This pandemic year has seen a climatic mix of chaos, uncertainty, empathy, challenge, and opportunity, while e-commerce continues its upcoming momentum everywhere. Businesses are rapidly transitioning to digital as they scale up or down, and rethink their entire business model as conditions continue to change. What about digital marketing? Before answering this question, it’s better if we take a few steps backwards and start from the very beginning. Marketing has always been about connecting brands to audiences in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet.
As we know, digital marketing typically refers to marketing campaigns that appear on a computer, phone, tablet, or other device. It can take many forms, including online video, display ads, and social media posts. Digital marketing is often compared to “traditional marketing” such as magazine ads, billboards, and direct mail. Oddly, television is usually lumped in with traditional marketing. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and their websites to connect with current and prospective customers.
By the way, it is important to specify that digital marketing and inbound marketing are easily confused. Digital marketing uses many of the same tools as inbound marketing — email and online content, to name a few — but the two approaches take different views of the relationship between the tool and the goal. We could assume that inbound marketing is a much more holistic concept, while digital marketing considers how each individual tool can convert prospects.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Affiliate Marketing, Marketing Automation, Email Marketing and Online PR are some of the most common digital marketing tactics. Digital marketers are in charge of driving brand awareness and lead generation through all the digital channels – both free and paid – that are at a company’s disposal. These channels include social media, the company’s own website, search engine rankings, email, display advertising, and the company’s blog. Digital marketing has become prominent largely because it reaches such a wide audience of people, but it offers a number of other advantages as well. For example, digital marketing not only reaches a broader audience than traditional marketing but also carries a lower cost. Overhead costs for newspaper ads, television spots, and other traditional marketing opportunities can be high. They also give you less control over whether your target audiences will see those messages in the first place. Moreover, with digital marketing, monitoring results is simple.
Digital marketing software and platforms automatically track the number of desired conversions that you get, whether that means email open rates, visits to your home page, or direct purchases. Data collected digitally tend to be much more precise and specific. Digital marketing allows you to gather customer data in a way that offline marketing can’t. Digital marketing lets your customers take action immediately after viewing your ad or content. Customers can click a link or save a blog post and move along the sales funnel right away. They could even make a purchase immediately, or maybe not, but they’ll stay connected with you and give you a chance to interact with them further.
In this framework, the new frontier in digital marketing is Artificial Intelligence. Already in 2018, a report released by Forrester, a US market research company, signaling that AI is going to spark a marketing renaissance and revitalize the industry. According to Forrester, AI plays a significant role here by helping brands to better understand their customers’ wants and needs, and determine what experience to deliver based on the attributes it deems most predictive. Without doubts the Internet, and Social Media in particular, has forged a new paradigm in the way we engage with customers. Where the old mass media vehicles of radio and television were passive, Social Media are interactive.