Critical Review of Digital Marketing

Introduction-

Marketing is a restless, changing, and dynamic business activity. The role of marketing itself has changed dramatically due to various crises – material and energy shortages, inflation, economic recessions, high unemployment, dying industries, dying companies, terrorism and war, and
effects due to rapid technological changes in certain industries. Such changes, including the
internet, have forced today’s marketing executive to becoming more market driven in their strategic decision making, requiring a formalized means of acquiring accurate and timely information about customers, products and the marketplace and the overall environment. Internet marketing involves the usage of the Internet to market and sell goods or services. Internet marketing utilizes the power of electronic commerce to sell and market products. Electronic commerce refers to any market on the internet.

The electronic commerce supports selling, buying, trading of products or services over the internet. Internet marketing forms a subset of electronic commerce. With the outburst of internet growth, internet marketing has started becoming very popular. It is said that Internet marketing first began in the beginning of 1990 with just text based websites which offered product information. With growth in internet, it is not just selling products alone, but in addition to this, information about products, advertising space, software programs, auctions, stock trading and matchmaking. A few companies have
revolutionized the way; internet can be used for marketing, such as Google.com, Yahoo.com,
Amazon.com, Alibaba.com and Youtube.com. This paper offers views on some current and
future trends in internet marketing.

Analysis and Discussion of Study

A) Internet Marketing-

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks. “Internet works thanks to combination of a range of technologies and it is the biggest source of
information mankind has ever had for its disposal. Internet also laid the foundations of more
information channels than people have created until the 20th century.” The term Marketing has many definitions. One of the most well-known definition says that “Marketing is the social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.” By connecting these two fields “We can apply marketing principles within the internet area. This can be done mainly by creating a web pages, internet advertising, and also marketing research on the internet, electronic commerce etc. However internet marketing demands a little bit different approach in certain aspects than traditional marketing.” Simply speaking internet marketing, also referred to as online-marketing, web-marketing, e-marketing, or i-marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.

B) Different Trends/Techniques of Internet Marketing-
Internet marketing plan will help define specific e-marketing objectives and develop strategies to
ensure that resources are deployed to take advantage of the marketing opportunities provided by the Internet, and to counter its threats. E-marketing is focused on how a company and its brands use the web and other digital media such as e-mail and mobile media to interact with its
audiences in order to meet its marketing goals. We plowed through all the variety of marketing
arenas from content and social marketing to marketing technology, analytics and organizational
transformation, to find and establish the ultimate summary for marketing trends 2017. The
various marketing trends articles of different authors and experts were read, dissected, analyzed
and summarized as below:-

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)-
    In layman’s terms, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is essentially tweaking your website so that it comes up naturally or organically for search results in Google, Yahoo Bing or any other search engine. Google updates its algorithms regularly so that only the relevant results come up. From that perspective, many experts say that SEO is dead and the effort is futile. However, the truth is that Google tries to prevent algorithm manipulation and filters sites that don’t deserve to be on the top of SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). So there is no doubt you should invest in SEO work. Your website should address the technicalities related to content and query matching, spidering, indexing, and interpreting non-text content. Remember, it is the most cost-effective marketing strategy that will bring organic traffic to your business.

2. Content Creation-
Content can be presented in different formats, including blogs, white papers, e-books, case
studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, forums, news and updates, images, banners, info graphics, podcasts, webinars, videos, or content for micro blogging and social media sites. All recent changes to Google’s algorithm – be it Panda, Penguin or Hummingbird – point to the fact that content is the most important metric while filtering search results. You can be creative and create content on any topic and then skillfully link it indirectly to your business. You may like to read our article on how to include content and market your startup or business free of cost. Also, you need to customize your content for different platforms. For example, the content for mobile phones should be crisp and short. Remember, an effective strategy will engage your readers and leave them interested in more information from you. Good content is shared and is the best way for branding your business.

3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)-
Search Engine Marketing or SEM is the comprehensive strategy to drive traffic to your business, primarily through paid efforts. Hence it is also called Paid Search Marketing. The universe of SEM is diverse and complicated. Based on your business structure, you may choose PPC (pay- per-click) or CPC (cost-per-click) model, or CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) model. There are different platforms for SEM. By far, Google Ad Words (on Google Network) and Bing Ads (on Yahoo Bing Network) are the most popular. SEM also includes Display Advertising, Search Retargeting & Site Remarketing, Mobile Marketing and Paid Social Advertising.

4. Social Media Marketing (SMM)-
Social Media Marketing or SMM is an offshoot of your SEM efforts. It involves driving traffic to your sites or business through social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. As we mentioned above, good content is shared and liked. So create and customize content for different social media platforms. Remember to be prolific and original; you need to engage with users on a daily basis, at least four to five times a day. Your SMM efforts can be especially helpful for branding and driving sales. The tools and approaches for communicating with customers have changed greatly with the emergence of social media; therefore, businesses must learn how to use social media in a way that is consistent with their business plan (Mangold and Faulds 2099). In order to create a successful marketing campaign via social media, a consumer must be open to the technology.

