What is Digital Marketing

Whenever we attend conferences or networking events to meet new people, they’ll likely act as if they know what our job is about right up until we begin asking about their digital marketing strategy. In this day in age, it’s difficult to avoid the term “digital marketing”, much less, “digital media”. We are surrounded by it, often unaware of how much it influences and affects our decisions. We know it involves the internet and hosts of other social media outlets, terms, and software to make it run effectively, but what does it involve and why is it so important?

According to SAS Institute Inc., digital media is so pervasive in nature that consumers have access to information any time and in any place they want it. People no longer hear or find information based on the advertisements that you personally tailor to make them believe what you want them to believe. Media is everywhere in many open forms and the consumers don’t just see what your company has to say about the brand but what friends, family, and peers are saying. They listen to people they trust and if that’s the case, why wouldn’t the company want to foster and encourage that trust?

This is where most businesses miss the mark. Oh sure, they’re more than willing to make that connection with their client or customer, but are they willing to make the investment? They believe throwing a website into the strange stratosphere, they know as the World Wide Web, will make them relevant and trustworthy, even popular. But technology is moving, and so are the consumers.
It isn’t a surprise that 52% of Americans, 79% of Brazilians, and 87% of Chinese think that most online shopping sites need improvement. Out of these individuals, 83% reported they had a bad experience with social media marketing. While this would lead many to desire a change in company tactics, nearly 20% of companies said Digital marketing is very much separate from the rest of their advertising efforts and only 14% claimed to be “digital first” (Smart Insights Ltd). Digital Marketing isn’t being recognized as the important driving force behind effective revenue, and something needs to change.

That’s why the above (infographic) information is so vital for companies to know. Think about it, 10.3 Billion Google searches each month with 78% searching for products and services. For a company that values and invests in digital media strategy, it could mean a big payoff. For the companies that take heed of the 71% of the consumers purchasing from brands they follow on social media, it means greater lead generation with higher search volume to their site. And for the companies hesitating to invest in the long-term strategy, consider the 3X the amount of leads in content marketing over their traditional marketing…..with it costing 62% less overall! The choice is clear.

Go ahead and join the 28% of marketers who have reduced their budget to fund more digital marketing. Online marketing isn’t “just a fad” anymore. To avoid the shift in marketing is to sentence your company to a slow death. Marketing has changed and will continue to do so as long as technology continues their creative process. I’ll finish with a quote I heard the other day from the CEO of a prominent utility company, “If you aren’t willing to invest in your company, why would your consumers?” That struck a chord with me, not simply because I work for a company that I choose to invest in every day, but because I consistently run across decision-makers who fail to understand their consumers and where they’re at. We are past the point of standing on a highway with a sign. Traffic is moving and we’ve got to be there with them at every turn. Digital Marketing is marketing in today’s world and companies need to begin doing their part to meet the expectation of the audience.

By Abigail Israel