Digital Marketing is the engine that drives today’s business, big or small. As we enter the New Year, it’s time to reflect on the year gone by and plan for the next twelve months. For smedio, it’s a time to celebrate our success over the last year and put our heads down for the challenges that lie ahead in year 2012.
2011 was a phenomenal year for the smedio community as we established ourselves as a formidable force in the social media segment. We received a lot of healthy feedback from our users and several new members emphasized the need for us to get down to the basics of social media and digital marketing.
Therefore, we begin the New Year with an introductory post on what is digital marketing. We talk about the underlying principle behind digital marketing, the means, the end and the ongoing evolution from a business as well as marketer’s perspective. We’ll make a conscious effort to stay away from technical jargon and uncover digital marketing in simple and easy to understand terms.
What is Digital Marketing?
I usually refrain from using textbook definitions as I believe they are good to memorize but offer little insights. To me, 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.
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.
I believe that 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.
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.
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.