Marketing has changed rapidly in the past few years and does not show any signs of slowing down. The digital marketing landscape that includes SEO, social media, pay-per-click, and content marketing is shifting dramatically. As a result of today’s high-tech, internet-driven environment, many new digital marketing trends and strategies are evolving. Brands of all sizes must adapt to be successful, because the approaches they used in the past may no longer be the most effective.
Marketing has always been about Brands connecting with their target audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means connecting with consumers on the internet, which is where they are spending most of their time. So, any form of marketing that is online is considered digital marketing. It encompasses all digital tactics and channels, including email marketing, online brochures, search engines, social media, and other websites to connect with current and prospective consumers.
Traditionally, marketing messages targeted consumers through advertising using media channels like print, television, and radio. Advertisements were a one-way communication with a broad, captive audience. With the growth of digital media, consumers began interacting with each other and with the Brands they liked. As digital channels empowered consumers to share comments, exchange ideas, and participate in endorsing products to set trends, they became more popular. Marketing through conventional print and broadcast channels declined, and the evolution of digital channels spurred digital marketing. Beyond selling, digital marketing became a forum for both Brands and consumers to create content, share experiences, and interact with each other, changing the process of marketing and promotion.
Digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation
With the advent of digital marketing came new terminology. Buzz words like digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation — which are commonly confused and used interchangeably — are important to know, especially how they impact digital marketing strategies. Although there are many interpretations of each, these terms have distinct meanings.
Digitization and digitalization are closely related. Digitization is changing content from analog to digital form. It means taking analog information and encoding it so that computers can store, process, and transmit it. A typical example of digitization in business would be converting handwritten or typed text on paper into electronic format in smart applications. It is the information being digitized and not the process. Digitalization refers to the processes. It is the use of digital technologies to improve business operations and functions. It allows for changes in marketing or business strategies to provide new opportunities to generate value and revenue. While it requires digitization of information, it is about leveraging digitized data.
Digital transformation is different. Sometimes referred to as business transformation, it is the use of processes and strategies to influence the changes and digital technologies and their overall impact in a calculated way. It does not just mean getting things done faster; it means determining what the technology is capable of, adapting to it, and making the most of it. It helps Brands identify the changes in business and consumer demands, and adjust their ways to address these changes. It allows Brands to accelerate business activities, improve time to market, and positively modify their processes to stay ahead of their competition, reduce operational costs, and enhance the consumer’s experience.
There are several key factors of digital transformation. As digital technology advances and plays a bigger part in everyday activities, it is necessary to keep up with it or risk falling behind. Also, since consumers’ needs are driven by digital technology and digital innovations, changes must keep consumers happy to win and maintain their loyalty, especially since the digitally connected world makes it easy for them to comparison shop and move from one brand to another. Finally, consumers are connected and empowered by the digital era at all times, and they expect the same from the Brands they like and do business with.
While digital transformation is a broad topic and covers many different types of initiatives, in simple terms it is changing how a business interacts with consumers using technology and applying technology to significantly improve processes by making them more efficient. With all of this change, digital marketing is more important than ever to build awareness and promote a Brand and its products online. To be most effective, it must consider various digital channels, like the internet, mobile devices, social media, and search engines to reach consumers.
Some of the common digital marketing channels are:
- Website Marketing: A website is the core of digital marketing. As the main channel to implement online marketing campaigns, it needs to be fast, mobile friendly, and easy to use.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: PPC advertising targets consumers on digital platforms through paid advertisements.
- Content Marketing: Content marketing targets consumers using published content promoted through social media, email marketing, and SEO campaigns.
- Email Marketing: One of the most effective digital marketing channels, email marketing is the quickest and most direct way to share information with consumers.
- Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing builds brand awareness and trust with consumers as well as develops leads.
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing promotes the products of others in exchange for a commission for sales and leads.
- Video Marketing: The popularity of videos on YouTube and other platforms make it ideal for targeting consumers since it is often used for purchasing decisions.
Digital marketing is constantly evolving with new technology and changing trends. It is the future of marketing, so being digital has become essential for Brands otherwise they risk implementing ineffective promotional campaigns. For questions about using digital marketing to promote your business in China, contact Tolmao Group. An integrated marketing agency that combines traditional marketing tools with innovative approaches, creative thinking, and a full understanding of the Chinese market, Tolmao Group specializes in creating unique strategies for Brands in Asia. For more information, visit http://www.tolmaogroup.com.