5. Digital Display Advertising-
This again is a subset of your SEM efforts. You may use a variety of display advertising formats to target potential audience – be it text, image, banner, rich-media, interactive or video ads. You can customize your message based on interests, content topics, or the position of the customer in the buying cycle. However, note that Digital Display Advertising is relatively costly. You need experts to drive good ROI for your business.

6. Interactive Marketing-
Make sure your advertising strategy engages the potential customer in a conversation. 55 percent respondents preferred to have ongoing communications with the companies they buy from; and 89 percent felt more loyal to the companies if they were invited to provide feedback. Use tools like widgets and opt-in features to make your website interactive, solicit feedback and track user behavior. Engage with the customers actively and customize offers based on their preferences and browsing activities.

7. Viral Marketing-
Viral is today’s electronic equivalent of old-fashioned word of mouth. Viral Marketing is a
strategy where a unique content spreads exponentially online, because the content is appreciated, shared and liked immensely. This is a great way to brand and drive traffic to your website. The content can take any format; all you need is to be creative. Marketers have caught the bug and are increasingly weaving viral components into their marketing plans. Not only is the approach relatively inexpensive, but also it can sometimes be more believable than standard ads.”

8. Affiliate Marketing-
Affiliate Marketing is a performance-based marketing program, where you pay publishers who bring you customers. The performance may be based on conversions – promotions, leads or simply sales. You may like to be part of the affiliate programs of different publishers. Essentially, the publishers will give you space in their pages to advertise your business and help you drive conversions; and you will pay them based on the compensation model. You may avail the help from an Affiliate Network, which will give you a large base of publishers, and other benefits like tracking and reporting technology. Affiliate Marketing is especially useful for startups, as it will bring in more traffic to their business through high-traffic sites. In essence, Affiliate Marketing is a win-win situation for both the merchants and publishers. Sites like Amazon, eBay, LinkShare and Flipkart run Affiliate Programs. In fact, most online businesses with appreciable traffic have their own affiliate programs.

9. Email Marketing-
When you send a commercial message through email to a list of potential customers, the strategy is called Email Marketing. With effective email marketing software, you can maintain email lists that are segregated based on several factors, including customers‟ likes and dislikes, and spending habits. Remember to send personalized emails; this helps to develop trust. However, note that Email Marketing may also be considered as spamming and there are laws against it in some countries.

10. Digital Media Planning and Buying-
When a media agency researches and makes a comprehensive strategy framework, we call it Digital Media Planning. Be it in driving sales or conversions, launching a new brand or promoting an established brand, or changing customer behavior, the media agency plans different platforms and formats to reach the desired audience. It studies reach and frequency of different web-based and mobile applications. The agency works with different partners and buys relevant space and ideas. This is called Media Buying. In essence, Media Buying and Planning entails all the strategies that we have discussed above.

Advantages digital marketing brings for customers

A) Stay updated with products or services – Digital marketing technologies allow the
consumers to stay with the company information updated. Nowadays a lot of consumer can access internet any place anytime and companies are continuously updating information
about their products or services.

B) 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.

C) Clear information about the products or services – Through digital marketing, consumers get clear information about the products or services. There is a little chance of misinterpretation of the information taken from sales person in a retail store. However, Internet provides comprehensive product information which customers can rely on and make purchase decision.

D) 24/7 shopping – Since internet is available all day long; there is no time restriction for when
customer wants to buy a product online.

E) Easy comparison with others – Since many companies are trying to promote their products or services using digital marketing, it is becoming the greatest advantage for the customer in terms that customers can make comparison among products or services by different suppliers in cost and time friendly way. Customers don’t need to visit a number of different retail outlets in order to gain knowledge about the products or services.

F) Share content of the products or services – Digital marketing gives viewers a chance to share the content of the product or services to others. Using digital media, one can easily transfer and get information about the characteristics of the product or services to others.

G) Enables Instant Purchase – With traditional marketing, customers first watch the advertisement and then find relevant physical store to purchase the products or services. However, with digital marketing, customers can purchase the products or services instantly.

H) Apparent Pricing – Company shows the prices of products or services through digital marketing channel and this makes prices very clear and transparent for the customers.
Company may regularly changes the prices or gives special.

Conclusion

We experience a radical change in India towards the digitalization. The consumer are looking and searching more on internet to find the best deal form the sellers around India as compared to traditional or conventional methods. In this study, we acknowledged that businesses can really benefit from Digital marketing such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, e-commerce marketing, campaign marketing, and social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, optical disks and games and are becoming more and more common in our advancing technology.

Large companies are regarding social media sites as strategic tools and some businesses are even hiring employees to oversee their social media pages. Mangold and Faulds (2009) recommended that social media should be regarded as an integral part of an organization’s integrated marketing strategy and should not be taken lightly. Digital marketing is cost effective and having a great commercial impact on the business. Indeed, small companies are now able to reach targeted markets at a minimized cost and are able to compete with bigger companies, on an equal footing.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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