Did digital marketing kill poor little billboard?

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ourtesy of Joe The Goat Farmer at Flickr.com

Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes! Traditional billboards (not the digital one’s mind you), like the 8-track, the cassette, and the CD have become a thing of the past. Look around and you will surely see more billboards offering advertisement space rather than have actual advertisements. We are in a new age ladies and gentlemen; long gone are the days of looking up to the sky for the latest phrase, jean, perfume or car. We spend more time looking down at a small screen to get our dosage of advertisement.

Companies are decidedly investing more and more each year on digital marketing. That’s how the cookie crumbles. We live in a digital world and we are for the most part digital boys and girls. Social media has taken over how we interact in all aspects of our lives so it’s only logical that those in charge of trying to persuade us into purchasing the latest gizmo, doohickey, or whatchamacallit use digital marketing as there go to resource.

Digital marketing? Sounds like one of those fancy catch words that pop up every once in a while, but it is far from it. Digital marketing has become a cornerstone of getting through to the consumer. How many ads have you been forced to see on YouTube before you can hear the latest hit or watch the latest viral video everyone is talking about? How many times have you had to look for the tiny “x” in order to close a sudden pop-up window after passing a level on a game or reading an article online? You probably lost count or never even bothered counting. It’s unavoidable nowadays. So what, exactly, is digital marketing? Simply put, it’s how companies use gadgets and electronics to persuade you to get something.

Consumers are very specific about what they want and need. Here is where analytics come into play. Analytics tools like Google Analytics, Statcounter, or Clicky help digital marketers discover what a user is interested in. A thorough analysis of the data can go a long way towards executing campaigns tailored to a single user and not the masses as it was done in the past. Analytics tools allow digital marketers to see the pros and cons of how they are approaching a consumer in real time and over a certain period. Analytics tools are a must have for any digital marketing campaign.

Speaking of must haves, e-mail marketing is essential in reaching consumers. What’s that you say? No one uses e-mail anymore. The 2015 State of Marketing begs to differ. According to the report, 60 percent of those surveyed said e-mail is an essential facilitator for a product or service and 53 percent of e-mail marketing campaigns produces ROI. Social media accounts often times need your e-mail in order to register, and by the way, registering using another social media account doesn’t mean they won’t get your e-mail. Expect to receive an ad for next terms presidential hopefuls, a newsletter, or discounts in your mail in the future. For now, e-mail is here to stay.

Do not take digital marketing as an online marketing strategy. That is only one of many forms of digital marketing, online digital marketing to be exact. We can discuss that at a later time. A company sending out an SMS promoting discounts on a new item is digital marketing. That little sign you see at the top right-hand corner of your screen during a soccer game for a well-known soda, that’s digital marketing, too. And let’s not forget your favorite radio host casually dropping a brand or service into the flow of a conversation. Those are just examples of digital marketing going offline to entice you.

What do all the previous examples have in common? As the definition said: electronics. Most people now a days get their share of information from TV, radio, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. As such, digital marketing must be aimed at producing convincing content on all of them, not just one. And that can be quite the task. Streaming, and DVR, for example, have made it possible for a person to skip commercials and get to what they want to see. Digital marketers need to make sure the target audience participates in the process. A short survey can help, or offering them a discount on a product by sharing opinions about the company are some ways to involve those whom marketers aim to convince. Even though we live in a fast paced world where everything must be had now and not a second later, a consumer will more often than not appreciate a company which cares to take an interest in what he or she thinks. Finally, digital marketing’s greatest strength, arguably, might be how immediate the results are. It’s very easy to measure if a campaign is effective or not and lends itself to trial and error. Just remember that those who do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

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