Digital marketing is all about selling products and services through channels such as social media, SEO, email, and mobile apps. Basically, digital marketing is any form of marketing involving electronic devices.
It can be done both online and offline, and, in fact, both types are important for a complete digital marketing strategy.
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Why Digital Marketing Matters
When I was a kid in California, my experiences from the back seat of our car mostly alternated between “Mom, when are we here?” And “Uh, look, McDonald’s, can go?” whenever one of those 10ft billboards popped up on side of the road.
Growing up with Indian parents, the answer to both would be, for the most part, the same: “not yet.”
Sometimes the big brands even started a poster war, like this one between Audi and BMW, which got a lot of laughs.
In 2015, many of my clients were still spending hundreds of millions of dollars on billboard advertising.
Unfortunately or fortunately, billboard advertising is almost dead.
Think of it this way: Google and Facebook generate more revenue than any traditional media company because of the control of more eyeballs. This is why digital marketing is important; that’s where the attention is.
The reason billboards like the ones above are going to die because the future of driving will look like this:
Although self-driving cars already exist, drivers still need to be careful; in the future, as technology improves, not a single passenger will spend their time looking at the road.
Do me a favor; the next time you’re driving and taking a friend out, take a look at the passenger seat.
Even now, they’re probably looking at their phones.
If no one is looking at the road anymore, who is supposed to see these signs?
In addition, the proportion of people who spend more time using electronic devices continues to increase, while print advertising continues to decline.
This means that you don’t have a lot of time to sort out this digital marketing problem before you can shut down your old-fashioned printing press and shut down the store.
Online Digital Marketing Summary
The two main pillars of digital marketing are online marketing and offline marketing. Having said that, since I will be discussing online marketing in a separate guide, I will only mention the different areas of online marketing here for the sake of completeness.
- The seven main categories of online marketing are:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Affiliate Marketing
Unbounce has created a great infographic that sums up all types of online marketing in one graphic.
The History Of Digital Marketing
Although it was first popularized as a term in the early 2000s, digital marketing has been around much longer.
Like, A LOT more. About 100 years older, to be exact.
Here’s a photo of the first digital marketer in history:
Intro to Digital Marketing
There are four main categories of digital marketing: enhanced offline marketing, radio marketing, television marketing, and telephone marketing.
Enhanced offline marketing is a completely offline form of marketing but enhanced by electronic devices.
For example, if your restaurant uses iPads for your customers to create their orders, then the offline experience of, say, eating Thai food is enhanced by this electronic device.
People have been using digital media to improve their marketing for decades (as you’ll see, they’ve only forgotten how). They even go a step further and reach out to the best marketing companies in order to get some professional help when creating their digital marketing plans.
Then there is radio marketing. The next time you hear an annoyed and overzealous auto dealership shout every word of their ad, thank Mr. Marconi.