What is digital marketing? 

digital marketing technology Feb 23, 2023

What it is 

We must define “digital” and “marketing”. “Digital is how you utilise information technology to communicate and build relationships with employees, customers and other stakeholders online, and as such is often referred to as a discipline within business, marketing or media.” McKinsey goes on to break digital down into three key attributes: creating value at the new frontiers of the business world, creating value in the processes that execute a vision of customer experiences, and building foundational capabilities that support the entire structure. So, don’t get caught in the trap of just thinking that digital = technology. It is much more than that. Digital is about value creation and engaging with customers in whichever way possible. 


Digital marketing is generally divided into three main focus areas - lead generation, lead capture and lead nurture. Lead generation is about drawing the right customers to your brand. This phase is essential to prime your audience about your product and or service. Lead capture is converting all those leads to your product and or service. Lead nurture focuses on converting those leads to paying customers by persuading them to buy from you.  


What it isn’t 

Digital is not just about technology. While that is often a core component of digital marketing, it must be more complex to think of digital as just technology platforms. This definition is too narrow and doesn’t consider the broader change often occurring in organisations when adopting a digital mindset. 


Digital is not just about digital people. It is more complex than companies bringing in more people with digital skills. Why that is often important, upskilling of most people in the organisation is critical for digital marketing to be successful. When digital marketing becomes the purdue of a small select few, then change will be challenging to embed in any organisation. 


Digital is not about introducing Hubspot, Salesforce or whatever tech platform someone suggests should be introduced. To be truly digital, it needs to be a way of thinking that everyone adopts.  


Why is it important 

Digital marketing is essential because it forges authentic connections between customers and businesses. It allows brands to be present with the right message with the right people at the right time in their purchase journey for the beginning of a customer journey. For any business with customers, understanding how to use digital marketing is critical for business success. 


What is a customer 

A customer is a person who buys goods and services from a shop or a business. It is an interaction between a person and a company. And this interaction can either be positive or negative. Loyalty Lion suggests that there a four basic needs that a customer has 

  • A fair price
  • A good service 
  • A good product 
  • To feel valued 

As a business, if you aim to create a good product or service, make your customers feel valued and sell your product at a fair price, you should be able to make sales. It is as simple as that. 


What is the difference between paid and organic activity? 

Paid activity is any activity you have to ‘pay’ for, such as Facebook ads, Google pay-per-click ads, billboards, and tv ads. Organic activity occurs without paid activity needing to take place, such as viral campaigns, email bursts, and website activities. Most businesses use a combination of paid and organic activities to drive relationships with their customers.  


Finally, what is a connection? 

I think that digital marketing, at its heart, is about connecting people with your product or service. Digital marketing is the vehicle for all the good things you do (and sometimes the bad ones) to be surfaced with those most likely to engage with you. While technology is critical, digital marketing comes down to connecting with the right customers. Once that connection is established, storytelling can be an excellent way to bring your brand to life.