Weekly Column: 2017-03-10

“Digital Marketing” is a phrase that pops up often these days. A simple Google search will produce a plethora of information on digital marketing, but it is not easy to summarize it all in one sentence. There are many people who do not understand if digital marketing means online marketing or the difference between that and the marketing that already exists. I shall try to explain digital marketing, which everyone has heard about but they do not fully understand in a way that is easy.

First, let’s start with the definition of marketing. Most people understand marketing as playing a role in informing customers about your products or services to make sales. However, marketing is not only introducing your product but understanding the process of planning and distributing your product. You must create the product (product), choose the right pricing (price), distribute the product (place), and let your customers know about all it (promotion).

However, with the emergence of smartphones and the development of information communication technology and the internet, channels of learning are rapidly expanding.  As a result, globalization is occurring at an exponential rate and trends are quickly changing day by day. Marketing that utilizes these uncountable amounts of channels and data digitally is what we call digital marketing.

Online marketing pertains to all marketing activities on the web and mobile devices. Digital marketing, however, is not just limited to being online, but it is more inclusive by combining the online with the offline. To put it simply, it is marketing that is based digitally that is planned by integrating the online with the offline. You can say that online marketing is a part of digital marketing.

The special characteristic of digital marketing is that it is consumer-centered, unlike the existing method where the content creators and consumers are divided. Eventually, as the content production and consumption cease to exist, the content can be operated and consumed at any time and any place. This means marketing that goes beyond time and space, marketing where you decide your target, so that you, as the content producer, can send the message you want to the consumer in real time. Social marketing, most notably Facebook and Instagram, is also a part of digital marketing.

Digital marketing is a common sight all around us with methods stated earlier such as online marketing and social marketing.  There are also other methods, such as email marketing, mobile marketing, blog marketing, and video marketing. As information and communication technology evolve, their effectiveness and power have been strengthened to change our daily lives, increasingly, and will continue to change in the future.

In another example of digital marketing, there are four ways to categorize it: mobile, social media, traffic, and websites. Because people find your social media through their mobile devices, they will direct that interest and traffic to your website. It's important you create a mobile-friendly website because the website is the last place they will visit.  Therefore, you must make sure you have sufficient content. The main goal should be to bring customers through their smartphone with social media, by delivering contents that will interest them, and give them a good impression within the first few seconds so they will go to your website.

You must remember that you do not have to begin all of these diverse digital marketing methods from the start, but you cannot start them all at the same time. Choosing the most appropriate method for you and preparing it, step by step, will reduce your chance of failure and is the most important part for getting a great effect. Through detailed action plans and practice put into place, you will be able to effectively carry out marketing in the digital era while keeping the bigger picture in mind.