Digital Marketing
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Digital Marketing
Tags: Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing

Digital Marketing is the component of marketing that uses the internet and online-based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services.

Its development during the 1990s and 2000s changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing. As digital platforms became increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life, and as people increasingly used digital devices instead of visiting physical shops, Digital Marketing campaigns have become prevalent, employing combinations of;

Digital Marketing extends to non-internet channels that provide digital media, such as television, mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callbacks, and on-hold mobile ringtones. The extension to non-internet channels differentiates digital marketing from online marketing.

History of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing effectively began in 1990 when the Archie Search Engine was created as an index for FTP sites. In the 1980s, the storage capacity of computers was already enough to store huge volumes of customer information. Companies started choosing online techniques, such as database marketing, rather than limited list brokers. Databases allowed companies to track customer's information more effectively, transforming the relationship between buyer and seller.

In the 1990s, the term digital marketing was coined. With the development of server/client architecture and the popularity of personal computers, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications became a significant factor in marketing technology. 

Fierce competition forced vendors to include more services in their software, such as marketing, sales, and service applications. Marketers were also able to own online customer data through eCRM software after the Internet was born. This led to the first clickable banner ad going live in 1994, which was the "You Will" campaign by AT&T, and over the first four months of it going live, 44% of all people who saw it clicked on the ad.

In the 2000s, with increasing numbers of internet users and the birth of the iPhone, customers began searching for products and making decisions about their needs online first, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company. In addition, a survey in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that most retailers still needed to register their domain address. These problems encouraged marketers to find new ways to integrate digital technology into market development.

In 2007, marketing automation was developed as a response to the ever-evolving marketing climate. Marketing automation is the process by which software is used to automate conventional marketing processes. Marketing automation helped companies segment customers, launch multichannel marketing campaigns, and provide personalized information for customers, based on their specific activities. In this way, users' activity (or lack thereof) triggers a personal message that is customized to the user in their preferred platform. However, despite the benefits of marketing automation many companies are struggling to adapt it to their everyday uses correctly.

Digital marketing became more sophisticated in the 2000s and the 2010s when the proliferation of devices capable of accessing digital media led to sudden growth. Statistics produced in 2012 and 2013 showed that digital marketing was still growing. With the development of social media in the 2000s, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, consumers became highly dependent on digital electronics in their daily lives. Therefore, they expected a seamless user experience across different channels for searching product information. The change in customer behavior improved the diversification of marketing technology.

The term "Digital Marketing" was coined in the 1990s. Digital marketing was formally known as and referred to as 'online marketing', 'Internet Marketing', or 'web marketing'. Worldwide digital marketing has become the most commonly used term and has taken off in the Business industry, especially after the year 2013. However, in other countries like Italy, digital marketing is still known as web marketing.

New Non-Linear Marketing Approach
Nonlinear marketing, a type of interactive marketing, is a long-term marketing approach that builds on businesses collecting information about an Internet user's online activities and trying to be visible in multiple areas.

Unlike traditional marketing techniques, which involve direct, one-way messaging to consumers (via print, television, and radio advertising), nonlinear digital marketing strategies are centered on reaching prospective customers across multiple online channels.

Combined with higher consumer knowledge and the demand for more sophisticated consumer offerings, this change has forced many businesses to rethink their outreach strategy and adopt or incorporate omnichannel, nonlinear marketing techniques to maintain sufficient brand exposure, engagement, and reach.

Nonlinear marketing strategies involve efforts to adapt the advertising to different platforms and to tailor the advertising to different individual buyers rather than a large coherent audience.

Tactics may include:

Some studies indicate that consumer responses to traditional marketing approaches are becoming less predictable for businesses. According to a 2018 study, nearly 90% of online consumers in the United States researched products and brands online before visiting the store or making a purchase. 

The Global Web Index estimated that in 2018, a little more than 50% of consumers researched products on social media.

Businesses often rely on individuals portraying their products positively on social media. They may adapt their marketing strategy to target people with large social media followings to generate such comments. In this manner, businesses can use consumers to advertise their products or services, decreasing the cost for the company.

Brand Awareness
One of the key objectives of modern digital marketing is to raise brand awareness, the extent to which customers and the general public are familiar with and recognize a particular brand.

Enhancing brand awareness is important in digital marketing, and marketing in general, because of its impact on brand perception and consumer decision-making. According to the 2015 essay, "Impact of Brand on Consumer Behavior".

Brand awareness, as one of the fundamental dimensions of brand equity, is often considered to be a prerequisite of a consumer's buying decision, as it represents the main factor for including a brand in the consideration set. Brand awareness can also influence consumers' perceived risk assessment and their confidence in the purchase decision, due to familiarity with the brand and its characteristics.

Online methods used to build brand awareness
Digital Marketing strategies may include the use of one or more channels and techniques (omnichannel) to increase brand awareness among consumers. Building brand awareness may involve such methods/tools as;

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization techniques may be used to improve the visibility of business websites and brand-related content for common industry-related search queries. The importance of SEO to increase brand awareness is said to correlate with the growing influence of search results and search features like featured snippets, knowledge panels, and local SEO on consumer behavior.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): SEM, also known as PPC advertising, involves the purchase of ad space in prominent, visible positions atop search results pages and websites. Search ads have been shown to have a positive impact on brand recognition, awareness, and conversions.

