The worldwide buzz of digital marketing has only matured in the past decade for each person to be at least aware of its presence for advertising. Corporates are exploring, analyzing and capturing this technique to secure newly emerging digital markets. Admitting the technological rule that we are about to witness in the next 25 years, this upsurge has been obvious. It has practically become a mandate for survival and growth as offline marketing is slowly turning ineffective and obsolete. 

Marketing means connecting your ideas, products or services with the right audience at apt. time. This exact connection digitally is referred to as digital marketing. Therefore, any form of marketing on the internet through digital channels in different social media apps, search engines, websites and emails is digital marketing. Despite this definition being certainly straightforward, the tools and algorithms of employing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are not. Digital Marketing Channels include Pay Per Click (PPC), Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Video Marketing, SMS Marketing, etc. Ensuring customer retention, understanding contemporary buying patterns of people with better literacy levels and managing online public reviews in the digital mode remain a challenging task for any company.

ORIGIN/HISTORY

The term digital marketing was first used in 1990 when “Archie”, the world’s first search engine was created. Subsequently followed the first banner ad “You Will” in 1994 that appeared on HotWired (now Wired.com) and the first social media site “SixDegress.com” in 1997. Google came in 1998 and by 2001 the first mobile marketing campaign was made by “Universal Music.” Google launched “AdWords”, its advertising platform, in 2000 which started becoming popular. The 1990s was a period of display advertising, the initial part of 2000 of search advertising, and the later part of social media. Today, with e-commerce sales being at an all-time high due to coronavirus pandemic, digital marketing is only bound to grow. 

UNDERSTANDING TERMS

Although it is impossible to summarize digital marketing components in a particular article, let’s understand a few terms frequently associated with it. SEO refers to the “organic” process of improving, enhancing and optimizing the visibility, content, reach and technical setup of a website by improving its ranking to appear at the top of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for a specific set of keyword terms. SEM refers to the “inorganic” practice of promotion of websites in SERP through paid advertisements. Competitors bid for specific keywords on a search engine which when searched would display the advertiser with the highest bid in the top. Pay-per-click is a model of marketing in which the advertiser pays the publisher every time a user clicks on the digital ad. It is associated with Google Ads, Amazon advertising, etc. Cost Per Impression (CPI) refers to the cost advertiser pays for every thousand impressions. A/B testing refers to a split-testing, where two versions of an email, webpage or marketing assets are compared to analyze which one performs better. Website traffic refers to users who navigate a website. It is the amount of data received and sent on a website by visitors. Attribution modelling refers to a strategy that allows advertisers to determine a customer’s first digital touch point to assess the best marketing campaign.

REASONS FOR THE INCREASING TREND

The significance of digital marketing is evident from the time we expend on the internet. Since people are presently on the internet more than ever, and marketing is done where people can identify it, therefore be it. It has practically become an obligation for large corporates as their competitors are at present employing it. Businesses want to increase their potential customer base with universal accessibility, target the appropriate audience and ensure widespread availability of products/services, and this is where digital comes in. It increases your target market, is more effective and efficient and permits easy data measuring to optimize and incorporate mandatory changes. It is essentially beneficial for small and emerging businesses that are unable to compete in traditional markets with massive customer hold of existing companies. Return on Investment (ROI) digitally is more impressive as overhead expenses are less. Digital Marketing works for all types of businesses in any industry. All that a business needs is a proper strategy and it can cover both B2B, B2C aspects and leverage a comparatively less competitive option.

IS BEING ONLY DIGITAL GOOD?

Although marketing completely digital remains perpetually an option with several companies making millions, personally, at present having a merge of both offline and online marketing is the key as we are many years away from having 100% of the world population on the internet. Since the internet is restricted to literacy, it narrows down potential buyers for some businesses. Hence, it is more effective for some and less for the other. Some people today understand online presence as a sense of credibility to offline marketing, rather than a standalone means of marketing. While others only believe in marketing as seen on television, newspapers or magazines. Digital marketing is relatively complex and therefore requires an expert in the field for periodic maintenance and growth. With worldwide accessibility comes security and privacy issues as well. 

CONCLUSION

As digital experience is becoming inseparable parts of our lives, understanding digital marketing has become important for advertisers, publishers and common users. It not merely allows the creation of brand awareness 24*7 but also can drive sales and retention in no time. Sticking to one channel of advertising can sometimes turn risky hence companies presently go for full-fledged use of all channels from video marketing to mobile marketing and social media marketing. While employing this, it is significant to understand that the audience in the online market is different from the traditional target market and hence content and display has to be modified accordingly. Although employing digital marketing is not necessary today but ten years down, companies without it will find it difficult to survive.

REFERENCES

Referred to “HubSpot” article

Referred to “Investopedia

Referred to “Digital Marketing Institute Blog

Referred to Digital Marketing book by Seema Gupta

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