“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”.
This definition emphasizes the focus of marketing on the customer while at the same time implying a need to link to other business operations to achieve this profitability. Yet, it’s a weak definition in relation to digital marketing since it doesn’t emphasize communications which are so important to digital marketing. In Digital Marketing Excellence my co-author, PR Smith and I note that digital marketing can be used to support these aims as follows:
- Identifying – the Internet can be used for marketing research to find out customers’ needs and wants
- Anticipating – the Internet provides an additional channel by which customers can access information and make purchases – evaluating this demand is key to governing resource allocation.
- Satisfying – a key success factor in digital marketing is achieving customer satisfaction through the digital channel, which raises issues such as: is the site easy to use, does it perform adequately, what is the standard of associated customer service and how are physical products dispatched?
What are categories of digital marketing?
The big categories of digital marketing are:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the activity of optimizing web pages or whole sites in order to make them search engine friendly, thus getting higher positions in search results. This tutorial explains simple SEO techniques to improve the visibility of your web pages for different search engines, especially for Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance pay per click (PPC) listings.
- Content marketing Content marketing means attracting and transforming prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. The purpose of content marketing is to help companies create sustainable brand loyalty and provide valuable information to consumers, as well as create the willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing usually does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience
- Social Media Marketing (SMM) Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. Although the terms e-marketing and digital marketing are still dominant in academia, social media marketing is becoming more popular for both practitioners and researchers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public. On a strategic level, social media marketing includes the management of a marketing campaign, governance, setting the scope (e.g. more active or passive use) and the establishment of a firm’s desired social media “culture” and “tone.”
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) Pay-per-click is commonly associated with first-tier search engines (such as Google AdWords and Microsoft Bing Ads). With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. In contrast, content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. PPC “display” advertisements, also known as “banner” ads, are shown on web sites with related content that have agreed to show ads and are typically not pay-per-click advertising. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have also adopted pay-per-click as one of their advertising models.
- Email marketing. Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Marketing emails can be sent to a purchased lead list or a current customer database. The term usually refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads.