Digital Marketing is one of the most misunderstood aspects of a modern business, and is often incorrectly used by people who are not entirely sure what they need to do with it, nor interpret the results of it.Digital Marketing is, in the eyes of many, quite baffling, but if you don't get it right, you can do your business serious harm.
In 2015, Worldwide e-commerce sales reached approximately $1.5 trillion; with current trends, that is expected to reach $4 trillion by 2020, and is expected to continue to rise steadily. That means that more people are spending time online, and are using it as a means of deciding on a purchase. The Internet has now become the biggest source of product information and is regarded as the go-to tool for most businesses, and a company that doesn't employ Digital Marketing is likely to be overtaken by its competitors.
Taken in the simplest of meanings, Digital Marketing is just the promotion of brands and products using solely electronic media. That could include online catalogues, email shots, text messages, electronic billboards, television channels, radio and even mobile Apps. It is that way that digital marketing is fundamentally different from a traditional marketing campaign, in as much as it doesn't use printed media nor simply rely on returning customers.Traditional marketing methods using printed media such as trade magazines and newspapers, press days, and direct mail suffer from a number of issues, including;
- They are slow and require detailed planning
- They may not target specific customers,
- Their effectiveness cannot be gauged for many month, or even years.
- They are generally expensive.
- They require specialist knowledge
Digital Marketing is especially useful for Small to Medium Enterprises (SME's) in particularIt requires little in terms of hardware, and with just a little practice, it is possible for even the smallest company to make a large impression on the internet using tools such as Google analytics, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to announce new products and services, or simply to keep your customers up to date with what is happening in your business.
There are now many more tools that you can use, such as Whatsapp, Tumblr, and Chartbeat that help you connect and assess how well your message is getting across. By examining the hits that you are getting to your site and media streams, you can adjust your message accordingly and tweak it to hit exactly the market you want.
Digital Marketing is fast and doesn't need months of planning to put into operation as with traditional marketing methods, and costs a fraction of a physical campaign. Its effectiveness can be gauged quickly and changes made as necessary in real time, making it highly flexible. With a growing internet presence, Digital Marketing cuts businesses down to size, and helps SME's compete with larger rivals on equal terms.
In subsequent posts, I'll expatiate further about the most recent trends in Digital Marketing, and some practical tips business owners can beneficially adopt.
Looking forward to your comments and altercations!