What is Digital Marketing?
- August 17, 2016
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Digital Marketing
The world of business is heavily reliant on marketing, as it is of the utmost importance for your product or service to become well known to potential customers in order to see a return on the investment that you have made. Below we will take a look at the importance of marketing, the careers that can be attained in this field and what the benefits are in pursuing a career as a Marketer or Digital Marketer.
What is marketing?
Definition of marketing
Marketing is defined as the process of managing the identification, anticipation and satisfaction of customer requirements in a profitable manner.
It differs from selling in that considers the entire business process when creating and satisfying the needs of the customer, whereas selling concerns itself with the tools and techniques that are used to persuade the customer to exchange their money for a product.
Marketing can be divided into two categories:
- B2B (Business to Business)
Business to Business marketing concerns itself with providing a product or service to another company. A good example of this is industrial materials used to build large-sized machines, materials used in the manufacture textiles or services like recruitment and tax consultancy. This kind of marketing usually involves individuals with specialist knowledge in the field of the service or product that is being offered.
- B2C (Business to Consumer)
Business to Consumer marketing involves products and services that are sold directly to the customer by your organisation. These products and services are usually used by the customer for personal use in their homes or personal belongings such as vehicles or food that is consumed by the customer themselves. This may include drinks or toiletries such as shampoo and deodorant. These are often referred to as Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).
In order market effectively, a marketing strategy is needed. This process starts with setting objectives that fall in line with the overall needs and goals of your organisation. This will involve research into the development of products and services, the methods that will be used to distribute that service or product and how you will communicate your product or service to potential customers.
It is also necessary to bring across to the consumer why your product differs uniquely from those of your competitors. Marketing mix involves offering the right product in the right place, at the right time and at the right price.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is the promotion of a product or service by means of a range of electronic media. Digital marketing differs from the more traditional methods of marketing in that it can analyse and measure marketing campaigns in real time with the use of an array of channels that include email, social media, digital displays or mobile technologies.
As the digital age quickens, marketing has followed suit and now provides us with convenience, information, communication and interaction in a way that traditional marketing cannot provide. Customers are able to buy products that are delivered to their doorstep and are able to make informed decisions before committing to one product over another.
The importance of digital marketing lies in the fact that consumers have access to not only products and services, but any information that they may need in an instant. This information no longer has a single source (the company), but may come from a source that is not directly linked to your organisation, such as the media or previous clients.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
In order for your company’s website to appear as high as possible on the list of results that are displayed by search engines such as Google or Bing, you need to optimise your content according to the search algorithm that is used by that particular search engine. Keywords are an important part of this process since a search engine will return results related to those keywords when they are searched for.
The title of a specific page will also cause a search engine to return results that are the most relevant to the searched term. Therefore, it is important to relate your page title to the product or service that you are offering.
Linking between web pages is seen by the search engine as a recommendation from one page to the other. This equates to useful information being passed between the two. The more trustworthy the information on your site is, the more pages will link to that information, ensuring that your page fetches a higher rank in search results.
Sites with a constant flow of engaging and fresh content will do well in search rankings as they build a good reputation. Ensure that your site has only relevant content and information that potential customers will find useful to increase your ranking on search engines.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
Pay Per Click is an internet advertising model where advertisers pay their host for each time that a potential customer clicks on their ad. This is achieved by providing an affiliated site with a financial incentive in the form of a percentage of revenue. The affiliated site will have your advertisement displayed on their site and they will receive a pre-agreed amount every time someone clicks on your advert. This will direct them to your website where they will not only see the product that they clicked on, but can browse through your site at leisure.
Digital display marketing
Digital display marketing is an advert that is placed next to content on websites, instant messaging applications, email programs and other digital platforms. When implementing digital display marketing, you will be able to track the number of people that have potentially seen your advertisement, the number of clicks that the advert has received, the site from where they were directed and the items that they clicked on while browsing your site. This is a push marketing technique, where people see your ad, even if they did not want to but it can help enhance online presence, increase brand awareness and promote new products or services that you have on offer.
