What is Digital Marketing? Digital marketing is the engine that drives today’s business, big or small. Effective digital marketing is the marketing that bridges electronic technology with psychology in the marketplace.
Def 1: Digital marketing is using techniques which allow a marketer to use the best of both worlds – digital and marketing. While the basic principles of marketing still apply, digital marketing isn’t just another new channel for marketing. On the contrary, it’s a refreshingly new approach to marketing which offers a unique understanding of consumer behavior.
Def 2: Business owners, executives, and marketers understand traditional forms of marketing such as radio, TV, print, and billboard ads. These marketing channels generally increase business which is why they are still used by many companies. However, there are two major shortcomings to traditional marketing.
Firstly, traditional methods are expensive. Compared to digital marketing channels, you could end up spending thousands of dollars more. If you own or run a company with a substantial marketing budget, then it might make sense to invest in radio, TV, etc. For many small businesses, the risks are often too high.
Secondly, traditional marketing channels fail to provide instant feedback and reports about who saw or heard an ad, and took action. This data is collected long after the initial ad impression is made (and still then, the statistics are far from exact numbers).
Digital marketing, on the other hand, refers to marketing methods that allow organizations to see how a campaign is performing in real-time, such as what is being viewed, how often, how long, as well as other statistics such as sales conversions.
Def 3: Digital marketing is a sub branch of traditional marketing and uses modern digital channels for the placement of products e.g. downloadable music, and primarily for communicating with stakeholders e.g. customers and investors about brand, products and business progress
What is NOT Digital Marketing?
To understand what digital marketing techniques are, it’s easier to classify what doesn’t constitute digital marketing. Traditional marketing channels such as print, radio, TV and billboards aren’t forms of digital marketing. These channels have been mighty successful over a long period of time but they aren’t as effective in today’s modern age.
Traditional marketing channels suffer from 2 major limitations – one-way communication and no real time feedback. As a veteran marketer, I’ve always believed that marketing is a 2-way street. Unfortunately, traditional marketing channels aren’t conductive to dialogue between the marketer and the customer. Secondly, the rapid explosion of Internet and social media has meant that ‘real time’ communication is key. Most traditional marketing channels suffer from a lag and there’s no instantaneous communication.
While traditional marketing is all about impressions, digital marketing focuses on the more important aspect of creating an experience for users.
What’s the difference with Internet Marketing?
At its core, digital marketing revolves around the Internet, which explains why people tend to believe that digital marketing and Internet marketing are synonymous. Nonetheless, they are different. Internet marketing falls under the category of digital marketing.
Internet marketing encompasses digital marketing services such as search engine optimization, display advertising, and email marketing; nonetheless, what about voice broadcasts, fax broadcasts, podcasting, wireless text messaging, mobile instant messaging, and mobile apps? The latter channels and services transcend the narrow definition of Internet marketing. digital marketing refers to mobile marketing, digital telephony, and digital video recorders as well.
With tighter marketing budgets these days, allocating spending and measuring ROI are paramount for any business. Business owners and managers need real-time statistics to demonstrate the value of marketing initiatives. As a result, digital marketing has become an integral component of company marketing strategies.
The need for traditional marketing channels are converging with digital tracking methods, and in time, what we consider traditional, may transform into completely digital marketing formats.
Digital Marketing Channels
In a broader sense, the Internet is the heart of digital marketing. The Internet offers several applications such as web, email, IM, RSS, video which can be leveraged by marketers to launch campaigns. The explosive growth of smartphones and tablets has meant that mobile has emerged as a widely accepted digital marketing channel in recent times.
Broadly speaking, there are six main categories that can be used:
And last but not the least, social media has been a great ambassador to the cause of digital marketing. While the primary motivation for social networks was in-person interaction, leading social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have transformed into valuable digital marketing tools.