Defining Digital Marketing

We have been hearing a lot about digital marketing these days and how it is absolutely necessary to have one for any business. Just like how internet users grow minute after minue, new and traditional business owners and brand managers are now exploring online opportunities through running a digital marketing campaign. With this exploration of online opportunities comes the basic question in the minds of business owners, brand managers and the likes – What is digital marketing?

Here comes the tricky part: so many sets of information are available online that it has become quite a challenge to filter out the good and accurate definitions, more so to arrive in one complete and substantial definition. In fact, when you type in the phrase “Digital Marketing” in Google, you will see around 504,000,000 results. That would mean millions of varying interpretations and definitions on the same subject.

A good number of blogs and websites would say that digital marketing or online marketing is a type of marketing and sales approach that invovles the use of popular and authoritative online channels and websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. in promoting a product or service; such approach increases traffic and popularity to their website and ultimately to their business. Therefore, online marketing as others would say is the type of marketing that enables a business to reach a mass audience in the shortest possible time using popular online platforms.

Aside from appearing in popular social media pages, others closely associate online marketing with a dominating online presence. A dominating online presence is usually determined by the webpage’s rank in the popular Search Engine Results Page (SERP), such approach is referred to as Search Engine Optimization.

On the other hand, other practitioners focus on the “ends” or the outcome of the campaign in defining digital marketing. They say it is one of the most convenient ways of measuring online sales and conversion of website visitors. Because of the technology involved, business owners are able to easily measure how they score with their target consumers. A lot of software and services (for free or for a fee) are being offered to accurately measure website hits, unique page views, likes, shares, comments, Tweets, and even sales. Thanks to the internet, online business owners can now conveniently measure their reach in detail, so they would know if a campaign is working as planned.

While all explanations mentioned above are correct, each is just an aspect of a greater and more complete definition:

We define Digital Marketing as a branch of marketing that makes use of integrated digital technologies to disseminate communication that is targeted and measurable with the end goal of acquiring and building relationships with new and existing customers.

If you carefully disect the definition above you will find that each word used is indispensable in determining the true essence of digital marketing. Through integrated digital technologies, businesses are able to promote their campaigns and reach the masses with just a couple of clicks. The advancement of technology, the way people react and use them at an amazingly fast rate and a business’ ability to adjust and adapt to the way technology changes the marketing landscape connects the business to its consumers like never before.

This type of marketing campaign should be integrated in such a way that multiple avenues are utilized in a harmonious manner to work towards one goal – to reach and communicate to a “targeted” online market. With the opportunity to engage and build a strong relationship with the consumers as the most important benefit of running a digital marketing campaign, businesses now are able to interact and connect with consumers real-time.

Revolution of Digital Marketing

What is digital marketing?

Today nearly 80% of all the media that we consume come through digital channels. Massive internet usage and digital media has given rise to a new marketing concept called Digital Marketing. It is a broad area and considered to be the future of business development.

Digital Marketing is the most commonly used term for online marketing and it has several advantages over traditional offline marketing. With the help internet and mobile devices customer these days have access to information from anywhere in the world. Marketers these days use digital tactics to attract and convert audiences online.

This new age marketing methods helps to gain good reputation which is essential for a business to survive. It is the best way to reach out to your targeted audience. With the help of digital marketing one can reach many customers at a very little marketing budget. Unlike traditional methods you can measure the success of digital marketing campaigns with the help of analytical tools. Ever year more and more marketers put aside traditional marketing and focus on this approach. Successful marketing campaigns can be accomplished by integrating traditional methods with the digital marketing techniques.

Common methods of digital marketing

Email Marketing

This is one of the commonly used methods of online marketing. Email marketing enhances business communication, cost effective and Eco-friendly. By this method a message could be sent to a group of people by the use of electronic mail.

It is an efficient way to stay connected with your audience while promoting your business and also one of the easiest ways to reach your target audience.

Search Engine Optimization

It is an organic way of optimizing your online content to improve the ranking of your website on the search engine.

