|It seems like everywhere you go
there is someone who is tasked with Digital Marketing. In
fact, many people now have titles such as Digital Marketing Manager,
Digital Marketing Operations Manager, and Manager of Digital and
Online Marketing. But what is Digital Marketing? I have heard it
described as any marketing involving electronic technology and data
Definition – According to Wikipedia,
Digital Marketing is: “An umbrella term for the targeted,
measurable, and interactive marketing of products or services using
digital technologies to reach and convert leads into customers and
retain them. The key objective is to promote brands, build
preference, and engage with customers 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.”
How Can You Learn Digital Marketing?
Groups & Blogs Devoted
to Digital Marketing – There are
groups in LinkedIn for it – 4,330 groups at last count. The Digital
Marketing group has over 900,000 members. It has become a hot term
used in various blogs including Mashable,
TSNN, and the American Marketing Association (AMA)
– The University of Illinois, through
Coursera, offers a certificate in Digital Marketing for $49.99
per month. This Specialization explores several aspects of the new
digital marketing environment, including digital marketing
analytics, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and
3D printing. When you complete the Digital Marketing Specialization
you should understand the foundations of digital marketing and learn
examples, concepts, and tools to help you digitally create,
distribute, promote and price products and services. This
Specialization is part of the
Illinois iMBA Program
rated “Marketing In a Digital World” as a top Online Class for
professionals in 2015. Even the AMA offers a number of digital
courses such as
Digital Strategy and Analytics. In addition to more traditional
marketing concepts taught in this course such as audience
segmentation and customer journeys, this course also
shares how “digital strategy is the process of identifying,
articulating and executing on digital opportunities that will
increase your organizations competitive advantage.” After reading
this, even I want to sign up.
There is even a
Marketing Institute with a Postgraduate Diploma in Digital
Marketing offered online that retails for $5,365. There are also a
lot of great articles online and Google and many other companies
offer webinars and free materials that you can review to get up to
speed. In fact, many local libraries offer introductory courses on
blogging, social media, basic database creation and more.
Why Should You Learn Digital
– The Digital Marketing Institute shares
these statistics as proof of the need for this discipline:
- 76% of marketers think marketing
has changed more in the past two years than in the last fifty.
- Adobe – a vendor of digital
- 57% of CEOs believe social media
will push past call centers and channel partners to be among the
top 3 ways to engage with customers.
- IBM Global – another vendor
of online marketing tools.
- 70% of executives at large
companies and agencies say their digital marketing teams are
strong in some areas but mediocre or weak in others.
- Marketing Profs quoting the
“Online Marketing Institute” who sells corporate training
and certification programs in Digital Strategy among other
Clearly, marketing has evolved
significantly over the last twenty years as more and more companies
and individuals use the Internet to research companies and products.
Companies reach out to current and potential customers online and,
increasingly, even complete their purchases without ever talking to
a company representative. Additionally, there is an increasing
amount of collectable data to track client activities and
Consulting and Agencies
– There are now Digital Marketing Agencies that specialize in
helping companies adjust their marketing strategies to accommodate
this changing, increasingly tech-focused environment or meet their
digital marketing needs when the skills of their employees have not
yet evolved to the changing environment. For example they may
provide: app development, website design, content creation, lead
generation, social media management, email marketing and
pay-per-click advertising advice.
However, you could argue that Digital
Marketing is just a collection of new tools that should be used just
like any other marketing tactic, thoughtfully and as part of an
overall strategy. In Mark Ritson’s Marketing Week article “The
Death of Digital is Upon Us,” he states that Digital
Marketing as a term should be obsolete. He quotes Diageo’s CEO Ivan
Menezes in analyzing his company’s success: “It is not about doing
Digital Marketing, it is about marketing effectively in a digital
How Does Digital Marketing Come Into
Play With Trade Shows and Events?
– Social media can be used to promote events before, during and
after the fact. This promotion can increase attendance and
engagement at the event. It can be used to poll attendees about
their preferences before the event and gather real-time information
during and after (this can be dangerous if things did not go as well
as you hoped for). Depending on your type of event, you can have
your clients share social posts and even ask them to rate your
company using social platforms. With all of this comes great data
you can gather to further fine-tune your marketing tactics. In fact,
events give marketers a great reason to communicate with clients on
social media and further the client relationship from a digital
connection to a personal face-to-face engagement.
