Allow me to break the myth. Digital marketing is not the next big thing and neither a revolution in marketing. Coming from an early adopter of all things Web and digital, the dismissal of these popular maxims might just surprise you. Hear me out!
Digital Marketing is a shift, and that shift is in terms of the medium, not the message or the principles that guide the message. If you are a student of Philip Kotler’s marketing school, you wouldn’t have to shun your learning. Digital Marketing involves using new channels like the Web, social media, and mobile to reach consumers; a shift from the traditional mediums of television, radio, and print.
Several big brands follow an integrated approach where the traditional advertising also points to the digital marketing efforts. In the last year’s FIFA World Cup, Adidas pointed all of their huge marketing effort globally – Web, print, outdoor, television, and merchandise – to their Facebook page. Their TV ad soon became a viral video, the engagement increased manifold, and the campaign became a case study in many digital marketing classes.
Digital Marketing is transforming the time-tested interactions like direct marketing, service and support, and customer engagement. The flyers in the mails have been replaced by banners on the Facebook page and door-to-door surveys have made way for polls and discussions on the Web.
Brands too are using these digital marketing frontiers for different types of engagements and messaging. In India, a global beverage brand which is planning to enter the country is running a contest on Facebook – The Coolest Job – asking people to flaunt their social clout and endorse the ‘Work hard, Party hard’ spirit of the brand. The advertisements in leading newspapers, magazines and on radio stations point to the campaign, with no brand mention and without stating the intention of the contest. With over 50,000 likes in a month, it could soon be the biggest digital campaign in India with a contest-based engagement.
Digital Marketing spans the content and service types – videos on YouTube, posts on Twitter, and more – and might integrate into a micro-site or a Facebook page. The participatory nature of these engagements and the targeted reach of the message create a critical mass of audience to generate required buzz.
The rise of digital marketing has also added a new dimension to an organization’s communication. Several organizations are employing individuals or hiring agencies to cover social media marketing and online engagement apart from their regular PR and marketing arrangements. With most global organizations indulging in social media and digital marketing spectrum, this space looks interesting; and the rise of services and channels would make us believe that the opportunities are endless.