Digital marketing is the use of online channels including computers, mobile phones, and other digital platforms to promote and sell products and services. As online overtakes traditional advertising media such as print, radio, and television, it has become absolutely critical to include digital as part of any marketing mix (and budget). In many ways, digital marketing relies on established techniques and time-tested principles of traditional marketing – know your customer, for example – but the advent of digital channels and marketing analytics has also created new ways of selling.
For example, inbound marketing, which attracts customers to come to you instead of the other way around, is a paradigm that has only become possible in the digital marketing era. It leverages social media marketing analytics and targeting capabilities, along with content marketing created with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, to reach customers that are likely to already be interested in your product. Social media has also created the new paradigm of influencer marketing, which uses partnerships with key leaders or “influencers” in specific market niches to get the word out about your product.
Like so much else in our increasingly-digital world, digital marketing offers much more precise and data-driven solutions than those possible in the analog era. At the end of the day however, like any topic in advertising, digital marketing is still all about making a connection with your customer – regardless of what channel you’re using. Thus, communication skills, creativity, and the ability to empathize with your audience remain as important to digital marketing success as the mastery of any search algorithm.