The definitions of digital marketing vary according to an author’s point of view, background and specialization.
According to Chaffey, Digital Marketing is the use of technologies to help marketing activities in order to improve customer knowledge by matching their needs. (Chaffey, 2013.)
According to Strauss and Frost, Digital Marketing is the use of electronic data and applications for planning and executing the conception, distribution and pricing of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals. (Strauss and Frost, 2001:454)
We can also say that Digital Marketing is a new philosophy and a modern business practice involved with the marketing of goods, services, information and ideas via the internet and other electronic means. It encompasses all initiatives undertaken by a firm to maintain an online presence and to promote its products, brands, campaigns etc. using tools such as official websites, social media pages, mobile apps, blogs etc.
The first search engine started in 1991 with a network protocol called Gopher for query and search. After the launch of Yahoo in 1994, companies started to maximize their ranking on the website. (Smyth, 2007).
In 2001, the market was dominated by Google and Yahoo for search optimization. In 2006, the rise of search engine optimization grew for major companies like Google. (Smyth, 2007). In 2007, the usage of mobile devices increased the internet usage and people all over the world started connecting with each other more conveniently through social media
Digital marketing’s development since the 1990’s and 2000’s has changed the way brands and businesses utilize technology for marketing. As digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life, and as people use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops, digital marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent and efficient.
Exploring Digital Marketing
Smith and Chaffey, 2005 defines marketing as achieving marketing objectives by applying digital technologies. Digital marketing is not only a fast growing force in the current marketing playing field, it is set to be the future of marketing, and digital media might soon replace more traditional forms altogether. In developed world, companies have realized the importance of digital marketing in order for businesses to be successful, they will have to merge online with traditional methods for meeting the needs of customers more precisely. (Parsons, Zeisser, Waitman 1996).
Digital marketing strategies involve utilizing existing and rising communication and data networks to inform personalized and uninterrupted communication between the firm and its customers and to provide worth above customary networks (Watson et al, 2002). It is more convenient for businesses to conduct surveys online with the purpose of getting relevant information from targeted groups and analyzing the results based on their responses. Potential customers can look for reviews and recommendations to make informed decisions about buying a product or using the service. On the other hand businesses can use the exercise to take action on relevant feedback from customers in meeting their needs more accurately.
Digital marketing techniques such as Search Engines Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Content Automation, Campaign Marketing, Data-driven marketing and E-commerce marketing, Social media marketing, Social Media Optimization, E-mail direct marketing, Display Advertising, E-books, and Optimal disks and games are becoming more common in our advancing technology.
The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) maximizes the way search engines like google find your website. For example, a consumer gets on the internet and types in a keyword related to country code top level domain system. Thanks to your company’s Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy, your company is listed on the first page (perhaps even at the top). The consumer clicks on the links to your company’s website and completes contact information. The lead goes to one of your registrars who then provides the needed services to the consumers.
Digital marketing has a broader scope than internet marketing since internet Marketing (IM) refers only to the internet, world wide web, e-mails, while digital marketing includes all of that plus all other E-marketing tools like: intranets, extranets, mobile phones etc.