In simplistic terms, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. Digital marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it involves the use of channels and methods that enable an organization to analyse marketing campaigns and understand what is working and what isn’t — typically in real time.
Digital marketers monitor things like what is being viewed, how often and for how long, sales conversions, what content works and doesn’t work, etc. While the Internet is, perhaps, the channel most closely associated with digital marketing, others include wireless text messaging, mobile instant messaging, mobile apps, podcasts, electronic billboards, digital television and radio channels, etc.
Digital versus physical marketing
Marketing involves understanding of prospects’ needs and the development of products and services which would be attractive to buyers. It also includes activities such as promotion and the selling of products and services, market research and advertising.
Over the years the physical form of marketing was predominately used to reach out to customers. However, the evolution and popularity of information technology has increased the importance of digital marketing activities. Digital marketing uses marketing methods that are primarily dependent on the use of the technologies such as social networks whilst physical marketing depends on the ability of customers to touch or interact with the products and services in order to experience these products in reality. For instance, physical marketing could include individual consultations, physical display board or signs.
While there is evidence of more and more digital marketing activities there are still people who have never used the internet and only are accessed by traditional or physical marketing. Internet penetration rates in a country and among specific demographic groups provides a good indicator to help companies identify whether digital marketing is an appropriate technique.
The main advantages of digital marketing over physical marketing are: It helps businesses to develop a wider customer base as it does not rely on physical presence or interaction. It encourages customers to interact directly with businesses. It is not limited by conventional opening times — customers can interact at a time and place convenient for them.
Both forms of marketing are very important in the marketplace and each business has to evaluate their current and future customer base before embarking on digital marketing actions.
Content and customer experience
Content, customer experience and platforms are core elements of digital marketing. Content is what is consumed, it is usually information about a product or service, it could be product information, price, service charges or the sale of digital products like books, movies or software. Customer experience is how the content is presented for consumers of product and services. These experiences include community and customer input, recommendations and a user friendly interface. The platform is how and where packaged content is delivered including the business processes put in place to deliver the content, the technology used for the collection of customer data and the network used to deliver content for better customer experience.
Digital marketing and consumer
Digital marketing encourages the use of new channels of communication that close the loop between consumer and brand. User comments and ratings build a transparent trust relationship between the consumer and business. The value of consumer comments is the way in which they offer proof of the quality and strength of a brand that extends beyond solely being a good image.
There are generally many kinds of platforms available to digital marketing. There are some basic platforms that most marketers can use, for instance, Google AdWords. Google AdWords is a tool offered to help businesses market their products or services on the Google search engine and associated sites. By identifying relevant keywords Google is able to show how often users search for that keyword. This tool helps organisations identify useful keywords that could be integrated into content on websites and social media profiles which as a result can increase an organisation’s ranking on search engine results page.
Evaluating digital marketing platforms is important as it is time consuming and resource intensive for most companies to invest in all the possible platforms. The availability of different types of platforms provides options for user friendly formats across devices and channels in order to help a business capture the best opportunities. There are an abundance of ad-delivery technology solutions. The most popular tool. by far, is the use of social media. Facebook, LinkedIn and email lists are popular digital tactics for engagement with consumers.
Digital marketing — Search Engine Optimisation techniques
It is very important that businesses optimize their online properties effectively in order to reach the top of all the major search engine result page. Optimisation helps to rank content higher than that of competitors.
As a conclusions digital marketing and its associated channels are important — but not to the exclusion of all else. It’s not enough to just know your customers; you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them where, when and how they are most receptive to your message. To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels — Web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc. Marketers can use this information to create and anticipate consistent, coordinated customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle. The deeper your insight into customer behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in lucrative interactions