I now teach businesses how to grow their businesses online, how to market themselves to different regions. I still run my Graphic and Web Design Agency, Inspired Design, and I’m proud to say our clients are worldwide. With clients in Ireland, Australia, UK, the Cayman Islands, and the USA, that’s the power of the internet, all run from my office in Dublin, Ireland.” – Denise Horan

What do you think? Is it time for you to embrace digital marketing?Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

“The Queen of Social Media” – CEO of SocialWorks Digital marketing agency, Full-time Social Media Consultant and Strategist, Founder of Social Media United. Rachel is a top social media marketer and consultant, worldwide viral sensation, leading authority on story-telling through social media and Facebook ads!