Why is digital marketing so important?
This is the question I get asked in a round about way almost every time I pick up the phone and prospect for a potential client. Because it is not only a rapidly growing force in the current marketing playing field, it is the future of marketing, and digital media is beginning to replace more traditional forms altogether.
Well quite simply because you can actually refine how you target, get instant feedback from data received as soon as someone interacts with your business or brand on a digital platform which then enables you to create evolving campaigns which deliver tangible relatable results which convert into paying customers, this is very difficult to achieve with the more traditional types of print media advertising.
With digital we can tell who is looking at your advert, what time of the day, where on the globe they viewed it, how long they viewed it, how they came to your website, at what point did they decide to make a purchase, enquiry or navigate away from your site.
While older generations will no doubt lament the demise of paper-based media such as newspapers, books, communication methods and traditional TV and radio broadcasts, those who have grown up with the internet and mobile phones as a God-given right are already embracing the brave new world of digital consumption.
The facts are that digital methods of communication and marketing are faster, more accurate, versatile, practical and streamlined, so it is perhaps unsurprising that those companies who have adopted it as the main focus for their marketing spend just so happen to be the most successful businesses.
The good news is that digital offers just as much potential to marketers as it does to consumers in that consumers are presented with what they are actually searching to purchase at the click of a button or the tap of a finger. And businesses/marketers get to instantly interact with these clicks and taps to be able to better understand a brands equity position, understand the direct actions of their competition and how it affects their customer visitation and we are just merely scratching the surface here.
Digital marketing provides the window into the behaviour of customers globally and instantly as tools such as Google Analytics allow us to analyse data in real time, this availability of information is incredibly valuable as it helps a business to refine its route to market and maximise its profit margins.
It is safe to say that if you are in business today and certainly a new business, if you are not in digital then you are not in business.
Where does Digital Marketing Start?
First and foremost you will need a website whether it be to sell products online as an e-commerce store, or to provide information, provide subscriptions for services or to showcase your service. However the internet is like an ocean filled with ships trying to find land and your business is that land and the lighthouse that guides them safely to that land is your digital marketing. Point being that if you do not have a great digital marketing campaign running then your customers will not make it to you.
Let’s take a quick look of some of the key forms of Digital Marketing being used today
Websites and SEO content
Internet banner ads
Online video content
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
Mobile marketing (SMS, MMS, etc.)
So, why digital marketing?
First of all, digital marketing is infinitely more affordable than traditional offline marketing methods. An email or social media campaign, for example, can transmit a marketing message to consumers for a fraction of the cost of a TV ad or print campaign, and will reach a wider audience which you can also obtain data from.
As mentioned earlier on one of the key benefits of marketing digitally is the ease with which results can be tracked and monitored. Rather than contracting and expensive customer research company to analyse and report back on their findings which by the time the findings are reported the information is now old, you can quickly view customer response rates and measure the success of your marketing campaign in real-time, enabling you to plan more effectively for the future.
Perhaps the strongest case for incorporating a digital element into your marketing is that digital media forms are quickly overtaking traditional forms of information consumption. According to the Office for National Statistics, over 82% of UK adults went online in the first three months of this year: that’s over 40 million individuals.
The bottom line is, the digital age is here, and those businesses that fail to adapt to this marketing climate are at great risk of falling by the wayside sooner rather than later.