WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING?

Digital marketing is a term that has been around for quite awhile but hasn’t been very well defined, encompassing things like banner advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click. Yet, this is too narrow of a definition. What about email, RSS, voice broadcast, fax broadcast, blogging, podcasting, video streams, wireless text messaging, and instant messaging? You get the idea. To clearly define what digital marketing is let’s talk about what it is not. For starters, it does not include more traditional forms of marketing such as radio, TV, billboard and print because they do not offer instant feedback and report. Sure, some people may respond to a call to action from an advertisement in one of these mediums but there is no way to know the exact number of people who saw or heard it. Such data is collected (and still then just educated guesses) long after the initial ad impression is made. Yes, convergence has made television at bit more interactive, with devices such as TiVo able to record viewer statistics like those for Web sites, but there is still a long way to go. With digital marketing, however, we’re already there. At its heart, digital marketing centers around the Internet, which has become both a communication vehicle and a very powerful marketing medium as the recent Doubleclick acquisition by Google demonstrated. The Internet can be used both to push a message to someone like email, IM, RSS, or voice broadcast, as well to “pull” content serving a banner ad and Pay Per Click search terms. Digital marketing, therefore, can be thought of as the combination of push and pull Internet technologies to execute marketing campaigns. Because it is digital, a reporting engine can be layered within a campaign allowing the organization see in real-time how that campaign is performing, such as what is being viewed, how often, how long, as well as other actions such as responses rates and purchases made. Please note that each digital marketing technology is different and they cannot all provide the same types of reports. Also, digital marketing is constantly evolving and new technologies are being created all of the time. To help promote this new concept of digital marketing, we recently updated the Wikipedia entry for the term and did our best to not only define digital marketing but to explain what it is as well as the players in this space. In the true collaborative spirit of Wikipedia, we invite you to add your own thoughts and ideas, as we too are still adding and editing. Currently our definition is: Digital Marketing is the pratice of promoting products and services using database-driven online distribution channels to reach consumers in a timely, relevant, personal and cost-effective manner.

Digital Marketing – Pull vs. Push
There are 2 different forms of digital marketing, each of which has its pros and cons.

Pull
Pull digital marketing technologies involve the user having to seek out and directly select (or pull) the content, often via web search. Web site/blogs and streaming media (audio and video) are good examples of this. In each of these examples, users have a specific link (URL) to view the content. Pros:

Interactive Media is a form of art and creative inspiration. and/or viewed. For example.some push platforms have single content types. Consistent delivery .push technology not implemented on common platforms generally need client and/or server software before content can be created.less popular platforms may have higher implementation costs. Smaller audience . only to store/display it. Cons: • • • Digital Marketing solutions and Multi-Channel Communications While digital marketing is effective using one message type.smaller audiences mean fewer views mean less visibility in search engines. if a company is . In the case of RSS. which allows for better targeting and more personalization. it is much more successful when a marketer combines multiple channels in the message campaigns. Better data . Pros: • • • • Faster delivery . thus simulating a push.since push technology usually justifies subscription. RSS are examples of push digital marketing. In each of these examples. Higher cost . Email. Some types of marketing content may be blocked in mixed content scenarios (i. making it difficult for the user to block content by type. allowing marketers to see information such as user name as well as demographic and psychographic data.Digital Marketing and Power Users of the internet are an integral aspect to the United States economy. distributed. Push Push digital marketing technologies involve both the marketer (creator of the message) as well as the recipients (the user). SMS. more specific marketing data may be collected during registration. Better targeting .e. Lesser discoverability . No advanced technology required to send static content. the size of content is generally unlimited. content is actually pulled on a periodic basis (polling). • • Cons: • • Considerable marketing effort required for users to find the message/content.marketing data can be correlated to each request for content. the marketer has to send (push) the messages to the users (subscribers) in order for the message to be received.: Flash blockers) Since requests are inherently opt-in.push technologies can deliver content immediately as it becomes available.