Email can be a powerful marketing tool if it is used correctly. It can not only be used to introduce potential customers to your products, but ensures that you stay in touch with current and past clients. This can have a very positive effect on the trust that is built between your organisation and your customers and can help build brand awareness.
Email marketing can also be used to inform customers of special offers, new products and price changes as well as sending adverts, providing after sales care or requesting repeat business.
Social media marketing
It is possible to use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to market your products and services online. This will allow you to reach a very wide audience and build a solid awareness of your brand. Consumers are able to interact with companies directly and in real time and puts you in a position where you are able to reach entire online communities.
Social media marketing can follow a passive approach, where potential customers click on your page or advert without being prompted by you to do so. Many companies employ this method as it does not take up a lot of their time and there is no need to drive customers towards your product. This is a great strategy when you have an established brand and customer base.
There is also an active approach to social media marketing. This will usually involve having an advertisement displayed for a certain period of time and the audience that will engage with your ad or page will be targeted customers. Although this may not have a long lasting effect, it could very easily drive a large number of people to take an interest in what you have to offer in a short space of time.
This is a marketing media which can reach a massive amount of prospective customers as most people today carry a mobile device with them at most times. It is an inexpensive and effective way to reach customers with targeted marketing materials. Mobile marketing can involve sending SMS messages detailing your products and services or sending MMS messages that give you the opportunity to add an audio and visual aspect to your campaign.
Digital marketing career prospects
Just as with traditional marketing, the field of digital marketing is incredibly diverse as far as career options are concerned.
Starting a digital marketing career
A career in digital marketing can be incredibly rewarding and lucrative. It does, however take a lot of dedication and willingness to learn to be successful. It is a field where driven, self-managing individuals thrive in a very competitive environment. Technical skills are a must-have, as you will need to use the most current technologies and online platforms to display what you have on offer.
Candidates should be comfortable in dealing with people, as you will often have direct contact with existing and prospective customers and this needs to be done in a friendly and inviting manner. The more comfortable your client is with your demeanour, the more likely they are to spend their time engaging with you.
Keep up with evolving marketing trends and practices to ensure that your marketing strategy doesn’t come across as dated and stale. Read blogs and articles related to digital marketing from excellent resources like the Moz Blog and learn from them when implementing your own strategies and campaigns.
Follow the industry
Attend industry exhibitions and events. This will not only keep you updated, but will present you with opportunities to network with other professionals in the industry. This is a great opportunity to learn more about your chosen profession.
Gain a certification. It is no secret that individuals with a certification on their CV will be more likely to be employed by a company than someone that isn’t certified. This saves the organisation time and money on training and you will be able to fulfil your role in the company almost immediately.
Leading digital marketing certification
If you are looking to gain a certification in digital marketing, consider the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing that is a course offering from DMI. This course covers every aspect of digital marketing, ensuring that, upon completion of the course, you will be ready to start a career as a Digital Marketer.
There are 9 modules to study during the course covering subjects that include an introduction to digital marketing, social media marketing, web analytics, strategy and planning, search engine optimisation and more. It is a qualification that is widely regarded as the industry-leading certification in digital marketing and will thoroughly prepare even entry-level candidates for a career in digital marketing.
DMI (The Digital Marketing Institute)
DMI (The Digital Marketing Institute) provides certifications that are considered to be the benchmark in the area of digital marketing. Utilising collaborations with digital marketing experts from around the world in developing their qualifications, DMI ensures that the content that is contained within their courses is not only of a superior quality, but current and relevant.
The DMI syllabuses are regularly reviewed by the Syllabus Advisory Council which is made up of individuals from world-leading digital companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Twitter. DMI also offers the Digital Marketing Diagnostic Tool that can be used to compare your digital marketing skills to those of your peers in the digital marketing industry.
The benefits of a career as a digital marketer can be many, providing that you dedicate yourself to the industry and realise that you will reap the benefits of the amount of effort and passion that you have put in. If you enjoy interacting with other people, have a proactive mindset and have a good set of technical skills, you can look forward to a long and rewarding career as a Digital Marketer.