Keeping up with the digital age
Draw on digital marketing opportunities not only offline but also online with the help of state-of-the-art technologies
The digital age requires digital marketing. This page gives an overview of digital marketing’s broad domain, its differences to online marketing, and what digital marketing managers can expect from a career in this rapidly growing field.
- Definitions and Distinctions: Digital Marketing, Online Marketing
- Content Marketing – „Content ist King“
- Engagement and Community: Social Media Marketing
- Search and Found – Search Engine Marketing
- Public Relations and Online Marketing
- Marketing Automation: Technology does Humanize
- Digital Marketing: Do I need to be able to code?
- Digitalization and Online Marketing – Professional Development with a Future
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DIGITAL MARKETING & ONLINE MARKETING?
A common mistake: Using terms “digital marketing” and “online marketing” synonymously. It’s not unforgivable – For most people, “digital” and “online” mean the same thing. But actually, there’s a slight difference between the two when it comes to marketing.
Digital marketing is a catch-all term for any kind of marketing where marketing professionals rely on electronic devices to create and evaluate marketing campaigns. Thus, the tools and media they use are digital.
Digital marketing activities can exist across a spectrum of media and channels, regardless whether they’re online or offline, including:
Online marketing, on the other hand, uses channels such as:
As well as other online activities such as content marketing, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, or e-mail marketing.
The difference between online and digital marketing is primarily that digital marketing can take place offline using electronics that aren’t necessarily connected to the Internet.
In contrast to both digital and online marketing, traditional marketing makes use of “analog” media such as print, TV, and classical advertising campaigns.
DIGITAL MARKETING – A DEFINITION
In the case of digital marketing, it’s commonplace to use digital media and solutions to plan, conduct, monitor, and analyze marketing strategies.
DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES
As in classical marketing, so too does digital marketing play a role in defining a company’s goals and the use of digital media to achieve these.
Tools like user personas (i.e., buyer personas) and customer journeys are common means in digital marketing to understand and satisfy customer needs.
Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing
Digital marketing offers companies diverse ways to reach their target groups. That’s why it’s important to make a further distinction: inbound vs. outbound marketing.
These approaches to digital marketing hold a core difference. Outbound marketing is typically thought of as the “classic” way to reach customers. That is, the company actively searches out prospective customers and leads and attempts to convert them into paying customers. Common outbound marketing strategies include cold calling and telephone marketing, visits to trade fairs, and TV ads.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, encompasses strategies that help potential customers find their desired products and services on their own. In inbound marketing, companies apply knowledge gained from a clear understanding of the customer journey and the unique problems and questions of their customers. Possible solutions are then presented on common inbound marketing channels like company blogs, webinars, and social media.
Inbound marketing activities are as deep as they are broad. Below, we’ve put together a summary of the most relevant inbound marketing strategies.
Content Marketing – „Content ist King“
As a subtype of digital and online marketing, social media marketing is perfect for spreading content in order to build and nurture a dedicated community of followers.
The most popular social media marketing strategies include:
Strategic content marketing makes it possible for companies to position themselves to their potential customers as credible sources of information. Relevant, useful content is key here – content should deliver high-quality answers to potential customers’ problems and questions. Brand messaging is another critical part of content marketing. To develop trust in a brand, customers need to feel spoken to and understood.
ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNITY: SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Content is the keystone of inbound marketing. Hence the well-known saying: Content is king. Take this king of technology, for example.
Good content marketing can support customers across three different branches of social media:
Facebook and Instagram
LinkedIn and Xing
EMAIL MARKETING – THE DIGITAL MESSENGER PIGEON
While bulk email marketing is a typical outbound marketing strategy, segmented email campaigns, such as those using newsletters, represent a smart inbound marketing strategy. This is a personalization tactic that can strengthen your corporate image and brand identity, deliver relevant content, and support sales through campaigns and discount promotions.
The biggest advantage of email marketing is its independence from a specific platform (like social media). With it, companies are in direct touch with their prospects and customers. Better customer service and direct dialogues with customers are just two of the nearly endless outcomes of email marketing.