If your digital marketing message is good enough. could yield positive results. Both of these are used to deliver messages and information about products and services to customers. Digital marketing solutions include the use of multiple channels of delivery. For example. there are many people in this country who do not own a computer or have access to the Internet. A couple of days later. because it is not restricted to the Internet. You may say there are newspapers for ads. practically for free. YouTube videos. However. an email campaign can include a banner ad or link to a content download. almost all aspects of an Internet marketing campaign can be traced. if properly executed. along with the use of both Push and Pull digital marketing techniques. Digital market campaigns have yielded greater conversion rates for affiliates than e-marketing strategy alone. Facebook posts or Twitter tweets can be created at almost zero cost. The advertisers can use a variety of methods. Internet marketers also have the advantage of measuring statistics easily and inexpensively. This allows you to connect with millions of Internet users. Although almost everyone has a cellphone. we assume that some people who see your campaign message are so impressed that they quickly forward it to their friends. ADVANTAGES OF DM 1. and views outdoor digital displays. It may seem to be hard to believe. such as pay per impression. and pay per action. This. whether a video. bringing you a whole host of new customers. All messages that you send over the Internet can be viewed by people for years. photo. you just need to send it out once. however. it will spread like wildfire. This enables a marketer to have the best of both worlds in terms of their marketing method. along with any others who submit inquiries. Once you create your message. 2. and tested. An email could be sent to a list of potential customers with a special offer for those that also include their cell phone number. pay per play.trying to promote a new product release. however the . they could send out an email message or text campaign individually. 4. Push and pull message technologies can also be used in conjunction with each other. marketers can determine which messages or offerings are more appealing to the audience This is the power of digital marketing. measured. Therefore. iPod. 3.One of the main advantages of digital marketing is sending communications to a large number of people. .Internet marketing does not require much work. As internet marketing messages spread far and wide. Digital marketing has a long shelf life. really quickly. a follow up campaign would be sent via text message (SMS) with the special offer.pay per click. Another benefit of digital marketing is its relative cost. post or tweet. MP3 player. it can reach more people than Internet marketing and traditional direct marketing campaigns. this same campaign could be exponentially improved if multiple message types are implemented. there will be times when your message will be more in vogue than others. Sure. it is quite possible for you to reap rich harvests at a later date 5. Theoretically.

it appears that the advantages of Internet promotion.With Internet credit card and identity fraud on the rise. businesses (B2B). Entrepreneurs are therefore compelled to adopt marketing strategies to drive online users back to their site. More and more. BUSINESS MODELS Digital marketing is associated with several business models:  E-commerce: a model whereby goods are sold directly to consumers (B2C). especially small business owners.readership of newspapers has been declining over the years due to the advances in the Internet. entrepreneur can benefit significantly from Internet promotion. There is little personal contact between customer and salesperson prior to and after the sales is closed. . From all indications. With millions of businesses selling the same product and services. small businesses are forced to finance costly security measures to reduce their vulnerability to fraudulent transactions. the prospect for repeat sales may thus be diminished. its ease and accessibility for customers is becoming inevitable. far exceed the disadvantages. Thus. pay per click inclusions and often have to rely solely on search engine optimisation or word of mouth to drive traffic to their sites. With adequate knowledge. competing with more established businesses can be frustrating and costly venture for small business. This is why digital marketing provides leading edge solutions for business marketing campaigns. Salespersons and Customers are Isolated Another disadvantage of promotion via the Internet is that the customers and businesspersons are isolated. Difficulty in Evaluating Legitimacy of Transaction Another notable disadvantage of doing promoting businesses online is that it may be difficult for the businesspersons and consumers to thoroughly evaluate the legitimacy of a transaction. Small business would therefore be well advised to start their web advertising function in order to improve their competitiveness online. or from consumer to consumer (C2C). Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to thieves using stolen credit cards and stolen information to do online transaction. Disadvantages Difficulty in Attracting Customers Small business may not have the resources to pay for paid directory inclusion. the growth and outreach of the Internet.

enterprise technology architectures and processes. sales letters.[1] 3. Local Internet marketing uses tools such as social media marketing. site and searchengine optimization. social. marketing strategy and operational strategy. Lead-based websites: a strategy whereby an organization generates value by acquiring sales leads from its website. sales and service optimization. opportunities and challenges. identifying the unmet needs and goals of the customers that most closely align with those key business opportunities and/or challenges.. new product/market exploration.[2] and 4. 2. The entity that owns the product may provide some marketing material (e. but at their core. the vast majority of affiliate marketing relationships come from e-commerce businesses that offer affiliate programs. however. a number of techniques and analyses may be employed.  Affiliate Marketing: a process wherein a product or service developed by one entity is sold by other active sellers for a share of profits. collaboration.  Local Internet marketing: a strategy through which a small company utilizes the Internet to find and to nurture relationships that can be used for real-world advantages. These prospects are often referred to as organic leads.g. and advertising. prioritizing a set of online initiatives which can deliver on this vision. to more marketing and customer-focused efforts such as web sites. local directory listing. identifying the key opportunities and/or challenges in a business where online assets can provide a solution.). etc. developing a vision around how the online assets will fulfill those business and customer needs. innovation and governance. digital strategy is the process of specifying an organization's vision.g. changes in the publishing industry) and often includes customer intelligence. which considers the broader opportunities and risks that digital potentially creates (e.. goals. mobile. goals. Similar to walk-in customers in retail world. and targeted online sales promotions. Overview There are numerous approaches to conducting digital strategy. all go through four steps: 1. These can range from an enterprise focus. tracking facilities. WHAT IS DIGITAL STRATEGY In the fields of strategic management. Identifying the key opportunities and/or challenges in a business . eCommerce. affiliate links. Within each of those stages. opportunities and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits digital investments and efforts provide to the organization.