– Email invitations are sent as a matter of course for almost every
event. It should come as no surprise that it is a great idea to
invite your clients and prospects to visit you at your next trade
show via email. Just make sure you give them an incentive to do so,
whether it be an activity, giveaway or a new product demo. It is
also nice to have a feature that enables them to add the event to
their calendar and to share the invitation with others.
– In your blog, you can post about your
event and the things you will be doing that may interest your
clients and readers. This is a great opportunity to give your
clients a sneak preview on the products, demos and giveaways they
can expect to see if they visit you at the show.
– While production of videos used to be left to the experts, due in
part to the cost of producing them and distributing them, now anyone
can create and share a video. You can create videos with an iPhone
and share them on YouTube to promote your event. Stream video of
your demos on Periscope or share your videos on Facebook. Just be
mindful of creating content that is not compelling to your audience
thus losing their interest. Video is great if you do it well.
Interactive & Trackable
Digital Signage – Creating digital
signage is getting easier as there are apps and vendors to help you
create content that can be used at your event to showcase your
products and services. Also, these can be set up so you can
integrate brochure requests, email and interactive capabilities.
Some will even have a feature that can track what items you, or your
prospects, look at and for how long. This can be a particularly
useful feature if you are launching a new product or trying to gage
interest amongst the existing line you are showcasing.
Management System – The next time you
gather leads or any client information at a show make sure it is
optimized for easy entry into your CRM. This way you will be better
equipped to follow up on those contacts and to estimate the revenue
generated as a result of your show presence or event.
– Many of our clients now use electronic brochures that can be
viewed on a tablet or digital monitor during the show and emailed to
their clients immediately – either during the conversation or right
after. Some software will even allow you to mark up the brochure via
a touch screen before emailing the brochure to a client. Some still
bring paper brochures for those clients who want something to take
away at the show. Back in the early 2000s the big breakthrough was
to offer electronic brochures on a thumb drive for prospects to
view. This provides the client the information they want in an
easily accessible, savable and searchable format. You can also keep
track of the brochures you distributed at the show in your CRM,
which will help your sales reps by letting them know what the client
– Whether you choose to have an event microsite, to add a mention of
it on your homepage, or a dedicated event page on your site, a web
presence should be part of your arsenal. If people are thinking
about attending or planning to attend an event but want more
information, their instinctive step is to… Google it! Yes, you need
to make sure they find the information you want them to know –
location of the show, your booth number, your giveaway offer, new
products you may be launching. This should all be easily accessible.
You should add these links to all your social media postings about
the event to help drive traffic to the page and improve your SEO
(Search Engine Optimization) ranking.
SMS (Short Message
Service) or texting – According to
the book “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” by
David Meerman Scott, some companies use text as a way to make it
easy for people to sign up to receive communications from a company.
However, you need to be careful. Ensure that people who sign up know
what they are doing and give you explicit consent to communicate
with them. One recommendation from
Constant Contact is to provide a clear, incentivized call to
action to promote a keyword, like “text keyword to 12345 to receive
X offer and to join our texting list.” CTIA, The Wireless
best practices outlined on their website. As they also state,
you must be very careful not to contact the receiver too often or
outside of the context that you laid out or they will unsubscribe
or, worse yet, not want to do business with you in the future. That
said, a useful text message will probably be appreciated. My dentist
sends me a text, with my permission, on the day of my appointment.
If you set meetings with your clients at a trade show or provide a
time-sensitive premium, a reminder text that they can opt in for
will likely be appreciated.
Virtual & Augmented
Reality (AR) – This
has been getting a lot of press lately and most people don’t know
the marketing capabilities of this new digital technology. However,
it is clear that the ability to make people feel like they are
interacting in an environment that is digitally enhanced has huge
opportunities for marketing and for events. Some of our clients are
starting to use features of AR as part of the experience they
provide to attendees visiting their booth. I can’t wait for us to
have the capability to incorporate that experience and create a new,
enhanced way for clients to experience our messaging and brands.
I am sure there are many new facets
to Digital Marketing that I don’t know about and that are still
evolving as I write this. However, I hope that this article helps
give you some insight into what it is and what it will become.
Digital Marketing offers a new – and evolving – set of tools to help
us better communicate with clients about who we are and how we can
help meet their needs.
Pleas. Special thanks to Randy Mauricio, New
Product Development Project Manager, and Amy Armstrong, Account
Executive, Skyline Philadelphia for sharing their veteran booth