Even today, for many marketing managers and entrepreneurs, digital marketing , or Web marketing, simply means managing the company’s website or Facebook page. It is a simplistic and outdated vision. Without necessarily having the most sophisticated technologies available on the market, every company can take advantage of digital marketing, which is really essential to grow, because the shopping paths (customer journeys) are now mostly on the Internet, and this it happens in every market, consumer or business-to-business (B2B) . Marketing has become a fundamental part of digital transformation, and it is important to clarify what it is.
Index of topics
What is Digital Marketing and why it is important
In the academic world and among professionals, digital marketing is called in many ways: Internet marketing, e-marketing, web marketing, modern marketing. Dave Chaffey, author of the book “Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice” and other best sellers on the subject, provides this simple definition: ” Digital Marketing allows to achieve marketing objectives through the use of digital technologies and media “. How to do it in concrete? We need to manage the online presence of the company through the different online channels, ie websites, mobile apps and social media, and use online communication techniques such as search engines, social media marketing , online advertising, e-mail marketingand partnerships with other sites. The goal is to acquire new customers and provide better services to current ones, expanding and strengthening relationships, through CRM (customer relationship management) and marketing automation . However, in order for digital marketing to be successful, it is necessary to integrate these online activities with those carried out on more traditional media, such as print media, TV, direct mail, with a view to multi-channel communication.
Digital marketing has the advantage of allowing the measurement of each activity. In creating a marketing plan, however, it is necessary to establish what it is useful to measure, without getting lost in the sea of data, and to put in place improvement actions constantly monitoring the results achieved.
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The 5 pillars for doing Digital Marketing
Digital marketing ultimately consists in creating effective relationships between consumers and companies, not only to reach and convince them but also to listen and learn from them, responding to comments and requests. This happens through different methods, summarized in 5 key elements:
1 Digital device. To interact users use smartphones, tablets, PCs, TV, to access websites and apps
2 Digital platform. Most interactions take place through a browser or an app that can be reached from the most popular platforms and services: Facebook and Instagram, Google and Youtube, Twitter and Linkedin.
3 Digital media. You can use different channels, company or payment, to reach and engage customers, with advertising, e-mail and messages, search engines and social networks.
4 Digital Data. Collecting and analyzing data is fundamental and complex, also due to the need to comply with data protection regulations, and in particular the GDPR that came into force in Europe this year. For this crucial activity, the technologies for the Data Management Platform (DMP) are increasingly being used.
5 Digital Technology . The last and fundamental piece is that of marketing technologies (martech) that facilitate the creation of interactive experiences of sites and apps, and help to segment audiences, create targeted campaigns and increase conversion rates.
The objectives of Digital Marketing: customer experience and CRM
As we can see, this is a 360-degree approach, which aims to improve customer experience and develop relationships in a multi-channel context, thus going beyond the mere promotion of products and services.
In this context, the role of technological platforms ( marketing technologies, or martech technologies ) is very important, but even more so is the organizational approach. It is necessary to break the silos that divide traditional and digital marketing, manage online channels to support the entire sales cycle, from pre-sales to customer support, working together for a common goal. Naturally new skills are needed: many companies are facing this step with important change management projects aimed at creating a digital mindset in people that represents a new humus on which to engage modern marketing.
The 4 stages of Digital Marketing
Synthetically we can identify four fundamental phases that correspond to the same objectives of the digital marketing specialists.
React : reach out to potential customers, with an acquisition strategy aimed at creating online and off-line awareness and channeling to the company’s web channels. A