What is digital marketing or online marketing?

Surely the names “digital marketing” or “online marketing” are familiar to you. But are you clear what they mean? How has it evolved over the last few years? What are the trends and aspects of digital marketing that you should take more into account? I reveal everything to you in this post.

  • What is the digital marketing
  • How online marketing was born: from web 1.0 to web 2.0
  • The maturation of digital marketing: web 3.0
  • The tools of digital marketing
  • Evolution of the marketing mix: from 4P to 5C
  • The advantages of digital marketing or online marketing

What is the digital marketing

Digital marketing (or online marketing) encompasses all those advertising or commercial actions and strategies that are executed in the media and internet channels. This phenomenon has been applied since the 90s as a way of transferring offline marketing techniques to the digital universe.

Parallel to the tremendous development and evolution of digital technology, online marketing has been experiencing, progressively and very quickly, profound changes, both in the techniques and tools used (and in their complexity) and in the possibilities it offers to recipients. . Let’s see how.

How online marketing was born: from web 1.0 to web 2.0

In its beginnings, online marketing was based on web pages 1.0 and came to be a translation of advertising from traditional media (television, radio, paper media …) to the first web pages, which did not allow a bidirectionality in communication with users. The advertising companies totally controlled the message and limited themselves to exposing it to the audience.

In addition, the advertising of the web 1.0 stage was limited, in most cases, to reproduce a showcase of products or services in the form of an online catalog . Even so, this type of advertising already pointed out interesting virtues , such as the potentially universal reach, the possibility of updating the contents and the combination of texts, images and, little by little, also multimedia formats.

But, in a few years, the revolution arrived . A frenzy of technological development allowed the massive introduction of a higher level internet. Web 2.0 was born and, with it, marketing 2.0 (as current digital or online marketing is also known). And what a change!

From that moment, it began to be possible for all users to share information easily thanks to social networks, forums or platforms, allowing the almost instantaneous exchange of pieces that were previously impossible, such as photos and video.

The Internet became much more than a means of searching for information and it became a great community . Currently, the network is only understood as a means of exchanging information in two directions . Feedback is, therefore, total and fundamental between brands and users, with the pros and cons that this entails.

The maturation of digital marketing: web 3.0

Once we are all adapted to web 2.0, the industrial revolution does not let us lower our guard. A new type of web is already emerging: web 3.0. But what is this new web format based on ?

Thanks to new technologies, especially artificial intelligence, the Internet is ceasing to be a robotic space and is gaining a semantic sense. Sounds a bit complex, right? To understand it better, I have collected the four main features of web 3.0:

3.1. Semantic web

The semantic web is the most representative feature of web 3.0. Let’s get a little background: in 1999, the creator of the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee, said: “I have a dream in which computers are able to analyze all the data on the web: the content, links and interaction between people and computers. A semantic web that has yet to emerge, but when it does, the everyday mechanisms of commerce, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be driven by machines talking to machines. The ‘smart agents’ that people have been promoting for years. “

In other words, the semantic web that Berners-Lee was looking for since the end of the last century is a web in which the software is capable of interpreting natural language . That is, do you want to write an article about electronic commerce and you don’t know whether to use the keywords “electronic commerce” or “ecommerce”? With the semantic web you will stop having this problem, since Google will understand the meaning of the term beyond the term itself. Keywords are no longer so important, since the semantic web understands the subject of the article beyond the main keyword.

3.2. Artificial intelligence

Closely linked to the first is the second feature: artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is one of the current technologies that is disrupting the internet the most. It is what allows the web to know the semantic intent of each page or website beyond its words. 

In addition, artificial intelligence also allows us to take a great leap in the field of data analysis , being able to rely on the interpretation of algorithms and make much more advanced analysis.

3.3. 3D graphics

Another main feature is the 3D graphics. This technology is still underdeveloped and may sound very futuristic, since the web as we know it has a 2D nature. But 3D web design is set to revolutionize today’s web pages. 

It sounds weird these days, but can you imagine browsing the internet as if you were a World of Warcraft character within their world? Well, it’s how great visionaries see the future of the internet. In fact, Philip Roselade, creator of Second Life, believes that avatars or virtual identities will be as popular as emails.

This still sounds very futuristic, but the truth is that we are already witnessing its beginnings thanks to augmented reality . For a few years now we can see Pokémon in our home or on the streets of our city thanks to the popular Pokémon Go video game. Well, can you imagine that with this same technology you could stand in front of a mirror and see how your clothes fit without physically putting them on or trying all the makeup products with a single click? In the Shanghai metro it is already possible to find this technology.

3.4. Ubiquity and connectivity

Surely you have already heard of the internet of things or Internet of Things (IoT): another of the great characteristics of web 3.0. In addition to being connected to the internet all day with the mobile, any object of our day to day is also beginning to be connectable . 

What does this mean? It means that we can synchronize our profiles and be present in a large number of web spaces at the same time. We become a kind of omnipresent profiles , taking omnichannel to another level.

