Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.
Digital marketing’s development since the 1990s and 2000s has changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing. As digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life, and as people use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops, digital marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent and efficient.
The 5Ds of digital marketing
To understand the importance of digital marketing to the future of marketing in any business, it’s helpful to think about what audience interactions we need to understand and manage. Digital marketing today is about many more types of audience interaction than website or email… It involves managing and harnessing these ‘5Ds of Digital’ that I have defined in the introduction to the latest update to my Digital Marketing: Strategy, Planning and Implementation book. The 5Ds for which we need to assess consumer adoption of when and how our business can prioritize their use are:
- Digital devices – our audiences interact with businesses using smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, TVs and gaming devices
- Digital platforms – most interactions on these devices are through a browser or apps from the major platforms or services, that’s Facebook (and Instagram), Google (and YouTube), Twitter and LinkedIn •
- Digital media – different paid, owned and earned communications channels for reaching and engaging audiences including advertising, email and messaging, search engines and social networks
- Digital data – the insight businesses collect about their audience profiles and their interactions with businesses, which now needs to be protected by law in most countries
- Digital technology – the marketing technology or martech stack that businesses use to create interactive experiences from websites and mobile apps to in-store kiosks and email campaigns.
Why digital marketing is important?
Digital media is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. Gone are the days when the messages people got about your products or services came from you and consisted of only what you wanted them to know. Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well. And they are more likely to believe them than you. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and relevant, and offers tailored to their needs and preferences.
Challenges facing digital marketers
Proliferation of digital channels. Consumers use multiple digital channels and a variety of devices that use different protocols, specifications and interfaces – and they interact with those devices in different ways and for different purposes.
Intensifying competition. Digital channels are relatively cheap, compared with traditional media, making them within reach of practically every business of every size. As a result, it’s becoming a lot harder to capture consumers’ attention.
Exploding data volumes. Consumers leave behind a huge trail of data in digital channels. It’s extremely difficult to get a handle on all that data, as well as find the right data within exploding data volumes that can help you make the right decisions.