Technology has changed the way consumers approach brands, products and services. Traditional marketing doesn't even achieve the results it used to do, just a few years ago. When digital media arrived, a new area of specialization arrived as well: Digital Marketing.
It's a current topic and yet, little is known about it, or a misunderstood idea prevails. For this reason, in this article I want to: define what Digital Marketing is and what it isn't.
What Digital Marketing IS NOT
1. It's not traditional marketing
We were used to carry out a set of strategies for different segments and then offer everyone the same kind of products or services. Digital Marketing, on the other hand, tries to offer different services and products in a personalized way, according to our customers times and needs.
For example, if a company that sells books carried out a traditional marketing strategy, it would offer a catalog of different books to all of its clients, so that each one of them would choose the one they liked best. They'd send this catalog every week, two weeks, or once a month, making the person feel overwhelmed by their insistence.
How would this work with a Digital Marketing strategy? The client would buy a book and an email would be sent to him the day after the purchase was done or by the time the book could've been read. This email would offer similar books for him to consider. By doing so, the customer will be happy since, once he's finished his book, or is about to finish it, he can choose another one, one that matches his interests. It's obvious that this way of doing things will be more interesting to him and he won't feel harassed.
2. It's not having Social Networks
Having social networks for your company and someone taking care of them is very easy. Even a child could be constantly uploading and sharing information, every day. In contrast, digital marketing uses social networks with a clear and effective purpose. The idea is to know more about each of your clients; there's no doubt that social networks such as Facebook show the day to day activities, desires, tastes and feelings of people. Today, as never before, companies can meet their customers in real life. We don't work with made-up cases built on a desk, we work with real facts.
3. It's not Web Design only
Many confuse Web Design with Digital Marketing. It's true that one of the tools used by Digital Marketing is the redesign (or design) of a website but with the intention of achieving better SEO (Search Engine Optimization, web positioning), not just to "change looks".
Digital marketing uses the website as the ideal place where the unknown customers , the possible clients or the current clients will arrive to, that site where you can get them to become a consumer of your product/service or to keep them as such thanks to new purchases, exclusive promotions, etc.
For example, with a well built Website, you will be able to gather important information from real customers, to whom you'll give a coupon, a discount, an ebook, in exchange for that information... What you will offer depends on the type of product or service that the company is offering.
4. It's not e-mailing every prospect or client
Same here, although this is one of the great tools used with Digital Marketing, it's not what Digital Marketing is. Emails are used in such a way that they won't be considered spam, in a way that the people to whom they are sent to, open their emails and react in a positive way.
For example, a pet store has a Website. A person (stranger, prospect or customer) visits the website and downloads an ebook about the care that puppies need. Then the pet store will send this person an email thanking her for downloading the ebook, wishing her puppy is growing happy and healthy and also offering a discount or coupon on any of the toys that are mentioned in the ebook. The result? The person that reads the ebook may decide to buy something specific that you are selling.
5. It's not having a blog
Many assume that since they have a blog, they are doing Digital Marketing and SEO. This is yet another tool that by itself, it's not Digital Marketing. It's just a tool that will help you better position your site on the Internet, but it makes no sense to have the best position on the Internet if there is no plan behind it, no strategy that would help you turn all traffic that is coming to your site into an income, that is, to have them turn into prospects and then clients.
So the question now would be:
What is Digital Marketing?
To describe it, I would like to use part of DataBranding's definition and add the rest:
Digital Marketing is the methodology or system that will attract new customers to your website with the intention of increasing traffic and thus, get new customers (in addition to keep the loyalty of the existing ones). It aims to have a greater visibility on the Internet and, in order to achieve this, it uses different tools such as web design, social networks, blogging and emails, on real time and with instant customer service. All this with at a lower cost than the traditional marketing usually is.
This definition has been a little long but I wanted to make sure that it was complete, so that nothing got left out and the difference of what Digital Marketing is and what is not, is well understood.
To sum things up
I hope this article helps you better understand the difference between what Digital Marketing is and is not. Make it a lesson so that, whenever you speak of this topic, you are indeed talking about Digital Marketing.
Actually, this article was written because we noticed that many companies talk about this in a very confusing way, not because they mean wrong, but because they really have little knowledge on the matter.
I'd love to hear which ideas o misconceptions did you have before reading this article. Remember that there's always something new one can learn and, if you happen to have any other misconceptions that would help me better this article, I'd love to hear them. Let's help other better understand what Digital Marketing is.