organization. • Financial analysis An analysis of a companies financial data (which may include everything from public financial statements to private ERP data) with the goal of understanding the financial impact (positive and negative) that certain changes would have on a company. • Web analytics An analysis of the usage patters of a company's online assets with the goal of better understanding customer behavior as well as identifying strengths and weakness of the company's current online offerings. While this often includes steps found in traditional marketing competitive analysis. etc. processes. • Competitive analysis Includes evaluations of a company's main competitors and potential substitutes with the goal of understanding a company's strengths and weaknesses relative to their competitors and potential substitutes. as well as the potential role of their online assets. This may include understanding how many people are visiting a web . for example: field observations of shoppers at a store. prices. needs. and competitive landscape. an analysis of how effective customers are at using the online assets developed by a company for their intended purposes. operations and service stakeholders with a goal of understanding the business strategy. products. marketing and sales. digital strategy may include video taping of a customer using their computers or specific computer applications or web sites. In addition to standard marketing strategy methodologies and questions. supply chain and vendors. • Ethnographic research An analysis of customer behaviors in their environment. Competitive analysis for Digital Strategy includes two unique items: Heuristic evaluation An evaluation by a usability expert of the usability and user experience of a company's online assets compared and contrasted to those of it competitors and potential substitutes. Identifying the unmet needs and goals of the customers • Customer interviews Includes one-on-one interviews and focus groups with a company's customers with a goal of understanding customers behaviors. [3] Features/functionality analysis An evaluation of the features and functionality provided by a company's online assets. In addition to standard ethnographic research. group interviews and workshops with a company's senior management. customers. such as products. goals and perceptions of the company and their industry both in the broadest business context as well as specifically online. In digital strategy this is used to uncover usability barriers in the present state that may prevent the accomplishment to the online vision.• Stakeholder interviews Includes one-on-one interviews. distributors. challenges and opportunities. customer interviews for Digital Strategy may includes usability testing. compared and contrasted to those of its competitors and potential substitutes.

In digital strategy this often includes the online customer registration database which companies use to provide access to their customer specific. demographics. The goal of the analysis is to provide insight into the overall conversion rate as well as the key weak points of the funnel (the stages in which the largest percentages of users drop out of the funnel). In digital strategy. product or marketing message affinity.site. The analysis would look at which channels (example: phone. a certain page or action in the web site considered a conversion (such as a user hitting the purchase confirmation page) and specific pages in the web site representing specific stages of the sales funnel. how a customer develops the intent to purchase a product. • • Performance Assessment: Review of effectiveness of current digital technologies. etc. Funnel analysis A specific methodology for web analytics where the company's online assets are modeled as a sales funnel. 3rd party search engine. e-mail lists. etc.[5] • Statistical surveys An approach to collection customer feedback in a quantitative manner from a large population. etc.[4] • Analytical CRM An analysis of a company's customer databases and information repositories with the goal of segmenting customers into homogeneous groups across one or more dimension of behavior. Needs. The Business plan also defines the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure and evaluate the success of the online strategy. product or marketing message affinity. • Technical assessment . There are lots of different ways to do this. catalog. although phone surveys or other offline means may sometimes be used when they are questions as to the online savvy-ness of a particular ta Developing a vision and prioritizing a set of online initiatives • Business plan or case A spreadsheet with supporting documentation that quantifies the investments and returns over time that will result from the execution of the online strategy. web site. where are people coming from. protected areas. value. Surveys are often conducted online using web intercepts. surveys may be used to validate or invalidate key questions raised in more qualitative exercises such as customer interviews and focus group. Depending on the breadth of the survey population and the degree of variation within the population.) a customer uses at which stage of the purchase process. and evaluates the company's strengths or weaknesses in that particular channel for that particular stage of the process. a company focuses on the customer purchase process (how a customer becomes aware of a product. • Multi-channel analysis An analysis of a customers behavior (such as their purchase behavior or their service behavior) that looks across all the different channels in which customers interact with a company's products or information. retail store. attempts to understand why each channel is used. value. where do they drop off. demographics. Barriers. how long do they stay. and how a customer actually purchases the product). or 3rd party panels. survey results may be segmented to form homogeneous groups across one or more dimension of behavior. with a visit or impression representing a new leads. be a representative example would be. what are the most popular pages. etc. what are the most popular paths.

