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.
Reimagine digital marketing for today and tomorrow
Marketing organizations that want to match expectations of today’s consumers will have to provide smarter and more immersive levels of customer experience and personalization. Are brands and consumers ready?
Generative AI for digital marketers
With generative AI technologies and AI assistants, marketers can enhance creativity and efficiency throughout the customer engagement life cycle. For example, AI assistants can help with planning campaigns, generating creatives, segmenting audiences and more.
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.
Retail & Consumer Goods
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.
Telecom, Media & Technology
In the TMT 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 & Midsize Businesses
Small and 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.
Public sector organizations use digital marketing to better understand citizens’ needs, facilitate communication and identify segments most likely to be interested in public programs and services.
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.
But even the best traditional digital marketing efforts may not deliver on today's customer expectations for a unified, consistent and highly personalized experience across all touchpoints.
Consumers don’t distinguish marketing from advertising interactions – and to meet their expectations, neither can marketers. A MadTech approach merges marketing technology (MarTech) with advertising technology (AdTech). By combining data from both marketing and advertising, marketers can provide the best possible user experiences and get a clearer picture of which audiences to target, and how.
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.
SAS Marketing & Advertising Resources
See how SAS uses marketing analytics to create digital assets for the company. Explore resources from podcasts to e-books and learn about the power of marketing across the tech industry.
- Article Your customers aren’t afraid of new technologies. Are you? New research uncovered some interesting themes for the next decade of customer engagement. Surprisingly, consumers are embracing technology at a faster rate than brands might expect or admit.
- The ideal customer experience on every channelImprove omnichannel interactions with a customer decision hub that manages all marketing, services and sales activities – and synchronizes all customer data.
- Article Marketing optimization: Five lessons learned at a major US bankHow does a bank know what you need when you visit its website, open the mobile banking app or walk into the branch? For one of the largest banks in the US, the answer is marketing optimization. Here are five lessons they’ve learned.