Digital marketing is the marketing of the product and services over the digital channels by using digital technology to aquire, retain, satisfy customers, to increase brand awareness, customer loyalty and sales.
Digital marketing uses not only internet marketing but also all other communication channels which do not require and internet connectivity, such as short message service (SMS), multimedia message service (MMS), electonic and interactive billboards.
Some types of digital marketing are social media marketing (SMM), content marketing, E-mail, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, short messaging service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS), display advertising, digital video marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), blogs, influentia l marketing, affiliate marketing.
Social media marketing is used to communicate or promote products and services and also to enhance customer relations by using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Youtube. It might be a post, an advertisement on social media and also even a tweet. For instance, by writing a website’s URL in a tweet will increase the inbound traffic of the corresponding web site.
Content marketing provides a relevant and valuable content for the customers. As an example, blog posts, videos, white papers, articles, ebooks can be given.
E-Mail marketing is mostly used as a digital marketing channel for reaching the customers directly via electronic mail. It is fast, cheap and easy for the marketers to reach to their customers. Additionally, companies send out newsletters, which are relevant for the customer. Email newsletters are a cost effective way of reaching the customers.
Email personalization is a way for sending targeted message to the customer and by this means creating more engaging email experiences to the customers. An example would be Amazon.com. The company sends personalized emails suggesting products similar to your last search items. This email is a strong example of how to use a contact’s search behaviour to re-engage them with the company.
Ledford defined that SEO is used to increase the search engine ranking by customizing elements such as keywords in the web site. This process increases the visibility of a web site in the results of search engine, including Google, Yandex, Yahoo, Bing etc., as free of charge. The keywords and phrases, which are included in the content of the web sites, are used to increase the visibility and they should be selected wisely to implement a successful SEO. The page which is ranked higher than the others, would have more chance to be visited.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is used to increase the visibility of the web sites on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) through SEO. SEM includes both paid search results and organic search results, which is SEO.
Mobile marketing reachs customers through their mobile devices including mobile phones, tablets, applications. The increase in the usage of mobile devices encourage the companies to use mobile marketing. Mobile marketing categories are SMS and MMS marketing, mobile applications based marketing, in-game mobile marketing, location based services, quick response (QR), push notifications.
Display advertising, or banner advertising, is displaying the advertisements on web sites, mobile applications, social media by using banners, texts, images, logos, videos, audios, or gifs.
Affiliate marketing is a referral marketing model, which is a cost effective solution and decreases online marketing costs. Basically, web sites pay commissions to the other web pages, which sends traffic to them.
The Process of Digital Marketing Management
Philip Kotler explained the process of marketing management; “marketing activity is to analyze market opportunities that arise, studying and choosing target markets, developing marketing strategies, marketing programs, organisation, implementation and control of marketing efforts”. Zait (2009) defined the steps of the process:
- Define market opportunities
- Identify target markets
- Develop marketing strategies
- Develop marketing plan/programs
- Implement and control marketing
In the first step the marketing objectives of the organisation should be set by considering organisation’s goals and missions. Then marketing opportunies needs to be analyzed by considering the organisation’s resources. These marketing opportunities are the gaps in the market, such as not fulfilled customer needs and wants. The company conducts effective market research which provides needs and wants of the customer, information about the competitors, and market trends.
This information helps to define the target markets, investigate them and select by using segmentation. For the target market, marketing strategies is developed. Segmentation, targeting and positioning are used to define a marketing strategy. After creating marketing strategy, a suitable marketing mix decisions are taken and marketing plan is created. At the end, marketing plan is implemented and controlled.
Ajayi indicated that the first thing to develop a digital marketing plan in the digital marketing strategy is to know the current situation of the company. Companies should perform SWOT analysis to know theit strenghts, weaknesses, threats and opportunities. Then the company should set objectives as in the section process of marketing management. After analysing the market, the company should set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Timely) goals to develop their digital marketing plan.
Afterwards the company uses digital targeting to create digital marketing strategy. Personalization and selecting target market segments are quite important in digital marketing. Company must express clearly the offers, which are presented over digital channels to the customers, in this strategy. Marketing mix should be reviewed for digital channels. Then the strategy is implemented and controlled by measuring the effectiveness.
Digital marketing tools are categorized into analytics, SEO, PPC, social media tools, e- mail marketing, push notification, digital surveys tools, content marketing, affiliate marketing, A/B testing, e-commerce, marketing cloud, cookies, webinars, online PR, inbound marketing, blogs, e-newsletters, SMS, MMS, online videos etc. Examples of some of them are provided in Table: