What is Digital Marketing? Definition and Meaning

Digital marketing refers to the marketing of goods and services using digital technologies, which today occurs mainly on the Internet, but not exclusively. Digital marketing grew significantly after the advent of the Internet. Today, most marketing professionals use technology to promote their companies, goods, services, and brands.

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Digital marketing media may include adverts and promotional material sent via the Internet, smartphones, tablets, electronic billboards, and social media. The term also includes sending promotional messages and videos using screens in train stations, bus stations, stores, lobby areas, and waiting rooms, i.e., places where people stand still for a while or in line.

According to BusinessDictionary.com, digital marketing means:

The promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. For example, advertising mediums that might be used as part of the digital marketing strategy of a business could include promotional efforts made via the Internet, social media, mobile phones and electronic billboards.”

Online marketing

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The term online marketing has virtually the same meaning as digital marketing. In a Market Business News article about online marketing, we wrote:

It comprises a significantly wider range of marketing elements than pre-Internet marketing approaches. This is because there are so many marketing mechanisms and extra channels available online.”

The term online means connected to the Internet. It has the opposite meaning of offline.

Commercial online channels

We refer to websites that broadcast or push requested content to subscribers as online channels. Typical channels offer information, entertainment, shopping, and email services to their customers.

With online channels, unlike, for example,  via radio or TV, a company can measure the impact of its strategies or campaigns. It is also possible to determine how visitors arrived there and how they behave online.

Digital marketing professionals can determine which channels were best at converting visitors into customers, i.e., which ones have the best conversion rates. Before the Internet, this was virtually impossible.

Main advantages of digital marketing

  • Cost – companies can reach lots of people much more cheaply than they could if they use traditional marketing approaches.
  • Geotargetingit is possible to target customers, prospects, and consumers according to where they live. A prospect is somebody or a company that a business believes could turn into a customer.
  • Many options – there are numerous advertising tools, such as PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, local search integration, social media platforms, and email marketing.
  • Metrics (analytics) – marketers can gather vast quantities of statistical data without extra costs.

Digital marketing professionals

We refer to digital marketing professionals as digital marketers. Their qualifications, knowledge, and skills go significantly beyond traditional marketing strategies and tools. They are in charge of, for example, building brand awareness and generating leads using digital channels.

According to the Digital Marketing Institute:

“The digital marketer must also use measurable analytics to identify weaknesses and find ways to improve performance across these channels. In this role, you can be responsible for all aspects of a company’s digital strategy or just focus on one.”

“Smaller companies tend to have one general specialist or manager while corporations can spread the responsibilities around to an entire team or even across several different departments.”

Internet Marketing

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Internet marketing is nearly the same as digital marketing, but does not include closed network ads in, for example, waiting rooms. As the name implies, Internet marketing only applies to marketing campaigns done via the Internet.

As most of digital marketing activities today occur online, most of the time the two terms are identical (but not always).

Video – What is Marketing?

All the strategies described in this article come under the umbrella term Marketing. Watch this Market Business News video to learn more about this vast field.