Digital marketing is a term used to cover a range of online marketing efforts organisations undertake to build customer relationships, increase profits and build brand awareness. Digital marketing can consist of owned, paid and earned media. These can include social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing, affiliate marketing, PR, viral marketing even websites.
Digital marketing has emerged over the past decade at a rapid speed, evolving into a form of marketing organisations must quickly adapt to or be left behind. With constant innovation in technology, the effectiveness, possibilities and results organisations can achieve by implementing effective digital marketing strategies are endless. If organisations do not have a digital marketing strategy in place in a world that lives to stay connected, they run the huge risk of being forgotten.
Angela Ahrendts CEO of fashion brand Burberry touches on just how crucial e-marketing has become and why organisations that want to survive in modern times must make the change if they haven’t already (Chaffey & Smith, 2013).
“We have a vision – to be the first fashion company that is fully digital end-to-end. The experience is that the customer will have total access to Burberry across any device, anywhere, but they will get exactly the same feeling of the brand, feeling of the culture, regardless of where, when and how they [are] accessing [it].
To any CEO who is sceptical today about social enterprise, you have to be totally connected with everyone who touches your brand. If you don’t do that, I don’t know what your business model is in five years”.
Why is e-marketing better than traditional marketing techniques? Well really the list goes on…
E-marketing provides organisations with a much higher return on investment (ROI) then traditional marketing techniques. For example, rather than paying to promote your business in traditional media such as newspaper ads which only reach your local demographic and can’t be measured, digital marketing allows you to push your advertising on a much wider scale and target the correct audience. It is more cost effective than traditional media as there is less wasted reach. You can see the results your campaigns are delivering in real-time, allowing you to identify both your strengths and weaknesses as a business.
Cost effective & Easy
The ease of managing your web traffic makes digital marketing a highly efficient form of marketing. Organisations can now use the information they gather to effectively target the markets who are specifically interested in what they are offering, i.e. their target market. This results in less wasted reach and wasted dollars, resulting in more cost effective spend for the organisation.
One of the most efficient and effective trends of digital marketing that has really emerged over the past few years is viral marketing. Effective viral marketing campaigns by an organisation can be extremely cost effective as it has the ability to organically reach millions and millions of eye-balls. Shares, Likes, Comments are all a factor of viral marketing and build great brand awareness. An example of viral marketing is the Pepsi Cola uncle Drew promotion.
Pepsi Cola Uncle Drew
The Digital Marketing Mix
The digital marketing mix put simply is the adaption of price, product, place and promotion to the context of digital marketing. By Implementing the digital marketing mix successfully organisations can build successful customer relationships (CRM) and increase profits.
The dollar amount a consumer pays for a product. This P in the digital marketing environment can be a little troublesome. It’s great for the consumer but not so great for suppliers. The reason for this? As an organisation you are competing on an international level and not just domestically.
Basically this is the product. What is on offer?
Where about is the product on offer? Where is the product distributed? When it comes to digital marketing the answer is anywhere!
What method of communication is being used to serve information on the product being offered? This includes social media, SEO, SEM, email marketing and many more.
Effective Forms of E-marketing
The amount of time people now spend online has trebled in the past decade and almost 70 percent of adults now feel comfortable giving away personal information online (Anderson, 2015). To an organisation this is priceless. The way people shop and buy products has changed. It’s crucial organisations understand this when developing new digital marketing campaigns. Marketing is about connecting with your audience at the correct time and place. What better way to do this then to meet consumers where they are already spending most of their time… online! (Alexander, 2016).
All forms of e-marketing incorporate a digital strategy, these strategies help organisations to zero in on possible business opportunities, goals and visions.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
People now search for everything online, from entertainment to products and services and even product reviews. SEM for organisations is key to effective and efficient customer acquisition and is arguably the most important e-marketing technique to implement. A big part of SEM is pay-per click advertising (PPC) like Google AdWords. These are the ads potential customers see at the top of their search engine results when searching for particular key words related to your business or product. A huge advantage of SEM is businesses can set daily budgets and the ads are free to run, you only pay when consumers click on your advertisement. By implementing an SEM strategy as part of your digital marketing strategy you as a business have greater opportunity to increase profits and generate new customers (Chaffey & Smith, 2013).
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO was one of the first and is still one of the most effective types of digital marketing. Basically SEO optimises your website ranks through the use of specific key words and links you have created online. It has the ability to increase the amount of organic (free) traffic your website receives. For example, SEO ranks your organisation in a higher position when your customers perform a Google search. The higher you rank the better your results i.e. the first page. No one ever goes to the second page…
Email marketing is often used by organisations to direct consumers to their website. Email marketing is a great way for organisations to communicate and stay in touch with their audience. Emails can offer discounts and specials, promote upcoming events and even showcase unique content. Email marketing is also a cheap and effective form of keeping your customers interested.
Social Media Marketing
With the modern world currently relying on smartphones and staying connected, social media marketing is an outstanding way for organisations to generate exposure and stay connected with their customers. Social media marketing involves anything you might do to promote your organisation on social channels like Facebook and Twitter to Snapchat, Instagram and LinkedIn. Basically if you’re connecting with any of your customers socially its’ social media marketing (Amy, 2016).
The above examples are only a small dent in the world of e-marketing strategies. E-marketing can also consist of other marketing techniques like influencer marketing, viral marketing, affiliate marketing, content marketing, public relations (PR), native advertising & many more.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in the Digital World
Organisations have the ability to create a competitive advantage by developing an effective integrated CRM system that adds value to their customer. If successful it can enhance customer experiences, help organisations listen to the customers and collect useful data. CRM can bring the customer closer to the organisation, so the organisation can service a customer’s needs better than ever before.
E-marketing has pushed the boundaries of CRM in the most successful ways by allowing consumers to connect directly with organisations and also organisations with their consumers. Consumers no longer are required to travel and go in store to solve a problem or ask a simple question. It’s now as easy as communicating through online advertisements, social media pages, emails and a collection of other digital means.
With this constant innovation within the digital world, organisations can create deeper customer relationships in turn increasing customer value and and strengthen the likelihood of repeat purchases and customer maintenance (Chaffey & Smith, 2013).