The tools of digital marketing

Digital marketing puts at our disposal a series of tools of great diversity, from which can be carried out from small actions at practically zero cost to complex strategies (and, obviously, more expensive) in which to combine an infinite number of techniques and resources. These are the main ones:

  1. SEO
  2. SEM
  3. Content marketing
  4. Social media marketing
  5. Display Marketing
  6. Affiliate Marketing
  7. Email marketing

1. SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is search engine optimization. Search engines are search engines that index web pages so that we can find what we are looking for. The best known and most used search engine is Google, but it is not the only one. Google’s big competitors worldwide are Yandex (Russia) and Baidu (China).

SEO allows us to know the logic behind these search engines and to be able to put the pages of our website in the first results to get organic visits. SEO is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but the results come with a lower long-term investment. By depending on the algorithms of search engines and the good practices that we apply on our website, the control we have over SEO is much lower when compared to other channels.

2. SEM

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) commonly refers to advertisements that appear within search engines. The main differences with SEO are that, being paid ads, the chances of segmentation are very high, the control we have over the SEM is much higher and the results are immediate. 

3. Content marketing

The content marketing is a digital marketing strategy based on creating content to attract the target audience. Typically this content is in the form of blog articles, ebooks, infographics, or videos. Like SEO, it is also a long-term strategy with little control over the audience. 

4. Social media marketing

Social media marketing is called the use of social media platforms to connect with the audience with 3 objectives:

  • improve branding
  • increase leads
  • get sales

In part, social media marketing is like content marketing: it must capture the attention of our target audience in the medium or long term . But, on the other hand, you can also have the support of Social Ads , which are ads on Social Media platforms, with Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads or Youtube Ads as the most popular platforms.

5. Display marketing

Display marketing is a type of online advertising that is characterized by the well-known banners . Surely you have seen many of these ads in one of their various forms: text, image, video, audio or even game. They stand out for their high creative flexibility.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy in which the affiliate takes advantage of their website traffic to promote a company’s product. 

7. Email marketing

As we already know, email marketing is the marketing strategy that is based on taking advantage of a company’s database to send communications. Despite being a highly exploited strategy, following good habits, it is still one of the most effective and with the best return. 

Evolution of the marketing mix: from 4P to 5C

Who hasn’t heard of the marketing mix and the 4Ps that Philip Kotler defined in the 1960s? Let’s review them: 

  • Price
  • Product
  • Place (distribution)
  • Promotion

Since the 1960s, this theory has undergone many evolutions. Some claim that the marketing mix has up to 7 P’s, adding: 

  • Process
  • People
  • Physical evidence

But it was since the advent of digital marketing, in the 90s, when Lauterborn replaced them with the 4 C’s, giving the marketing mix a more customer-driven approach :

Product becomes Customer

Marketing strategies should no longer focus on the product, but on the customer. This is why the first thing we do in an inbound marketing strategy is define our buyer persona . Thanks to this, we understand your point of view and your needs much better.

Price becomes Cost

The cost goes beyond the price. The cost includes, for example, shipping costs or the time it takes for the shipment to arrive. The point of view of the 4 C defends that the client must have the maximum facilities to achieve its acquisition.

Place (distribution) goes to Convenience (convenience)

From the original marketing mix point of view, we had to distribute the product so that the customer can find it. But with the 4 C we must give all the facilities to the client to achieve it, both through the channel they want and at the time they want. 

Promotion goes to Communication

Communication goes beyond promotion. It is a bilateral tool in which we must also listen to customers and respond to their feedback.

The advantages of digital marketing or online marketing

Digital marketing is an essential strategy for brands due to the great opportunity for growth, positioning and sales or customer acquisition that they represent .

Potential customers, or at least the vast majority, are constantly connected to the internet from their computer and, in recent years, also through their mobile phones or tablets.

This context has led to a wide range of advantages of digital marketing, among which are:

  • Affordable costs . Online marketing is affordable in terms of budget, especially when compared to traditional marketing channels such as television, radio or the press. 
  • Greater capacity for control, optimization and correction of campaigns due to the collection and possibility of consulting in real time the results obtained, in addition, exactly. 
  • Great flexibility and dynamism . With the possibility of carrying out tests and changes on the fly based on the results obtained and the behavior of the users regarding a campaign.
  • It allows a very specific, personalized and precise segmentation. In an online marketing campaign, the company can segment its campaigns taking into account the sociodemographic and psychological data of the users, as well as their behavior on the Internet. 
  • It allows an exact measurement of the campaign. Results obtained, benefits, return on investment (ROI), etc.

After this introduction, we hope that it has become clearer to you what it means and, above all, what does digital marketing or online marketing entail today. That is why we would like to know your opinion. 

Do you have any questions about how to apply it in your project? Do you know more advantages or ways to optimize your campaigns? Let me know in the comment section!

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