Digital Marketing and Its Growing Influence

Digital
Marketing and Its Growing Influence
Dr.
S. Shyam Prasad
Introduction
Digital
marketing seems to have caught the imagination of our young professionals. It
is logical because the evolving technologies have a tendency to move away from
analog to digital. The ever growing digitalization seems to be the future of
business activities. Evidence show that digital media forms are rapidly gaining
ground over their traditional rivals. In UK, according to the Office for
National Statistics, over 82% of adults went online in the first quarter of
this year i.e. more than 40 million people. This trend has been noticed worldwide,
both in the developed and developing countries. There is therefore an
increasing pressure on the businesses to adopt the digital technology rapidly.
The
growth of digital media is also evident from the fact that there is a sudden
increase in the demand for digital marketing courses. Many online certification
companies have noticed a spurt in their admissions to their courses in the last
six months. According to these companies, students are increasingly taking digital
marketing, social media marketing & analytics courses. About 60% of
the students composed of professionals with traditional marketing experience
who are now looking to shift to digital marketing roles. This phenomenal
digital growth is also inspiring some to start their own ventures.
Digital Marketing –
What is it?
Digital
marketing is defined as the promotion of products or brands through electronic
media. In some way, this definition is outdated or at least narrow. This is
because, besides promotion, some products are now co-designed by the customers
through internet and some are also distributed using electronic media. Internet
allows download of softwares, music to name a few and 3-D printing enables
tangible products to be sent through digital media. In some cases, even the
price of the product is determined in the digital media. Hence we might define
digital marketing as marketing of products or brands through electronic media.
Some
of the important forms of digital marketing are:
Ø  Websites
and SEO content
Ø  Blogs
Ø  Internet
banner ads
Ø  Online
video content
Ø  Pay-per-click
(PPC) advertising
Ø  Email
marketing
Ø  Social
media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
Ø  Mobile
marketing (SMS, MMS, etc.)
Ø  3-D
printing
Ø  Augmented
reality
This
list is by no means complete as new forms of digital marketing are evolving all
the time.

(Courtesy: Internet)
Digital Marketing – Why
is it?
Here
we may explore as to why digital marketing is becoming important. Digital
marketing helps one to use the proven marketing strategies more efficiently.
Marketers can specifically target the right kind of people for their products
and expect better returns. Another major benefit of digital marketing is that
the results can be easily tracked. The benefits of digital marketing are
enumerated below (Courtesy-Digital Marketing Philippines (DMP)):
1.
Digital marketing provides a level online playing field.
Digital
space provides opportunity to all businesses irrespective of their sizes to
attract traffic.
2.
Digital marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing.
An
email or SMS campaign, for example, can reach a wider audience than TV or print
campaign for a fraction of their cost.
3.
Digital marketing facilitates interaction with targeted audiences.
            Digital media provides ample scope
for interaction with the target customers.
4.
Digital marketing helps generate better revenues.
The
highly focused marketing activities and the ability to interact with the
customers, lead to higher conversion rates resulting in higher profits.
5.
Digital marketing now caters to the mobile consumers.
Smart
phones have evolved from being a mere phone into something that is influencing
their purchasing decisions.
6.
Digital Marketing Earns People’s Trust.
 Digital
Marketing leverages on social media signals, social proof and testimonials from
actual consumers. The more reliable these social signals are, the higher the
trust rate it generates.
7.
Digital marketing makes the firm ready for the internet of things.
            One has to be digitally connected to
survive in the era of the “Internet of Things”.
Digital Marketing –
What next?
Digital
media’s growth is all encompassing. It is the source of entertainment, social
interaction, shopping, news etc. and people’s exposure is not limited to what
the company says.  Consumers now have
access to information any time and at any place they want it and they are more
likely to believe social media than the company. Customers want brands that
they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized
and relevant, and offers tailored to their needs and preferences.
Further,
the growth of digital technologies has led to availability of very large
quantity of data.  Whenever consumers
make a purchase or visit a web site, a large amount of data about them is
collected. Marketers collect data such as what is being purchased, at what
quantity, at what price, the mode of payment etc., or if they visit a web site,
what is being viewed, how often and for how long, sales conversions, what
content works and doesn’t work, etc. Handling of all these data to extract the
right data for making the right decisions is extremely difficult.
The
digital era consumer’s wants and expectations are different and are changing
with the evolution of newer technologies. Marketing has to keep pace with their
behaviour.
The
bottom line is that this is the digital era and digital marketing has come to
stay. Businesses have to adopt digital technologies for survival. The
professionals craze seems to be justified.  
END
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