There are a lot of factors involved in ranking of a website such as title, keywords, relevance etc. SEO helps to ensure that your site is accessible and improve the chances of being found by the search engine. It is classified into two types on page and off page optimization. On page optimization is achieved through careful distribution of keywords and the quality of content on your site. Off page optimization involves factors that are beyond the control of your website. The primary goal of link building is to get other websites links to yours to improve SEO.

Search Engine Marketing

When someone searches for information or a keyword, SEM makes sure that your site appears at the top of search engine results. It uses a variety of techniques which helps the search engine to deliver your site to the web searchers.

One must clearly understand SEO before using SEM. It is one of the most efficient ways to spread your business across in this competitive world. Some of the components of SEM are ad auction, bid and quality score. Your maximum bid for a keyword with a great quality score determines your ad position.

Pay Per Click

The fastest way to reach your target audience can be achieved through P P C campaigns. You pay each time when someone clicks on your ad. For example, if you pay 1 rupee per click and when 1000 people click your ad it will cost you 1000 rupees. Based on the CTR (click through rate) the performance of you ad campaign is determined. It generates faster results by targeting the right people at the right time and at the right place. Since it costs money it is suitable for businesses that sell product/services.

Social Media Marketing

The process of marketing through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is known as Social Media Marketing. The primary objective of SMM is to produce content on social media that help an organization to increase brand awareness and customer reach. In social media companies can share content to achieve marketing goals.

Display Advertising

It is a form of conveying a message with elements like images, logos, graphics, audio or video to communicate to the target audience. Also known as banner ads, it gives a unique opportunity to re-target the ideal audience. You can also display ads to people based on their search behavior. Generally, display ads are seen alongside on search engines such as yahoo, Bing and Google.

Content Marketing

This type of marketing is done by creating and sharing free content to attract new prospects and retain existing customers. Informative content is shared in the form of articles, videos, info graphics etc. It helps in building strong relationships with your audience by providing them with relevant high quality contents. Your business goal should be aligned with content strategy to gain critical success.

How a fresher would benefit from digital marketing?

In digital world, online marketing is essential for running a successful business. Marketers these days are adapting from traditional to digital approach.

Digital marketing provide small businesses with resources to perform sales and marketing that were previously available only for large companies. It ensures the survival of online businesses. Today, brands are putting more focus on digital marketing than ever before. Digital marketing skills are in serious demand and provide a unique competitive edge for one’s career. It offers great opportunities around the world. There is a wide range of digital marketing roles which include jobs related to social media as well. It also provides a variety of opportunities to start your own career as an Entrepreneur. There are lots of benefits that digital marketing professionals can look forward in upcoming years. More companies embrace digital marketing as their primary marketing strategy which creates a plenty of job opportunities for freshers. The future of digital marketing seems to be very bright at the moment.

Digital Marketing Demographics

Digital marketing has changed so much, often the best path forward it is best to step back and look at the broad landscape… the demographics of digital marketing if you will. To do this, I often look at summary reports from the best in the business. Below I lay out some of the biggest findings from a Razorfish report I love entitled “Digital Dopamine: 2015 Global Digital Marketing Report”.

According to Razorfish, “Ideas that were once dominant now face irrelevance, as new digital developments displace them. This transformation occurs rapidly, and marketers are constantly struggling to keep up. Therefore, in preparation for tomorrow, Razorfish took a deep dive into the qualitative and quantitative data of four international markets (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Brazil) to examine the ways in which digital technology is shifting traditional brand-consumer relationships. From uncovering global commerce expectations to identifying the effect of digital on our subconscious, this research set out to expose the key trends shaping marketing.”

What did Razorfish find in terms of how digital marketing was used in 2015? Here are a few of their key findings.

1. GENERATIONAL CHASM

Mobile dominates the Millennial shopping experience. A Millennial’s smartphone is their key to the world. As mobile payment technology grows, mobile is going to become an even more important part of the overall brand and retail experience. Millennials draw no practical distinction between online and offline.

Millennials’ constantly connected smartphones mean they no longer see a difference between “online” and “offline.” Technology has become an integral part of their lives, and it is how they interact with and experience brands, even when in traditionally “offline” environments. They don’t use media in silos. Rather, they use all of the tools at their fingertips at any given time, regardless of the device or platform.

