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Digital Marketing: The New Platform for Business in the Challenging Age

Harshit Sharma

Research Scholar, Department of Business Administration

University of Rajasthan, Jaipur

E-mail id: [email protected]

ABSTRACT: Marketers are faced with new challenges and opportunities within this digital age. Digital Marketing is the use of digital channels to promote or market products and services to consumers and businesses and internet has become a new platform for such electronic transactions. It has changed the way consumers buy goods, services and ideas throughout the world. Digital marketing is an impulsive, erratic, and volatile industry. The main objective of digital marketing is engaging customers and allowing them to interact with the brand through digital media. This paper discusses the importance of digital marketing for both marketers and consumers. The study also throws light on the various forms/elements of digital marketing and its effectiveness. Further, the paper also shows the difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing.

The data is collected through primary and secondary sources and for this paper data has been collected through secondary sources i.e. from newspapers, journals, magazines, articles, published and unpublished reports.

KEYWORDS: Digital marketing, Traditional marketing, Internet, Volatile, Effectiveness, Importance.

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INTRODUCTION

Digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, Digital Marketing is the use of digital channels to promote or market products and services to consumers and businesses. Digital marketing is an impulsive, erratic, and volatile industry.  The key objective is to promote brands, build preference and increase sales through various digital marketing techniques. It is embodied by an extensive selection of service, product and brand marketing tactics, which mainly use the Internet as a core promotional medium, in addition to mobile and traditional TV and radio. Digital marketing is about every single interaction a company has with its customers online. It is multidirectional and is available for anybody, anywhere.

    The term 'digital marketing' was first used in the 1990s. In the 2000s and the 2010s, digital marketing became more sophisticated as an effective way to create a relationship with the consumer that has depth and relevance. The rapid evolution of digital media has created new opportunities and avenues for advertising and marketing. Fuelled by the proliferation of devices to access digital media, this has led to the exponential growth of digital advertising. Digital marketing is often referred to as 'online marketing', 'internet marketing' or 'web marketing'. The term 'digital marketing' has grown in popularity over time, particularly in certain countries. In the USA 'online marketing' is still prevalent, in Italy is referred as 'web marketing' but in the UK and worldwide, 'digital marketing' has become the most common term, especially after the year 2013.

OBJECTIVES

The main objective of this paper is to recognize the importance of digital marketing in the modern world. The supportive objectives are:

1. To identify the various elements of digital marketing;

2. To show the difference between traditional and digital marketing;

3. To show the various advantages of digital marketing to the marketers and customers.

IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital media is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. The days when the messages people got about your products or services came from you and consisted of only what you wanted them to know are slowly dying away. Unlike the traditional forms of marketing, digital marketing is much more affordable as most of the tools you would use have a very small outlay and costs can be easily controlled.  Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well. And they are more likely to believe them than you.  People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and relevant, and offers tailored to their needs and preferences. This is why digital marketing is important in today's competitive market. Following are some of the points that will explain the importance of digital marketing further:

a) Blank canvas to promote brand,

b) Dynamic and available at all times,

c) Results are measurable,

d) Results in highest ROI,

e) Targeting flexibility,

f) You only pay for results you get, etc.

ELEMENTS OF DIGITAL MARKETING

The various elements of digital marketing are listed below:

A. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO is the art of increasing a website's visibility in online search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. By using the search engine's Keyword system, you can increase the ranking of your website and ensure it is visible when customers search for your products and services. There are a variety of SEO techniques, from on-site technical analysis and improvement, to content creation, outreach, blogging & link-building.

B. Email Marketing

Email marketing is the process where message about the products or services is sent through email to the existing or potential consumer. Company can promote its products and services by using this element easily. It is relatively low cost as compared to advertising or other forms of media exposure.

C. PPC (Pay Per Click)

Paid search, also known as PPC, is the management of paid adverts in the search results of a search engine. These paid adverts are typically placed above, or to the right of the ‘organic' search results and can be quite cost effective. Paying per click means you only pay when a prospective customer clicks on your ad.

D. Online advertising

It is also called internet advertising through which company can deliver the message about the products or services. Online advertising provides the content and ads that best matches to consumer interests. Online advertising differs from PPC in that you are advertising on other peoples' websites.

E. Viral Marketing

Viral marketing combines many elements of the marketing mix. Some call it ‘content marketing', as it always involves disseminating an element of content across multiple channels. This can include videos on YouTube, blogs, email marketing, as well as traditional elements.

F. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing. In this type of marketing, a company rewards affiliates for each visitor or customer they bring by marketing efforts they create on behalf of company. Affiliate marketing can be approached in two ways: Company can offer an affiliate program to others or it can sign up to be another business's affiliate.