This is often done by creating a two by two matrix where cost of implementation runs along the x-axis (from high cost to low cost) and expected business benefit runs along the y-axis. and e-business metrics and their relationships. • Portfolio management A way of prioritizing various initiatives by comparing their cost of implementation to their expected business benefits. . banner advertising. this includes: search engine marketing. operational. These are often created in order to better communicate a key concept or to build excitement among stakeholders when building consensus or socializing a digital strategy. The measurement plan usually covers the financial. how decisions are made. how issues are escalated. and how information on the performance of the projects is communicated within the organization. and process description of the operational entity the will manage the initiatives in a digital strategy. The governance model describes who is responsible for what. which meets the needs of the online vision. from low benefit to high benefit. and a series of initiatives or projects to fill those gaps are developed and sequenced. Since 2007. • Online media plan A plan detailing the allocation of media spending across online media (as of 2007. The roadmap will often include checkpoints to assess the progress and success of the digital strategy. • Roadmap A high-level project plan which details the durations and dependencies of all the initiatives in the digital strategy. The gaps between the current state and future state are identified.[7][8] • Governance model The organizational structure. They may involve a series of business process reengineering projects focused on the areas of an organization most affected by the online initiatives.A design of a technical architecture which will meet the needs of the business vision and conform to the business plan and roadmap. is designed. This is often done as a gap analysis where the current technical architecture is assessed. roles.[6] • Proof of concept Graphics representations or comps of key ideas or processes of the digital strategy. • Organizational and process assessment Similar to a technical assessment. social media has become increasingly important in engaging with customers both for marketing and customer support purposes. and online affiliate networks) usually as part of the customer acquisition or retention portions of the digital strategy. A future technical architecture. Individual initiatives or projects are then plotted on the matrix in terms of their calculated costs and benefits and priorities are determined according to which projects will provide the greatest benefit for the least amount of cost. organizational and process assessments look at the changes that need to be made to an organization and its processes in order to achieve the online vision. which particularly benefits smaller businesses. • Measurement plan A description of the key performance indicators used to measure the effectiveness of the digital strategy as well as the process for collecting and sharing the information.

Then assemble key decision makers or stakeholders. not necessarily the best solution (global optimum) that might have been reached if a company starts from scratch instead of building each step on the previous one. companies often adopt a mix of big bang efforts augmented by some smaller. An example of this test-measure-optimize-scale approach is that a company might take some key pages on their site and test a number of versions of those pages with different marketing messages. Because it is representative of a customer segment. more incremental changes. execution of a business or digital strategy is done as a big bang. . As a result.[10] The disadvantage is that over time this approach tends to converge on a solution (local optimum). less expensive) steps rather than larger (more risky. it tends to favor smaller (less risky. user experience optimizations. present the findings of the personas. goals and behaviors. there is often a larger up front cost to setting up all the measurement systems and staffing a company with the right analysts and change processes to react to these tests in a timely and effective manner. A person who is primarily focused on digital strategy may be referred to as a digital architect or digital strategist and a person who executes a digital strategy may be referred to as a digital marketing engineer. with large initiatives such as site redesigns and transactional systems taking 6–12 months to develop and often an additional 6–12 months before they deliver any results.Role of personas in digital strategy As of 2007.[9] Execution of a digital strategy Historically. and even new features and functions using a multivariate or A/B test. navigation optimizations. because each step is measured and adjusted for. analyzing the results to understand which changes where most instrumental in affecting the high conversion rate. which are carefully measured and analyzed and used to modify or optimize the digital strategy. A typical approach is to create the segment based on customer analysis such as customer interviews. ethnographic research. more expensive) initiatives before getting the payback. Personas are character sketches which represent a typical member of one customer segment and highlights their needs. In addition. it allows decision makers to prioritize various features based on the needs of the segment. design approaches. and statistical surveys. one which leverages a series of smaller tests. a trend in digital strategy is the use of personas as a framework for using customer information to prioritize online initiatives. Because it is a character sketch. and applying those learnings to future pages and future tests (conversion optimization). Another disadvantage is that although this solution tends to favor smaller. As of 2007. and use them to kick start a brainstorming session around different online initiatives which can meet the personas needs and goals. it tends to be more successful in delivering business results. it is sometimes easier for decision makers to internalize the key needs of the segment than it would be by reading reams and reams of data. The company would then identify the page which had the best combination of changes in terms of some key business metric (such as conversion). The advantage of this approach is that in the long run. more iterative efforts as part of their overall strategy. a trend has emerged where companies adopt a more iterative approach to rolling out their strategies.

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