SEARCHED, FOUND – SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the final point on our list of inbound marketing strategies.
Businesses now have more opportunities than ever to gear up their search engine marketing tactics – From classic search engines (Google, Bing) to visual search engines (Pinterest) and online marketplaces (Amazon, Etsy).
Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine advertisement (SEA) are rapidly growing subdisciplines in SEM.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The goal of Search Engine Optimization is making your corporate website findable and accessible via a search engine. Attaining a good organic ranking – meaning people find your website at the top of the search results with their unique search requests – is the primary goal of SEO. Both technical and marketing strategies are necessary to make this happen.
An important distinction when talking about SEO is the difference between on- and off-page SEO. On-page SEO refers to the steps a business can take using its website to improve its ranking (technical provisions, keyword optimization, use of relevant title tags and meta descriptions, internal links, etc.) Off-page SEO refers to everything that contributes to website rankings beyond the website itself, such as backlinks.
Assuming the business has optimized the organic findability of its website, search engine ads are an additional way to increase traffic.
Search Engine Advertisement (SEA)
Search engine advertisement (SEA) describes the process of the targeted placement of advertisements in the search results. These ads get pushed to the top of the search results, helping searchers more easily find what they are looking for with a specific query. Since they are sponsored, search engine ads are also called “paid search.”
The most popular SEA tool is Google Adwords.
The primary benefit of SEA over classic advertisement is potentially lower costs (When setting up a SEA campaign, companies have the ability to regulate their budget in terms of the maximum cost per click, i.e., cost-per-click or pay-per-click). Ads have to be relevant. Users have to make a relevant search in order to see the ad.
PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ONLINE MARKETING: IN THE PUBLIC SPOTLIGHT
The digital age has long meant digital public relations. That is, building a community using digital and online communication.
Public relations, or PR, encompasses how a business presents itself. Besides improving popularity, building credibility and trust are the goals of PR.
PR activities are thus directed to the public at large, given that public opinion exerts an ever important impact on the perception of a company and its socioeconomic meaning.
Online PR therefore isn’t a separate discipline, but rather an additional tool for PR experts. With digital tools, PR campaigns can not only be brought into circulation, but also evaluated at a rapid pace.
MARKETING AUTOMATION: TECHNOLOGY DOES HUMANIZE
Marketing automation is an important – and growing – component of inbound marketing. Automation has undergone rapid development in the last 10 years. Now, marketing managers have access to a huge selection of software and tool to automate their processes.
What makes marketing automation absolutely thrilling is the ability to use sophisticated workflows, customer databases, and CRM softwares to create highly individual customer experiences by targeting specific points in the customer journey with content and product-specific information.
THE JOB OF A DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
Without digitalization, modern marketing is simply unthinkable.
And the job prospects show it. To match the demand of increasingly digital consumer behavior, more and more marketing managers are finding work both in big cities and in more rural areas. In this career, remote work is a given. Specialists have their choice of full and part-time positions.
As a digital marketing manager, you will be working at the intersection of E-commerce, customer communication, customer service, and PR. Depending on the position and required experience, you can expect to gain more responsibility in developing and implementing a digital marketing strategy.
DIGITALES MARKETING: DO I HAVE TO BE ABLE TO CODE?
Coding isn’t a prerequisite to becoming a digital marketing manager. However, you do need to know how to operate different softwares, tools, and apps. It’s important that you understand different platforms at a level that will help inform strategic decisions.
For those looking to get into content marketing, having a solid understanding in CMS-programs (i.e., WordPress) as well as a good foundation in web programming languages (HTML, CSS) is a plus.
DIGITALES AND ONLINE MARKETING – EDUCATION WITH A FUTURE
With the accelerating digitalization of our society, more and more career paths will benefit from employees with skills in online and digital marketing. There are an increasing number of continuing education programs that can be completed while working full time.
Even if being a marketing manager is not your end goal, these programs will give you valuable insights into PR, sales, advertising, marketing, and customer service.