33% of searchers who click on paid ads do so because they directly respond to their particular search query.

Social Media Marketing: Social Media Marketing has the characteristics of being in the marketing state and interacting with consumers all the time, emphasizing content and interaction skills. The marketing process needs to be monitored, analyzed, summarized, and managed in real-time, and the marketing target needs to be adjusted according to real-time feedback from the market and consumers. 70% of marketers list increasing brand awareness as their number one goal for marketing on social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are listed as the top platforms currently used by social media marketing teams. As of 2021, LinkedIn has been added as one of the most-used social media platforms by business leaders for its professional networking capabilities.

Content Marketing: 56% of marketers believe personalization content - brand-centered Blogs, articles, social updates, videos, and landing pages - improves brand recall and engagement.

Benefits of Digital Marketing
Some of the benefits of Digital Marketing include;

Ineffective Forms of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing activity is still growing across the world according to the headline Global Marketing Index. A study published in September 2018, found that global outlays on digital marketing tactics are approaching $100 billion. Digital media continues to rapidly grow. While the marketing budgets are expanding, traditional media is declining. Digital media helps brands reach consumers to engage with their products or services in a personalized way. Five areas, which are outlined as current industry practices that are often ineffective are;

  1. Prioritizing Clicks
  2. Balancing Search and Display
  3. Understanding Mobiles
  4. Targeting, Viewability, Brand Safety, and Invalid Traffic
  5. Cross-Platform Measurement

Why these practices are ineffective and some ways around making these aspects effective are discussed surrounding the following points.

Prioritizing Clicks: Prioritizing clicks refers to display click ads, although advantageous by being simple, fast, and inexpensive rates for display ads in 2016 were only 0.10 percent in the United States. This means one in a thousand click ads is relevant therefore having little effect. This displays that marketing companies should not just use click ads to evaluate the effectiveness of display advertisements.

Balancing Search and Display: While search ads often get the credit for driving sales, display ads play a crucial supporting role. Display ads build brand awareness, making people more familiar with your company and products. This familiarity increases the chances they'll click on your search ads when they encounter them later. Additionally, display ads boast a wider reach compared to search ads, allowing you to connect with a larger audience. However, don't just send them to your homepage after clicking display ads. Create a dedicated landing page that keeps them engaged and interested in learning more. In conclusion, consider search and display ads as partners, working together to achieve better overall marketing results.

Understanding Mobiles: Understanding mobile devices is a significant aspect of digital marketing because smartphones and tablets are now responsible for 64% of the time US consumers are online. Apps provide a big opportunity as well as a challenge for marketers because firstly the app needs to be downloaded and second the person needs to use it. This may be difficult as 'half time spent on smartphone apps occurs on the individuals single most used app, and almost 85% of their time on the top four rated apps'. 

Mobile advertising can assist in achieving a variety of commercial objectives and it is effective due to taking over the entire screen, and voice or status is likely to be considered highly. However, the message must not be seen or thought of as intrusive. Disadvantages of digital media used on mobile devices also include limited creative capabilities and reach. Although there are many positive aspects including the user's entitlement to select product information, digital media creates a flexible message platform and there is potential for direct selling.

Cross-Platform Measurement: The number of marketing channels continues to expand, as measurement practices are growing in complexity. A cross-platform view must be used to unify audience measurement and media planning. Market researchers need to understand how the Omni-Channel affects consumer behavior, although when advertisements are on the consumer's device this does not get measured. Significant aspects of cross-platform measurement involve deduplication and understanding that you have reached an incremental level with another platform, rather than delivering more impressions against people that have previously been reached. An example is ESPN and comScore partnered on Project Blueprint discovering the sports broadcaster achieved a 21% increase in unduplicated daily reach thanks to digital advertising. Yet television advertising is not directly competing with online digital advertising due to being able to cross platforms with digital technology. Radio also gains power through cross-platforms, in online streaming content. Television and radio continue to persuade and affect the audience, across multiple platforms.

Targeting, viewability, brand safety, and invalid traffic: Targeting, viewability, brand safety, and invalid traffic all are aspects used by marketers to help advocate digital advertising. Cookies are a form of digital advertising, which are tracking tools within desktop devices, causing difficulty, with shortcomings including deletion by web browsers, the inability to sort between multiple users of a device, inaccurate estimates for unique visitors, overstating reach, understanding frequency, problems with ad servers, which cannot distinguish between when cookies have been deleted and when consumers have not previously been exposed to an ad. 

Due to the inaccuracies influenced by cookies, demographics in the target market are low and vary. Another element, which is affected by digital marketing is 'viewability' or whether the ad was seen by the consumer. Many ads are not seen by a consumer and may never reach the right demographic segment. Brand safety is another issue of whether or not the ad was produced in the context of being unethical or having offensive content. Recognizing fraud when an ad is exposed is another challenge marketers face. This relates to invalid traffic as premium sites are more effective at detecting fraudulent traffic, although non-premium sites are more so the problem.

Author: Mikhail
Digital Marketing