Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Craft called Digital Marketing

Social media, Search engine optimization, Pay per click, Websites, etc.. have become words/phrases used in common parlance. Yet there are many who are not tuned to these words. They may have access to smart phones and maybe watching videos or listening to music online, yet are they truly familiar with the business model of Digital Marketing?

So what according to them is digital marketing? Majority would answer with statements like “I can book tickets online”; “I can post pictures on Instagram”; or “I can Snap Chat or WhatsApp with my friends”. Yet the true meaning of Digital Marketing comes from the second word in this phrase, i.e “marketing”. Digital implies the online platforms that are at our disposal these days. Ranging from the ubiquitous Facebook to the selectively used Apps like Viral Shots. The term “digital” also deems it imperative that there has to be internet connectivity, and since it’s an era of smartphones the availability of adequate amount of “data” is essential. Marketing on the other hand refers to the monetization of all sources of media, online or offline to ensure that the outreach to prospective or existing customers is successful. Does that result in increased sales, is a matter of separate discussion, but the narrative around Digital Marketing primarily focuses around increased eyeballs and better positioning of the brands or products or services in the minds of target audiences.

Definition of Marketing Management, according to Kotler & Keller (2008) is “the art & science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping & growing customers through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value.” If we look deeper into each element of this definition it will reflect the enormity of the definition and that of each word in its singularity.

The first question that arises when one reads this definition is the usage of the dyad ‘art’ and ‘science’. Art has its connection with creativity and the craft associated with marketing, whereas Science is all about the logical and numeracy aspects of marketing. Yet the twain has to meet and it does especially with advertisements and the design aspects of the product or service. There can’t be a better and more effective, monetarily as well as creatively, platform than digital.

As we explore the definition more acutely we come across the phrase ‘superior customer value’ and we are immediately drawn to the images and texts that are put together like stories for consumption by target audience. For a customer who by the click of a mouse or a scroll along the phone screen can decide what content he or she wants to associate with, it’s become quite a tedious task to keep them engaged effectively. Where the traditional forms of marketing like TV commercials are becoming slightly laggard in their approach, digital is slowly & steadily racing ahead in correlating with an increasingly young audience. Superior customer value therefore, in the case of digital marketing does seem achievable as digital marketing itself evolves to touch new heights of glory and innovation.

The canvass for Digital marketing is wide and bright, and new players in the market are writing new discourses and are breaking more & more barriers while effectively reaching out to the right audience at the right time. Many would also argue against Digital marketing especially due to the presence of a humongous quantum of online platforms and easy accessibility to unwholesome content, one of the worst examples being the Blue Whale Challenge, the jury is definitely out there on the utility and successful utilization of Digital marketing.

Watch this space for more such discussions on this effervescent & intriguing topic of Digital Marketing.

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