G. Social Media

Social media management isn't just about sending out tweets – it's about managing a brand's image through multiple social channels. That may be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn.

H. Text Messaging

It can be defined as a way to send information about the products and services from cellular and smart phone devices. By using such devices, company can send information in the form of text (SMS), pictures, video or audio (MMS).  Under this element, companies can send marketing messages to their customers in real-time, any time and can be confident that the message will be seen.

ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL MARKETING

In the world of rapid technological developments, digital marketing has a significant impact on customers buying behaviour. It has provided the consumers with a number of advantages some of which are listed below:

• Reduce cost: It helps a business to develop its online marketing strategy for very little cost and can potentially replace costly advertising channels such as Yellow Pages, television, radio and magazine.

• Simple to measure: It helps to see in real time what is or is not working for the business online and thus helps in adapting very quickly to improve the results.

• Greater engagement: With digital marketing, consumers can engage with the company's various activities. Consumers can visit company's website, read information about the products or services and make purchases online and provide feedback.

• 24/7 Shopping: Customers can buy products online whenever they like to do so as the internet is available all day long.

• It is more affordable to deploy than traditional marketing and advertising.

• Digital marketing goes from planning to execution quickly.

• It gives the brand more time and space to tell its story.

• Digital marketing facilitates the customers to purchase the products or services instantly.

• Brand development: A well maintained website with quality content targeting the needs and adding value to your target audience can provide significant value and lead to generation of opportunities.

• Apparent pricing: Digital marketing helps a company to show the prices of products or services which in turn makes prices very clear and transparent for the customers.

• It gives fans/viewers/readers a chance to share your content.

• Digital marketing campaigns can be easily attached to other campaigns.

• It is easier to change or stop a digital marketing campaign after it starts.

• Now-a-days a large number of companies are using digital marketing to promote their products or services which is becoming the greatest advantage for the customers in terms that customers can make comparison among products or services by different suppliers.

• Digital marketing provides clear and accurate information about the products or services to the consumers.

TRADITIONAL MARKETING VERSUS DIGITAL MARKETING

Traditional marketing is the oldest form of marketing. It uses offline medium to promote the product or services of business entity. Whereas, digital marketing uses digital channels to promote or market products and services to consumers and businesses. A comparison between the two is given below:

Traditional Marketing Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing includes print, broadcast, direct mail, and telephone Digital marketing includes online advertising, email marketing, social media, text messaging, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click

No interaction with the audience Interaction with the audience

Customers attention is hijacked Customers attention is requested

Advertising campaigns are planned over a long period of time Advertising campaigns are planned over short period of time

Expensive and time-consuming process Reasonably cheap and rapid way to promote the products or services

Negative feedback hardly effects Negative feedback is taken seriously

It focuses on branding It focuses on SEO

Limited reach to the customer due to limited number of customer technology Wider reach to the customer because of the use of various customers technology

24/7 year-round exposure is not possible 24/7 year-round exposure is possible

No ability to go viral Ability to go viral

One way conversation Two ways conversation

Responses can only occur during work hours Response or feedback can occur anytime

CONCLUSION

Digital marketing has now been spiraling almost at a break-neck speed. It has gained a definite dimension with the added techniques like Pay per Click, Search Engine Optimization, Press Releases, Web Banners, Link Campaign, Viral Marketing, Blogs etc. The most important part of it is perhaps the easy accessibility and interoperability. Thus, for digital marketing's success companies must manage complex customer relationships across a variety of channels – both digital and traditional, must respond to and initiate dynamic customer interactions and extract value from big data to make better decisions faster. Digital marketing channel has become essential part of strategy of almost every company because it offers a large number of benefits/advantages to both the marketers and customers. Hence, it was concluded from the study that digital marketing has gained highest importance in the present competitive environment thereby making it essential for the marketers to put significant emphasis on digital marketing for their success.

References

1. Chaffey, D. (2011). E-business & e-commerce management. Pearson Education.

2. Krishnamurthy, S. (2006). Introducing E-MARKPLAN: A practical methodology to plan e-marketing activities. Business Horizons. 49(1), 49, 51, 60.

3. M. S. Khan and S. S. Mahapatra,(2009). Service quality evaluation in internet banking: an empirical study in India. Int. J. Indian Culture and Business Management. Vol. 2, No. 1, (2009), pp. 30-46.

4. Yasmin, A., Tasneem, S. & Fatema, K. (2015). Effectiveness of Digital Marketing in the Challenging Age: An Empirical Study. International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration. Vol. 1, Iss: 5, pp 69-80

5. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/digital-marketing.html

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