Digital marketing is becoming a hot topic in every business sector, and gradually plays a truly important role in any company’s multi-channel marketing strategy. It uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to consumers. It includes email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, many types of display advertising (including web banner advertising), and mobile advertising. The top three digital marketing channels businesses use are social media marketing (81%), a website (78%), and email marketing (69%).
Other potential participants include advertising agencies that help generate and place the ad copy, an ad server who technologically delivers the ad and tracks statistics, and advertising affiliates who do independent promotional work for the advertiser.
Digital marketing can deliver several benefits such as:
Offline and online work together
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you know creating an image is key to bringing in customers. That’s why online branding is vital. ComScore reports the average American spends 32 hours online every month.42% of Americans report watching TV while browsing the Internet. Having consistent messaging across different mediums reinforces your values and brand.
Offline tactics will often result in larger online results.
E-commerce is not the future…it’s the present
Forbes Magazine reports retail is down and e-commerce is up. One clear example of the power of e-commerce comes from Macy’s recent returns. Forbes reports the 154 year old retail chain saw online sales rise 40% in 2011 while same-stores sales grew just 5.3%. Maybe you’re not a billion-dollar business like Macy’s, but the numbers don’t lie. Online sales are overtaking retail sales. Safe to say e-commerce is trending upward more and more each year. It’s not too late to jump onboard the e-commerce train.
Online marketing is cost-effective with measurable results
A full or even half-page ad in a local paper could still run you thousands of dollars and may not reach your target audience. This technique has now become obsolete. Web analytics tools allow you to track meaningful metrics and offer you the opportunity to make informed business decisions on data and not just assumptions. Based on data, one can determine the actual ROI of the online campaigns. If these are not meeting expectations then the data provides the rationale to terminate the campaign.
Online business never sleeps
The Internet has no “business” hours. It’s open all the time. That gives you the ability to promote, to engage and, most importantly, to sell around the clock. As mentioned above, traditional media advertising (like newspaper and television) may cast a wide net but is limited in scope. Online marketing is also a time and money saver in other ways.