If you are reading this, you are experiencing digital marketing. In fact, if you use a computer, smart phone or tablet to access anything, you are having a digital experience.
The bottom line is that almost all marketing today is digital marketing
Websites, email blasts, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn are digital marketing outlets most often mentioned. However, besides the large social media sites, there are literally thousands more that cater to smaller, but sometimes quite active sub-groups. There are bulletin board sites, photo sharing sites, dating sites and video sharing sites. If you have a hobby or an interest in something, no matter how unique you think it is, there is probably a social site built around it that would welcome you.
To make the umbrella even bigger, television, radio and print are blurring the lines between traditional and digital by including interactive elements. For example, TV and radio spots may ask us to visit their social media sites to “see the rest of the story.” QR codes are showing up on everything from print ads to product packaging – often sending us, via our smart phones, to websites or video sites.
Why “Old School” Marketing may no longer work
Since the beginning of time, people who wanted to sell things had to figure out who might want to buy what they were selling … and then figure out how to reach those people. That’s marketing. There was a time that putting up a sign, printing a flyer or even walking up to people on the street could do the job. But while those tactics might still have a place, today’s ever-expanding marketing choices and steeper competition make it necessary find new ways to find and keep customers. But how?
People still watch TV, listen to radio, and research products on the Internet. Some even still read newspapers and buy magazines or find stores by driving by them. But now they also check email, interact with brands and friends on Facebook, follow keywords on Twitter, look at images on Pinterest, view YouTube Videos, etc. etc.
Figuring out who your “ideal customers” are, where they hang out and how to get their attention is critical. Add to that the change in the way people approach purchasing decisions (talking to others, reading reviews, asking questions on social sites) and you can begin to see that your father’s marketing plan is not going to work today, and why hiring a marketing professional may be the only way to stay competitive.
Marketing professionals today stay current on the many marketing opportunities available, understand their clients’ businesses well enough to help clients zero in on the segment of the population who may buy from them, and then develop a strategy that sends the right message via the right marketing vehicle to the right audience. And they do it consistently – because they know this new way of marketing takes time, repetition and patience.
The upside is that once you win customers with the right marketing strategy, they tend to remain loyal to you. They also tell their friends about you on Facebook and Twitter and write good reviews on Google and Bing.