Millennials are redefining privacy expectations. When compared to Gen X, Millennials are more likely to trust brands to protect their privacy-and less likely to think that mobile targeting is an invasion of privacy.

Plan for the Gen X / Gen Y digital divide. Millennials lead the pack when it comes to the adoption of technology, outpacing their Gen X counterparts in nearly every digital activity on a daily basis. Gen X-led organizations need to ensure that their brand experiences align with Millennials’ tech-led lives and that digital isn’t simply an afterthought in the brand planning process. Target carefully and with purpose.

2. THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE ECONOMY:

Consumers are actively avoiding advertising. Consumers in all four markets (United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, China) report doing anything they can to avoid seeing advertising, and many are utilizing tools like DVRs to help them succeed.

Advertising is most effective when it is part of a value exchange. Consumers are now aware of how much their attention is worth to marketers, and they expect to be rewarded for it. They look to be compensated with loyalty programs, free content or useful tools that solve problems.

Brazil still has a cultural affinity to traditional advertising. Interestingly, Brazil remains more receptive to advertising than any of the other markets. Fifty-seven percent of Brazilian consumers endorse TV, radio and print ads as the most influential source of advertising. Therefore, it is important to understand that adding value means different things to different cultures.

Make yourself useful. Brands need to offer their customers services beyond core products and add some real value to peoples’ lives, if they are not already. Consumers are more likely to stick with a brand if they feel it makes their lives easier.

3. SEAMLESS COMMERCE

Digital is the new storefront. A good e-commerce site is not just a nice-to-have; it has a major impact on your brand. The numbers speak for themselves: 84% of people in Brazil and 92% of people in China say that a bad brand website negatively impacts their opinion of the brand. Seventy-three percent and 79% of people in the U.S. and U.K., respectively, agree.

Current e-commerce experiences fall short of expectations. Even with the massive accomplishments made in the evolution of commerce, consumers are still not impressed. Current e-commerce experiences, return policies and shipping options are falling flat in cultivating satisfied customers.

Consumer journeys are peppered with dead ends. Although consumers no longer view a distinction between online and offline brand channels, brands are not yet structured to support this outlook. This creates a tension between what consumers want and what brands are providing, forcing consumers to jury-rig solutions.

Empower your customer. Inflexible returns policies, in particular, are a major point of friction in both the online and offline retail experiences. A good return policy is an easy way to differentiate your brand from the competition, build loyalty and earn trust.

4. DIGITAL CONDITIONING

Consumers admit to technology dependence. Over three-quarters of consumers in all four of the markets surveyed admitted to often feeling dependent on technology. Many elements are cited for the development of this dependence, including utility, connectivity and the positive emotions they associate with it.

We’ve been exposed to digital classical conditioning. As proven by Pavlov, repeatedly pairing two cues can elicit a classically conditioned response. This is equally true for many consumers who use smartphones-the light or sound emitted from the device triggers a response of immediate attention.

Instant gratification is not always preferred. Remarkably, consumers in all four markets reported more excitement when receiving a purchase in the mail than when buying in the store. This illuminates an interesting aspect of shopping that is specific to e-commerce- the power of pleasurable anticipation and delayed gratification.

Use “surprises and delights” to your advantage. Without turning brand communications into a carnival of push notifications and flashing buttons, you can still create pleasurable moments of anticipation around routine events for a brand. Smart marketers will play around with game mechanics in the shopping and purchasing process, while ensuring it doesn’t get in the way of simplicity and service.

5. EMERGING MARKETS IN THE FAST LANE

Consumers in Brazil and China are tech-hungry early adopters. This data shows that Internet users in these markets rely on technology for every part of their lives and continually look for more ways to integrate it.

Consumers in countries with lower Internet penetration may be the most demanding online. There are unexpectedly high expectations for digital services and websites in countries with lower Internet penetration. In particular, there is a very strong desire in Brazil and China for e-commerce to improve.

Tech savvy spans all generations. While there is an important digital divide between Millennials and Gen Xers in the United States and United Kingdom, these demographic differences aren’t so pronounced in Brazil and China.

Consider Brazil and China as early adopters. Emerging markets like these are exciting places to test new technology. These consumers are not afraid of technology and are actively looking for new ways to use it in their daily lives.