Digital marketing is marketing that makes use of electronic devices (computers) such as personal computers, smartphones, cellphones, tablets and game consoles to engage with stakeholders. Digital marketing applies technologies or platforms such as websites, e-mail, apps (classic and mobile) and social networks. Digital Marketing can be through Non-internet channels like TV, Radio, SMS, etc or through Internet channels like Social Media, E-mails ads, Banner ads, etc. Social Media Marketing is a component of digital marketing. Many organizations use a combination of traditional and digital marketing channels; however, digital marketing is becoming more popular with marketers as it allows them to track their Return on Investment (ROI) more accurately compared to other traditional marketing channels.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, Digital Marketing is the use of digital channels to promote or market products and services to consumers and businesses.
The term ‘digital marketing’ was first used in the 1990s. In the 2000s and the 2010s, digital marketing became more sophisticated as an effective way to create a relationship with the consumer that has depth and relevance.
The rapid evolution of digital media has created new opportunities and avenues for advertising and marketing. Fueled by the proliferation of devices to access digital media, this has led to the exponential growth of digital advertising.
In 2012 and 2013 statistics showed digital marketing remained a growing field.
Digital media growth is estimated at 4.5 trillion online ads served annually with digital media spend at 48% growth in 2010. An increasing portion of advertising stems from businesses employing Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) to tailor advertising for Internet users. Though an innovative resource, OBA raises concern with regards to consumer privacy and data protection. Such implications are important considerations for responsible communications. Digital marketing is often referred to as ‘online marketing’, ‘internet marketing’ or ‘web marketing’. The term ‘digital marketing’ has grown in popularity over time, particularly in certain countries. In the USA ‘online marketing’ is still prevalent, in Italy is referred as ‘web marketing’ but in the UK and worldwide, ‘digital marketing’ has become the most common term, especially after the year 2013.
Some of the latest developments include:
1. Segmentation: more focus has been placed on segmentation within digital marketing, in order to target specific markets in both business to business and business to consumer sectors.
2. Influencer marketing: Important nodes are identified within related communities, known as influencers. This is becoming an important concept in digital targeting. It is possible to reach influencers via paid advertising, such as Facebook Advertising or Google Adwords campaigns, or through sophisticated sCRM (social customer relationship management) software, such as SAP C4C, Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce CRM. Many universities now focus, at Masters level, on engagement strategies for influencers.
To summarize, Pull digital marketing is characterized by consumers actively seeking marketing content while Push digital marketing occurs when marketers send messages without that content being actively sought by the recipients.
3. Online Behavioural Advertising: Online Behavioural Advertos refers to the practice of collecting information about a user’s online activity over time, “on a particular device and across different, unrelated websites, in order to deliver advertisements tailored to that user’s interests and preferences.
4. Collaborative Environment: A collaborative environment can be set up between the organization, the technology service provider,and the digital agencies to optimize effort, resource sharing, re-usability and communications.
Push and pull message technologies can be used in conjunction. For example, an email campaign can include a banner ad or link to a content download.
The ICC Code has integrated rules that apply to marketing communications using digital interactive media throughout the guidelines. There is also an entirely updated section dealing with issues specific to digital interactive media techniques and platforms. Code self-regulation on use of digital interactive media includes:
• Clear and transparent mechanisms to enable consumers to choose not to have their data collected for advertising or marketing purposes;
• Clear indication that a social network site is commercial and is under the control or influence of a marketer;
• Limits are set so that marketers communicate directly only when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the consumer has an interest in what is being offered;
• Respect for the rules and standards of acceptable commercial behaviour in social networks and the posting of marketing messages only when the forum or site has clearly indicated its willingness to receive them;
• Special attention and protection for children.