Digital Marketing, What It Is Today And Why It Is The Key To Business Growth

It is not enough to develop websites or manage social channels. The true meaning of digital marketing lies in the joint use of all available online tools, in the omnichannel approach, in new technologies, and the analysis of customer data. Digital transformation is above all organizational: this is how the CMO can orient the company to the customer and obtain successful results

Even today, for many marketing managers and entrepreneurs, Digital Marketing, or Web marketing, simply means managing the company’s website or Facebook page. It is a simplistic and outdated view. 

Without necessarily having the most sophisticated marketing platforms available on the market, every company can reap many advantages from Digital Marketing, which is essential to growing, because the purchase paths (customer journeys) are now for the most part on the Internet, and this happens in every market, consumer or business-to-business (B2B). Marketing the digital age has become a fundamental piece for digital transformation, the main tool for increasing online sales and also in the store, as well as for increasing brand awareness. It is important to clarify what it is

What Is Digital Marketing And Why It Is Important

In the academic world and among professionals, digital marketing is called in many ways: Internet marketing, e-marketing, web marketing, modern marketing. Dave Chaffey, an author of the book “Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice” and other best sellers on the subject, provides this simple definition: ” Digital Marketing allows you to achieve marketing objectives through the use of technologies and digital media “. How to do it concretely? We have to manage the company’s online presence through various online channels, or websites, mobile app and social media, and use of online communication techniques such as positioning on the search engines of your social media marketing,  The digital advertising (or online advertising, Internet advertising), e-mail marketing and partnerships with other sites. The goal is to acquire new customers and provide better services to existing ones, expanding and strengthening relationships, through CRM (customer relationship management) and marketing automation.

However, for digital marketing to be successful, it is necessary to integrate these online activities with those carried out on more traditional media, such as print media, TV, direct mail, with a view to multichannel communication. We speak of multichannel marketing.

Digital marketing has the advantage of allowing the measurement of each activity. In creating a marketing plan, however, it is necessary to establish what is useful to measure, that is, to define the Marketing KPIs, without getting lost in the sea of ​​data, and to implement improvement actions by constantly monitoring the results achieved.

However, they must not be overwhelmed by technology and numbers: the compass must always point to its customers and their problems and therefore present adequate solutions.

As can be seen, digital marketing is today a complex activity, strongly linked to technological evolution. 

Also Read : Digital Marketing Forecasts And Trends For 2021

The 5 Pillars To Do Digital Marketing

Ultimately, digital marketing consists of creating effective and trusting relationships between consumers and companies, not only to reach and convince them but also to listen and learn and from them, responding to comments and requests. This happens in different ways, which can be summarized in 5 key elements:

1 Digital device. To interact, users use smartphones, tablets, PCs, TVs, to access websites and apps

2 Digital platform. Most interactions take place via a browser or an app that reaches proprietary websites and the most popular platforms and services, such as Facebook and Instagram, Google and Youtube, Twitter, and Linkedin.

3 Digital media. You can use different channels, company or paid, to reach and engage customers, with advertising, e-mails and messages, search engines, and social media.

4 Digital Data. Collecting and analyzing data is fundamental because Marketing to be successful must necessarily be data-driven, that is, guided by the evidence that emerges by interpreting the data. This is a complex activity, also due to the need to comply with data protection regulations, and in particular the GDPR, the regulation in force in Europe. The so-called customer insights, information on users, help to create personalized communications in line with needs. For this crucial activity, the technologies for the DMP (Data Management Platform) come to help, more and more used. The collection and analysis of data when it is in high volumes is also called Big Data Analysis.

5 Digital Technology. The last and fundamental piece is that of marketing technologies ( martech ) that facilitate the creation of interactive experiences of sites and apps, and help segment audiences, create targeted campaigns, and increase conversion rates. 

The Objectives Of Digital Marketing: Customer Experience And CRM

As you can see, this is a 360-degree approach, which aims to improve the customer experience and develop relationships in a multi-channel context, thus going beyond the mere promotion of products and services.

It is important, before starting a strategy, to carry out an analysis of the reference context and market trends, using marketing intelligence tools.

In this context, the role of technological platforms (marketing technologies, or martech technologies ) is crucial, but the organizational approach is even more so. We need to break the silos that divide traditional marketing from digital, manage online channels as a support to the entire sales cycle, from pre-sales to customer service, working together for a common goal. Naturally, new skills are needed: many companies are facing this step with important change management projects aimed at creating a digital mindset in people that represents new humus on which to graft modern marketing.

The 4 Phases Of Digital Marketing

Briefly, four fundamental phases can be identified that correspond to as many objectives of the digital marketing specialists.

  • React: reaching potential customers, with an acquisition strategy aimed at creating awareness online and offline and driving traffic to the company’s web channels. The techniques used in this area include SEO (Search Engine Optimization), online advertising, Public Relations, social media marketing.
  • Act: Take action towards prospects targeting conversion.
  • Convert: transforming prospects into customers, i.e. achieving marketing objectives in terms of lead generation and sales, and increasing online and offline sales. These two phases are linked and require the analysis of the customer journey, content marketing and lead nurturing activities, the use of marketing automation technologies, and techniques for optimizing landing page conversion rates. Defining the Marketing KPIs, or the metrics for measuring performance is fundamental. Numerous tools are used to monitor sites and eCommerce (i.e. for Web Analytics), many of them free.
  • Engage: create a close relationship with customers, create loyalty (retention), create a fan base, and stimulate repetitive purchases. At this stage, it is important to have developed a Customer Onboarding solution.

The Chief Marketing Officer Is Responsible For The Growth

In recent years, the role of the CMO has assumed an increasing weight among the C-Levels. Experts and analysts agree that the marketing manager has the most effective levers in hand to bring business success in the company, and with him emerging professionals such as the Social Media Manager and the Data Scientist. 

This is also supported by an article published by the Wall Street Journal signed by Deloitte Consulting, which indicates, in particular, that there are two factors of greatest importance to set up a successful growth strategy: the collection of customer data and the collaboration between different business functions.

It appears that the companies with the highest growth performance are those that have extensively deployed strategies to extract, analyze and govern customer data, with data-driven marketing. CMOS helps shape the data architecture and allow optimization of segmentation, targeting, personalization, and agility

The insight about customers not only serves to make marketing decisions but affects more strategic business decisions, increasing the role of marketers in companies. The CMOS, and with them the digital marketing specialists, thus have the task of making the voice of customers heard throughout the company, and of creating connective tissue between the different business units to make the organization truly customer-centric, a concept that is certainly not new but that few succeed. really to materialize.

A New Figure: The Marketing Technologist

Today it is impossible to think of Marketing without technology. Over time, the importance of a new hybrid figure has emerged, the Marketing Technologist,  able to take on the growing complexity of managing the points of contact between customers and companies, in a world where technology has become an integral part of the experience. , and it is no longer in its own right as in the past.

 It must be remembered that technology must be a point of arrival, and not a starting point,  but that today it requires organizations to govern their budgets and technological choices: given that today access to solutions is potentially open to all business areas, it is necessary to coordinate to avoid duplication.

The figure of the marketing technologist must be able to facilitate and enable the achievement of the promise of technology for marketing, which is to ” realize contextually relevant experiences, value, and usefulness, at the most appropriate moment in the customer’s life cycle, through the preferred point of contact ”(Forrester Research). A promise is impossible to achieve without technology and equally impossible to achieve with technology alone.

That of the Marketing Technologies manager is therefore a transversal role, involved in processes that, in line with the evolution of the business, must mix skills that were previously divided into different departments.

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