Fundamentals of Digital Marketing – Step-by-step basic guide

Step by step guide to Digital Marketing

What is Digital Marketing?

The Definition: Digital marketing is a component of marketing that utilizes the power of internet and online based digital technologies such as desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services to accomplish their goals.

To put it simple, digital marketing is using digital channels such as websites and social media as tools for marketing communication. If you’re already using social media like Facebook, Instagram – you will be well versed with the advertisements that pop up in your stream—that’s digital marketing.

🙂 2 popular stories – I often tell everyone while discussing about Traditional Marketing & Digital Marketing:

  1. Understand your target marketing: Once upon a time, a shoe company sent two salesmen to a distant island to determine the market potential for their products. After some time, both the salesmen completed their basic survey of the target market but only one salesman returned back to the office. The 1st salesman who returned back reported that – “No one here wears any shoes, therefore there is no market for us here!”. On the contrary the 2nd salesman excitedly messaged that  “No one here wears any shoes, thus there is a huge market for us, send inventory fast!”

    The point of the story is that in order to sell something, you need to first have a good understanding of the product or service you’re trying to sell as well as your targeted market. The 2nd salesman had the positive attitude of deeply evaluating the targeted market and understand the customer – identify the needs of the underserved customer and define the value proposition. It’s all about how you know your product, understand your target audience and figure out how you / your service / your product can add value to the customer’s life. Like traditional marketing, these fundamental concepts are required for a digital marketeer before getting started with the job. Digital Marketeers use various tools for market analysis, competitor analysis etc. They are available online with free as well as paid options.

  2. Usage of the right tactics: One evening, while getting off from a local train in a Kolkata’s sub-urban railway station I heard a man shouting in Bengali (local language of Kolkata) “খাবে আর মরবে” (Eat and Die) 🙄 Since it was highly crowded, at first without looking at him, I wondered why will someone eat poison and commit suicide and in-fact considered that person to be suffering from mental disorder. As the crowd dispersed, I got a sight of the person and found hime to be a salesman trying to sell Rodenticides and his tagline ‘eat and die’ in Bengali was meant for rats & mouse (not humans 😝).

    Being a regular traveler, I noticed him almost on a daily basis shouting the same words whenever passengers would get off the train. And many people would quickly stop and grab a few packs before walking away. The point of the story is that in order to sell something i.e, online or offline, first you need to understand & shortlist the platform which works the best for your product / service and secondly but most importantly – the content of your marketing pitch.

    The Rodenticide salesman knew that his tagline would create curiosity and attract people’s attention towards him and thus he continued with it. His sales pitch explained who his customers are, the problems they’re facing and solution towards that problem. Even if some one didn’t buy his product on Day 1, his tagline was powerful enough to have a lasting effect on them. Thus increased his chances of getting a potential customer if not today – but may be in a couple of days.

Digital Marketing is an art of mixing the right technologies with accurate data analysis & quality value adding marketing content.

How does Digital Marketing work?

In today’s world, It’s not enough for a business to just product a perfect product and set a reasonable price for it. Choosing & Executing the right marketing plan can decide upon the success or failure of the business.

On the other hand, customers have lots of options at their disposal and that’s where they look for additional value before finalizing upon something. They want to feel appreciated while communicating with a brand, they would seek for valuable hands-on experience, and also rely on true experts who can understand and listen to them. Providing value to customers requires detailed attention in addition to having a killer product.

With current business trends leaning majorly on digital marketing, it is quite apparent that traditional marketing is quickly losing its traction among business owners.

Digital marketing continues to introduce new and exciting technologies, while traditional methods are slowly fading in the background. Big brands are still allocating a major chunk of their marketing budget towards traditional marketing, especially when they have established a huge offline audience.

However, for many small businesses – especially the startup world trying to make a mark on a tight budget, digital marketing can prove to be a saving grace with fewer risk, faster implementation process, great and most importantly measurable rewards.

Categories of Digital Marketing

The 2 main pillars of digital marketing are online marketing and offline marketing. That said, I’m planning about explaining each of them in a separate detailed post. I’ll only mention the different areas of online marketing here, for the sake of completeness.

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  2. Search engine marketing (SEM)
  3. Content marketing
  4. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
  5. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  6. Email marketing
  7. Affiliate marketing

Is traditional marketing failing? Will it stop completely?

Before we get down to the conclusion, let’s understand a bit about traditional marketing. 

Traditional marketing term referred to the conventional way of reaching out to a semi-targeted audience through various offline advertising and promotional methods. Traditional marketing involves flyers, outdoor billboards, telemarketing, letters, direct mailers through postcards, brochures, print marketing materials through magazines and newspapers, broadcast communication through radio and television, and of-course word to mouth marketing & referral marketing.

Over many years, traditional marketing has had a proven high success rate with its ability to reach out to places where internet connection had lesser penetration. The influence of the printed word still lives up to expectations. In this date too, Print is often viewed by consumers as more trustworthy and credible.

Traditional Advertising if created and executed well, can produce great results and generate more sales. However, despite the fact that traditional marketing is still effective, technology in today’s world has dramatically evolved.

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You might have noticed that big brands like BMW, Apple etc still love to occupy the billboard spaces outside posh areas like airports, shopping malls, because they believe that their targeted customers are frequently visiting these places in comparison to local railway stations or bus stands.

Unfortunately, for Traditional Marketing, it’s hard to bring down almost everything in number i.e., How many times the Ads are being viewed or which Ad helped you make the final sale. On the other hand Digital Marketing efforts are highly measurable and can be analyzed on a real-time basis with utmost details like user demographics, device details, geo target etc.

Hope this guide expanded your view a bit and showed you that digital marketing is more than Facebook ads and social media blasts. Stay tuned!

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