Simply put, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands using electronic devices or the internet. It also includes text messaging, instant messaging, video, apps, podcasts, electronic billboards, digital television and radio channels, etc. Digital marketing uses multiple channels and technologies that allow an organization to analyze campaigns, content and strategy to understand what’s working and what isn’t – typically in real time.
History of Digital Marketing
A generation ago, consumers were at the mercy of advertisers who spoon-fed them marketing messages across a few media channels: print, billboards, television, radio. These advertisers created markets, defining and reinforcing consumer stereotypes. In the 1950s, advertising was primarily a one-way conversation with a captive audience. TV advertising grew and matured into a viable marketing medium. Experts were the style makers.
With the explosion of digital media, people began to engage with each other – and the companies they did business with – in new ways. The relevance of traditional print and broadcast channels declined, completely changing the consumer-corporation dynamic. Digital channels opened doors for consumers. No longer passive participants in a one-sided marketing conversation, consumers became empowered authors, publishers and critics. The digital landscape is participatory, an area where consumers exchange ideas. Marketers no longer drive the discussion. Everyday consumers are now the style makers and trendsetters.
For marketers trying to compete in this new digital medium, it’s incredibly difficult to surface your content above the competitive noise. While the amount of time consumers spend on web and mobile has increased dramatically, the amount of available content has increased exponentially. More digital content is created in a day than most people can consume in a year. With so many distractions and choices, your audience has a very short attention span.
The exponential growth in digital channels has given rise to the importance of digital marketing. But digital marketing isn’t just about the channel. It’s also the mechanism by which people are creating and sharing content and experiences, engaging both with each other and the companies they do business with.
Digital Marketing in Today’s World
Marketers face new challenges in the digital marketplace. But they also have the opportunity to create personalized, relevant communications and content to develop deep relationships with customers based on ongoing interactions. Explore the resources below to learn more.
Maximizing moments of truth
This paper explores what customer “moments of truth” mean and how understanding those moments along the customer journey helps marketers deliver the personalized, real-time responses that customers crave.
Customer segmentation for a new digital experience
Is customer segmentation dead? No way. It’s been given new life as one-to-one digital marketing. Marketing that’s made possible by data and analytics. Learn what’s new and what’s next for customer segmentation.
A better approach: Align data and analytics across the customer journey
Find out how applying analytical models across the customer journey uncovers opportunities to extend the customer’s lifetime value.
Who's Using Digital Marketing?
From optimizing content to personalizing offers to managing relationships across channels, companies in every industry are using digital marketing to improve the customer experience and move customers along the buying cycle.
Retailers use digital marketing to see who their customers are and understand their shopping patterns in real time. This deep understanding allows retailers to offer an increasingly personalized shopping experience for each customer, which improves customer loyalty and sales.
In the communications industry, digital marketing is helping companies better segment and automate marketing messages, as well as analyze social media conversations and call center transcripts to make customized, relevant offers that help decrease costly churn.
Small to mid-size businesses
Small to midsize businesses that don’t have large marketing departments or budgets are using digital marketing to manage and automate campaigns, quickly evaluate what’s working, and easily make improvements.
As banks scale back on brick-and-mortar branches and increase investments in mobile platforms, digital marketing is a critical substitute for in-person conversations. With highly targeted segments and personalized offers, banks are seeing significant increases in response rates and lead generation.
Sports teams use digital marketing to increase revenue by examining concession, merchandise and ticket sales for every event and using the insights to update marketing and promotional strategy on the spot.
Government organizations use digital marketing to better understand citizens’ needs, facilitate communication and identify segments most likely to be interested in public programs and services.
Learn More About Industries Using This Technology
- Capital Markets
- Consumer Goods
- Defense & Security
- Health Care
- High-Tech Manufacturing
- Higher Education
- Life Sciences
- Midsize Business
- Oil & Gas
- P-12 Education
- Retail Analytics
- Sports Analytics
- Travel & Transportation
We now have insight into how customers first interact with the bank, what the logical next-best offers should be and how to best retain customers moving forward. Bojan Dimić Head of Customer Relationship Management UniCredit Bank Serbia
Omnichannel customer experience
What does true omnichannel customer experience look like? Watch this video to follow Emma through the full-range of personalized, perfectly-timed touchpoints orchestrated by her local grocery store for maximum customer convenience and satisfaction.
Find out how to reach the right audience on the right devices with the omnichannel marketing capabilities in SAS 360 Engage.
How Digital Marketing Works
Digital marketing and its associated channels are important – but not to the exclusion of all else. It’s not enough to just know your customers; you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them where, when and how they are most receptive to your message.
To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels – web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc. Retailers do this using omnichannel retail analytics. Marketers can use this information to create and anticipate consistent, coordinated customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle. The deeper your customer insight into behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in lucrative interactions.
What does it take to do digital marketing right? Here are three keys to digital marketing success:
- Manage complex customer relationships across a variety of channels – both digital and traditional.
- Respond to and initiate dynamic customer interactions.
- Extract value from big data to make better decisions faster.
Learn how you can create relevant, satisfying, valued customer experiences.
Featured product for Digital Marketing
Take insights gleaned from SAS 360 Discover and other sources – including other SAS Customer Intelligence solutions. And use that insight to craft personalized, precisely targeted offers delivered to customers across digital channels, devices and points in time.
- Know your data, know your customersIn the digital world, customers expect to be known as individuals with distinct preferences, not just as one member of a segment. Learn how to start with analytics.
- Article The era of gargantuan dataAt The Big Show in New York City, we heard from eBay, Chico's and Brooks Brothers about their use of big data for customer loyalty.
- The digitization of everything – its impact on the buyer’s journey and marketing’s roleFor nearly a century, the buyer’s journey was relatively linear. Advertising through mass media led to conversing with salespeople, friends and family. A purchase was made. But in today’s digitally networked world, studies show there are 3,000 different paths to purchase. How does marketing respond to this new reality? Brian Vellmure has answers.