Data-driven analytics, the social media, the Internet of Things or IoT, AI or artificial intelligence, and so many other tech and digital words now dominate different industries across the world. And the new rule is that you have to innovate or perish.
Welcome to the digital age where everything is measurable in a more accurate way. Gone were the days when a newspaper’s success, for instance, is defined by “pass-on” readership.
The digitalization of media has changed the landscape where now “clicks,” “likes” “shares” and other definitive measurements of engagements dominate different industries.
Indeed, in a manner of speaking, the digital age, while making things more efficient and measurable on one hand, has also caused disruptions – birth pains, if you will, as traditional companies struggle with learning curves to stay competitive.
In the marketing sphere, this only means competition has become tougher; the rules of engagement have changed and so is the battlefield.
Why is this so? Marketing is about connectivity. Connecting your product or services to your clients or customer base. In so doing, you have to be where they are – which is the Internet.
And how do you go there? Experts define digital marketing as a business discipline that encompasses all efforts to promote products and/or services through electronic device or the Internet.
And so you have “digital channels” such as search engines, social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, even Twitter and of course, the email as well as websites to connect with current and prospective customers.
Back in the day, marketing simply entailed posting mimeographed printouts on walls and doors; leave your number and voila, you’re there.
Then came traditional media – TV and prints ads as well as radio airtime.
Times have changed and have opened the door to electronic marketing which paved the way for infinite possibilities for brands to reach a particular target market.
Because your market is somewhere out there surfing the net, checking out one website after another, you’d be far off setting up your own. This especially considering the shift behaviour of more and more consumers toward online transactions.
And so, as gurus say, to stay engaged with your market, you will have to embrace digital marketing because not only does it allow you to stay in the game, it gives opportunities to actually better understand market sentiments and transform your products or services accordingly to the demand.
Whereas before, companies had to rely on surveys to get a pulse of the market, these days, it’s the social media platforms, including blogs, which have become the norm, and the so-called “digital tactics” where you use tools like the analytics to know whether your advertising campaign is making sense.
So, are you there yet?
To start with, here is a quick rundown of what’s available in the digital world and which of them have you been utilizing thus far.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or that process of optimizing your website so that it appears on the first pages of search engines like Google.
- Content marketing, or as the term implies, entails write-ups and articles to be posted on social media to generate brand awareness, and which comes in the form of blogs, e-books and infographics, which is a form of communication that helps readers get the picture in their minds quite faster than reading lengthy materials.
- Social media marketing through channels to drive traffic. These channels are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, among others.
- Online public relations campaign which is very much similar to traditional PR but one that is done on social media platforms like engagements on Facebook or Twitter. Online reviews always hit the spot especially when to communicate and join in the comment thread. In short, responding to those who reading your content works best because doing so results to productive conversation.
And don’t worry. It’s not at all a cumbersome exercise in futility. Instead, it’s all full of fun; an ongoing learning experience that keeps your mind, with all its creativity and vivid imagination, working on your next moves.
So, are you there yet? If not, there’s still time to catch up.