What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing engages with target customers based on electronic devices, such as computers, PCs, smartphones, mobile phones and tablets.Digital Marketing leverages applications, technologies and platforms such as websites, email, apps, and social networks. Many organizations combine traditional and digital marketing measures. The article gives an overview of digital marketing with history, definition, mode of action, strategies.

Digital Marketing Measures

“Digital Marketing” combines many different instruments and methods with digital technologies.The discipline as cross-sectional functions between digital technology and marketing application requires relevant insights, procedures and methods from both worlds: digital and classic marketing for optimal use. In digital marketing, concepts such as blog, content and social media marketing can be combined, see figure.

Demarcation from online marketing

Digital marketing is often referred to as “online marketing” in Germany.

Social media marketing is a part of digital marketing. In German, synonyms such as online marketing, social media marketing and affiliate marketing are common. However, the term “digital marketing” is already established in language usage worldwide.

Marketing Change

Digitization is a driver for changes in marketing.The following matrix describes the marketing development from product-oriented marketing 1.0 to consumer-oriented marketing 2.0 and relationship-oriented marketing 3.0 up to current marketing 4.0.

  1. Marketing 1.0 refers to the origin and core competency of the marketing that lies on the product.

This is what the marketing activities are geared towards, so that the market is at the centre (from about the 1950s onwards).

  • With Marketing 2.0, the focus shifts to the consumer.
  • Companies are positioning themselves in isolation from each other because the consumer becomes more self-confident. This consumer marketing is still the core of marketing in the broad part of the industry (from about the 1970s onwards).

  • With Marketing 3.0, the focus is on people.
  • Customer management with human-centered focus characterizes marketing (from about the 1980s).

  • Marketing 4.0 describes a phase of marketing from around the 2010s onwards, which focuses on digitalization and, following Philip Kotler, on the focus of human centrisation.
  • The core of Marketing 4.0 is derived from the trend of Industry 4.0, which is marked by the progress of digitalization.

    Read more in the article: Marketing 4.0: Marketing in the Digital Age.

    Spending on digital marketing

    Investment in digital marketing is increasing: in 2017, investments in digital advertising in Europe amounted to around 48 billion euros.By comparison, ten years earlier it was only EUR 9.3 billion. The following statistics show the level of expenditure on digital advertising in Europe between 2006 and 2017.

    Digital Marketing: How it work and goals

    With Digital Marketing, companies pursue the goal of attracting new customers.

    Online advertising and interactive digital touchpoints attract the attention of the interested party. Through differentiation and strategic positioning, the company builds trust and commitment online. Through social media marketing, digital networking with the interested party takes place.High-quality content in content marketing is disseminated on demand with inbound marketingto gain lead, see the following figure.

    Digital Marketing Strategy for Business

    Gartner’s “Digital Marketing Transit Map” infographic shows companies differentiated strategies for digital marketing.

    The silos of the departments are networked by holistic processes. The regions on the Gartner network correspond to the functional departments in the company.

    The lines show the common goals and connect the departments.Stops are interaction points with categories for platform and point-by-point solutions. Where the “lines” intersect, there are “interchange stations” where the solutions can benefit several business areas. An interactive version of the network is available on Gartner’s website.Read more about this in the article about strategies for digital marketing.

    Digital Marketing: Ten Strategy Approaches

    Components of digital marketing include the following strategic approaches.

    1. Segmentation:in digital marketing, the focus is on segmentation.
    2. Omni-Channel Management: With Social CRM, customer communication is designed across channels in real-time communication.
    3. Content Marketing: SEO-oriented and customer-centric topics are provided online by companies to attract new customers.
    4. Cross-media communication: Push and pull technologies can be combined, e.g. when an email campaign contains a banner or link to a download content.
    5. Influencer Marketing: Identifying influencers is an important concept in digital targeting in order to reach them through targeted measures.
    6. Online Behavioural Advertising: the company collects information about the user’s online activities in order to adapt the advertisements to the interests.
    7. Collaborative Environment: A collaborative environment between the Internet user and the organization can optimize effort by sharing resources for recyclability and communication, e.g. self-service communities .
    8. Data-driven advertising: Users generate a lot of data on their digital path of customer journey. Brands can use this data in a sales-oriented manner.
    9. Remarketing: enables marketers to target ads when the customer has searched for specific products on a website.
    10. Gaming: Branded products such as cars can integrate games and increase their value as a game status symbol.

    Digital Marketing Benefits for Businesses

    Digital marketing enables companies to improve their online performance.

    The focus is on your own website.

    Success factors for digital brand management

    Brand management has changed massively in the digital age: the brand needs a digital identity, cf.

    German Institute for Marketing:

    1. Create diversity: Consistent brand messages in all channels, but with on- and offline communication adapted to the medium.
    2. Drivinginnovation: An online year lasts three months, a social media year only one month.

    Those who are not constantly innovative and use new communication formats lose reach and relevance.

  • Tolerating mistakes:Those who send out digital messages should buy a thicker coat.
  • Communication disorders and misunderstandings are immediately reported in the online world.

  • Listening: Sending messages is no longer enough.
  • No matter what style and tone the feedback on the social web has, companies have to deal with it.

  • Promoting dialogues: The so-called participation network is about interaction with users.
  • Letting go: In digital channels, brands cannot be guided with a rigid release policy.
  • Because a CEO can’t share every post or response to comments on social media and has to trust his employees.

    Read more in the free white paper Digital Marketing from Hilker Consulting.

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