( Inspired by a conversation with a Toronto SEO)
Digital marketing is a term that has been around for quite awhile but hasn’t been very well defined, encompassing things like poster advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click. Yet, this is too narrow of a meaning. What about email, RSS, voice broadcast, fax broadcast, blogging, podcasting, video streams, wireless text messaging, and immediate messaging? You get the idea.
To clearly define what digital marketing is let’s converse about what it is not. For starter, it does not include more traditional forms of marketing such as radio, TV, billboard and print because they do not present instant feedback and report. Sure, some people may respond to a call to deed from an advertisement in one of these mediums but there is no way to know the exact number of people who saw or heard it. Such facts are collected (and still then just educated guesses) long after the initial ad idea is made. Yes, convergence has made TV a bit more interactive, with devices such as TiVo-able to record watcher figures like those for Web sites, but there is still a long way to go. With digital marketing, however, we’re already there.
By its heart, digital marketing centers around the Internet, which has become both a communication vehicle and an extremely powerful marketing medium as the recent Doubleclick acquisition by Google demonstrated. The Internet can be used either to push a message to someone like email, IM, RSS, or voice broadcast, as well to pull content serving a poster ad and Pay per Click search terms. Digital advertising, therefore, can be thought of as the combination of push and pull Internet technologies to execute advertising campaigns.
Because it is digital, a reporting engine can be layered within a campaign allowing the association see in real-time how that campaign is performing, such as what is being viewed, how frequently, how long, as well as other actions such as responses rates and purchases made. Please note that each digital advertising technology is different and they cannot all give the same types of reports. Also, digital marketing is continually evolving and new technologies are individually created all of the time.
Broadband Internet, WiFi, and phone Web access are also spurring increase worldwide. A current report showed that Web usage increased 10% from last January to this January universal. Not astonishingly, billions of marketing dollars spent on traditional channels is already starting to move to digital advertising campaigns and this will carry on increasing as the Web matures. As a marketer, I am extremely eager about the future and what digital marketing will seem like in the years ahead. I mean, we immediately got to Web 2.0 consequently who knows what will be coming then? If you haven’t already started, you need to build a database of clients or potential clients and find out how they wish to be reached. You can do this through the digital advertising technologies I’ve mentioned in this article and then use these systems to advertise your products and services.