There are many articles online about the myths of digital marketing. Some argue that it doesn’t exist, others state it is a different form of marketing that should be given respect, and others argue about its effectiveness.
The truth is, all three viewpoints are accurate in some form. Digital marketing is something that shouldn’t be on its own, yet it is unique and at times can be completely ineffective. So where does that leave everyone? Exactly where they are.
Digital Marketing Is Not Unique
I will not hide from the fact I studied marketing to a post-graduate level and got good results. I understood the concept of marketing – delivering a message to a specific audience for them to act on. And that is all that marketing is; whether it is done via television, via mail or online.
Digital marketing cannot be counted as being different because, in the end, the purpose of the task is to deliver a message to a target audience and get them to respond. The list of ways that digital activities can be linked to those three essential aspects of marketing is endless.
Blog posts are there to pass on important information to those seeking it and ask them to follow you on Twitter, share your information, subscribe to your mailing list or buy a product.
Social media marketing is about passing on information to followers (and others) for them to engage with your message or take further action (i.e. visit your website).
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is about getting your content listed on Google high enough that your target audience will see its relevance and then click through to your website.
Therefore, digital marketing, while not unique – still has a fitting place within the marketing sphere.
Digital Marketing Is Unique
There is a problem, and that is technology. Television, radio and mail adverts don’t have the same interactivity as can be had on social media, blogging, websites, email, etc. Therefore, the way that target audiences interact with your marketing is different, so you cannot design or treat the methods in the same way.
Only 25% of consumers trust printed advertisements and according to research, it is even less for digital marketing materials. So you need a new approach when it comes to designing digital marketing campaigns.
Build campaigns where you can entice the audience to engage with you. The more you interact with the audience, the higher the chance they will make a purchase and in greater quantities. According to research, a vast majority of your purchases online will require at least six interactions between you and your brand.
To this end, digital marketing is unique.
Digital Marketing Is Ineffective
There are those companies that spend thousands or even millions on campaigns that aren’t effective. They don’t bring in the revenue they expected and sometimes don’t even break even. But that doesn’t mean that digital marketing isn’t effective; it's just a long-term investment that can be more cost effective.
Ineffective campaigns are there when those implementing them don’t have the tools, knowledge or strategy to devise a quality campaign. It’s like building a direct mail campaign and just posting a picture of your product with the price on it. You might get a couple of sales, but you aren’t going to get significant traction on that kind of promotion.
This is because the campaign will ignore at least one of the four 'P’s' of the marketing mix - promotion. There is no reason as to why the consumer should buy the product at the price specified. Getting this reason ‘why’ is what digital marketing is good at – delivering a ‘because’ to audiences and as research has said, people are more likely to take an action if they are given a reason why they should take a desired action.
Digital marketing is nothing new nor is it related to previous marketing channels. It requires the right skills, experience, and resources to create an effective campaign that provides information to a target audience and gets them to take action.
What are your opinions of digital marketing? What arguments to you make?
Let us know in the comments below.