What is digital marketing?

Today we're taking it back to basics with a breakdown of Digital Marketing.


Have you noticed how in business we seem to love a bit of jargon? If you’re having trouble telling your e-commerce or e-marketing from your digital transformation or digital marketing, then read on to help shed some light on what exactly we mean by digital marketing – and what we don’t mean.


It’s worth going back to basics to help us understand digital marketing. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defines marketing as:


“The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements, profitably”.


Digital marketing simply means using electronic versions of data, devices and channels to help find and reach customers, understand what they want, and serve them the product or service they want.


It can get murky when looking at this and we don’t want to overcomplicate matters further. Therefore, here’s a suggestion of how we can think of it on a basic level:

  • Device – the physical ‘thing’ that we use to deliver or access a marketing message

  • Channel – the way our message gets delivered to the customer

  • Data – gets generated as our customer interacts with our business or third-parties using their devices to access the channels


Examples of devices are mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers, TV, radio, gaming devices and voice-activated personal assistants.


Digital channel groupings include websites, emails, search engine listings, social media, pay-per-click advertising, affiliate/partner, online PR – these are but a few examples of the rapidly growing options available.


Digital data collection might include looking at who visits and purchases through our website using a tool like Google Analytics, conducting online surveys and collecting feedback through online customer satisfaction and recommendation systems like Reevoo and Trustpilot.


Frequently confused terms


E-commerce – your customers complete their transaction to buy your products through your website or third-party platforms.


E-marketing – many people see this as being the same thing as digital marketing.


Digital transformation – the process of embedding digital technologies into the way that our businesses conduct their day-to-day operations and interact with customers.


Above all – remember the customer is at the heart of all marketing


It’s easy to get wrapped up in the ‘shiny new things’ of digital marketing. A bit of novelty and trying different strategies and tactics out is always fun! However, to keep us from getting too bogged down in the details of digital marketing, and to help us see how it interacts with traditional marketing, it’s worth stepping out of the day-to-day and putting ourselves in our customer’s shoes.


Imagine things from their perspective:

  • What problems do they have that they need a solution for?

  • How would they go about solving that problem – where would they look, who would they turn to, what questions do they have?

  • What information do they need to decide about your product versus your competitor’s?

  • How do they want to pay – are they happy to pay online or do they need to physically come to you?

  • What after-sales care do they need – instructions on how to use your product, advice on how to keep it working or looking its best, information about how to leave you feedback?


Digital marketing is evolving so rapidly that specialists have a tough enough time keeping up with the changes. Sometimes, the simplest things are what work best – why not ask your customers what devices and channels they use most?


Learn more about Digital Marketing from our events where we'll go into more depth.

© 2018 Digital Drive Durham

UMi Commercial Limited

Company Number 07227157

Spectrum 6, Spectrum Business Park, Seaham, County Durham, SR7 7TT

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