Digital Marketing – Connecting the Misplaced Dots in the Digital Space
The moment you check into www.internetlivestats.com you will instantly see the number in 10-digits and it is counting 3,638,868,350. As per the researched reports today more than 40% of the world population has internet connection. The first billion was reached in 2005, the second billion in 2010 and the third in 2014, and the fourth is expected to be in 2017.
As per www.statista.com the total mobile users worldwide projected to touch 4.77 billion in 2017 and expected to touch the 5.00 billion in next two years time. In 2016 as per one estimate 62.9 percent of the population worldwide owned a mobile phone. China is leading the pack approximately with 1.5 billion and India crossing the milestone of 1.0 billion, Asian continent continues to dominate the mobile owners worldwide.
The purpose of stating these vital stats is to depict the fact that the world has fundamentally moved from a physical space to a digital space, people are spending more time in the virtual world and doing more of their daily activities to defining things to deciding their engagement in the digital space. In marketing terms consumers have moved from the offline engagement to online engagement. This very movement is a paradigm shift.
And it is just the beginning…logically businesses have started to move into the space where there consumers have headed. At this stage there is a transition from the offline to the online medium of operation but there is also a rapid blurring of boundaries between both these mediums and it is breaking the age-old conventions of the “touch and feel” of product to a “face to face” connect for making the sale and growing the business. Today, it is not anymore more about the basic rules and tweaking the rules but it is about operating from a totally new space where the ground itself has changed; forget about changing the ground rules. Inevitably, a new set of rules have to be applied to the new ground for that it is imperative we need to get down and understand the ground realities in the virtual space.
The first thing that is needed for all of us whether we produce a product or service or for that matter when we use or consume those product or services, is to wholeheartedly accept and acclimatize with the new space. The “digital space” that has come to stay and stay for long and long enough for us not to visualize far ahead in time and see the next change or trend that may change the course of our engagement with the digital space. There will be that next change but there is time. It is time to focus on the space we are in. Marketing is such a vital cog in the success of any business model and in any sphere and marketing needn’t be looked in an abstract perspective or subject to such negative connotations by talking and selling our products.
Given the context how the world has moved into the digital space and how fast the people are moving into that new virtual space and ability to embrace the change, it was quite natural to have the marriage of two promising candidates of “Digital” and “Marketing”.
Such has been the buzz around this marriage of Digital Marketing; the web has been flooded with their news and loaded views of what this marriage promises… Click To Tweet
The moment you type the phrase “Digital Marketing” in www.google.com, in a fraction of second the result is out and it states 9,27,00,000.
In a simple term the definition of “Digital Marketing” is about how to market in the new digital space using the digital technologies, the tools, and the techniques to get the maximum outputs using minimum resources.
Before digital could connect with marketing, marketing has been there for ages and doing its prescribed job and the job of connecting our ideas, our concepts, our products and services to prospects to customers to consumers. The fundamental to any business is to reach out to our prospects to sell our products or services and make money and create value for the stakeholders. It all boils down to how well we are able to market our product and services. In essence connect and communicate with our target audience. In the rapidly changing landscape we can market ourselves well depends very much on how well we are able to creatively engineer the use of digital space.
“Digital Marketing” the umbrella term and universal usage gets routinely mixed and interchanged between different phrases like “Digital Strategy” to “Inbound Marketing” to “Content Marketing” to “Online Marketing” to “Mobile Marketing” to “Data Driven Marketing” to “Digital Marketing Strategy” to “E-Mail Marketing” “Video Marketing” to “Inbound Marketing’ to “Outbound Marketing” and so on…
There are different ways to look at the term and there are always a better way to interpret the definition and present it. We can largely divide the digital space to have a fresh look and provide a new outlook of how we can a have better understanding of the phrase “Digital Marketing”.
Firstly, for simplification we can broadly put the application of this phrase into two distinct spaces of operation in the digital world one on the computer and the other on the mobile.
Secondly, deducing from the users the usage pattern and the behavioral aspects of using, we need to know how many of these users have the access to web through their devices of computer or mobile.
Thirdly, the amount and type of traffic that is coming and what all they are using the webpage for and how frequently they are using and for what purpose; are these for information or entertainment or commerce?
This is exactly are the set of questions that the Digital Marketing is constantly striving to fathom and figure out so as to set the right framework to succeed and sustain the momentum of success. In essence Digital Marketing as a framework guides us where to reach out to our potential customers and which are the best digital mediums to use the available marketing budget to obtain the best possible result. The marketing dimension of “Lead Management”…
Here are one set of most commonly used three-letter tools and techniques that we combine to define our digital marketing strategy.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SSM)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
The web is an ultimate ocean and everything that goes, goes somewhere or everywhere but nowhere to be found, and here is where search engines like Google or Bing has come to our rescue by providing the magic wand of searching anything that has entered the web space. To do that we have to search the web using certain combination of words, this is technically termed as the “Keyword”. For instance the phrase “Digital Marketing” is a keyword.
We can do so organically that is without any spending of money is by using our creating content and connecting with our own contacts to attract to our website or webpage. We can do so inorganically that is with spending money i.e. paid search using Pay Per Click (PPC) which shows on the top or on the side of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). The technique of SEO tells us the constantly evolving ways and means to get our webpage obtain the optimum result in attracting traffic.
The technique of SSM tells us about the constantly emerging methods to get our webpage obtain the best possible result in attracting traffic through paid search like Google Adwords. There are these new social branches in the web space in terms of Social Medias like Facebook to YouTube to Twitter to LinkedIn to Instagram to Pinterest to WhatsApp. These medias have created millions of users as their community and as and when we become part of that community we have an access to reach out and present our offerings.
In all such community, we have limited access to start with and we can build on it with our own efforts, consistency of engagement and then we can always pay the media and reach out a large audience in the community through designing and deploying our campaign through advertisement provisions like Facebook Adv to Twitter Adv to YouTube Adv just to mention a few available on payment terms in each of these social media that encompasses SMM.
There is another aspect of the digital space we need to know so as to put our digital marketing in proper perspective.
- Own Media
- Earned Media
- Paid Media
Own Media is the digital media that we own which is free of cost or has a very negligible maintenance cost in owning, it needs our investment of time and that includes the website, the blog page, the mobile app. Primarily own media is about content marketing and digital asset owned by us.
Earned Media is the referrals or recognition we get from our connection with the social media through our freshly generated content or engaging through exchange of thoughts with other members in the community. These are the likes, the pins, the shares, the tweets, powerful references to positive reviews that we earn. These are user-generated content or shared by users.
Paid Media the term is self-explanatory and it is the media space we buy through payment and we can do so using options of PPC in Google Adwords to many such similar options. These are display or broadcasting advertising.
There is an increase trend towards the convergence of these three types of media and work is in progress to provide a unified outlook to the fragmented space, resulting in a magical emergence of a wonderful mosaic of digital media.
Similarly, we need to know the significance of mix and match of forms that are so vital to the way we present the content to connect with our audience. We need to figure out the right balance of pictures to voice to text to communicate our message much more effectively and of course more powerfully.
The combined usage of the above forms have grown with time and technology, today “infographics” to “podcasting” to “webinars” have changed the way we have used each aspects of the different tools. It is all about designing means to redefine the way for making communication more effective through the power of interactive animation.
Finally, the most important facet, where is our home to welcome our visitors or where are our windows to peep or doors to knock where the prospects and customers can come and connect with us. Here are those few digital facets where we can present our faces to the world outside of us.
We need to have our Website where we can showcase about us, our company, our business, our product and services and how we are different and why should they as customer engage with us and conduct commerce with us. This is how the move has been from the traditional place to the technology space, the web has provided this provision for anybody to buy a space and build its digital office where the customers can visit and update themselves on the happening and the offerings from the company. The website is a standalone space in the web world where we operate on our own and not in a “circle of community”.
Social Media is a community that is building the social networks, and with it’s ever expanding members in each such circle is what fueling the power of that network.
Though there so many different communities that emerged out of common interest or solving an analogous problem or tackling a correlated situation or engaging on particular idea.
Blogging is one such powerful idea.
Webpages like Facebook (help people the power to share and make the world more open and connected) to Twitter (help people the power to create and share ideas instantly and without barriers) to Pinterest (help people to discover their love, and inspire them to do things in their daily lives) are more such ideas.
These are large communities to showcase our idea just by creating our Facebook page to Twitter handle to Pinterest pinboard which then allow us to accelerate our connection with other members of the community and expand our market place.
We can now have E-Books to E-brochure to E-Leaflets, all in different downloadable formats to Whitepapers to Case Studies. The prospect or the customer can come and check out the digital repository and choose what to read and when to read. There is immense choice and immediate convenience.
The basic difference between the marketing on the digital platform vs. the marketing that we have done on the traditional places is the “level of engagement” and “degree of analysis” of data on “REAL-time basis” so as to quickly change and correct our course and content to communicate better and broaden our connect with our target audience. We have the real-time monitor in our hand like Google Analytics to tell us who are visiting, how frequently and from which all places and what all they are reading and what all they are sharing with others members in their micro community. We are able to fathom their interest and figure out our strategy.
This “insightful information” cannot be deciphered from the traditional platforms where the company has the corporate brochure and has a set of product leaflets or services handouts to share with the prospects to invite their interest. We cannot read what they have read in the print materials but in case of digital content we can read their mind by knowing what they have read, and it shows us a pattern and a trend where to focus and where we should be shifting our locus for segmenting, targeting and positioning our offerings.
We can send mailers to their e-mail known as E-Mail Marketing to we can message to their mobiles known as Mobile Marketing. It is about collecting and organize the e-mails and mobile numbers of our potential and existing customers. We need to be in regular communication and instantly getting connected; it is the attention of the prospects eye and then the retention of our customer’s mind that matters here.
Digital Marketing is making that “impossible possible” through smart reading of the user’s mind and scientific mapping different patterns for concise messaging and precise monitoring of the results of our marketing goals. We are able to do so with the help of scientifically designed and developed technology tools and techniques those are now readily available to us.
We are just realizing the power of marketing in the digital space, it is indeed empowering…the dawn of a new reality, digital is becoming the de facto reality.