Digital marketing is about reaching, attracting and converting customers leveraging the newer and much more sophisticated (than traditional media) technology mediums. It uses, whether online or offline, various devices, and multiple interfaces – social, websites, mobile apps, etc. Amongst other things, digital marketing enables precise targeting and positioning, delivers contextual experiences and interactions with products/services and related information or expertise.
However, the digital marketing environment is complex. Digital marketers have to consider multiple languages, markets, channels, and platforms for marketing their products and services to customers at different interaction points. Effectiveness of digital marketing cannot be looked in isolation – it is about effectiveness of the entire marketing effort. Thus, any isolated digital marketing view is bound to be sub-optimal; and digital marketing effectiveness is very much dependent on how it engages with the entire marketing and sales life cycle. Therefore, to make digital marketing more effective it requires a 360 degree approach that includes identifying target audience, right segmentation, channels, choosing the right technology and platform, and engaging through right digital touchpoints.
This means that effective digital marketing is about providing valuable experiences (using technology and digital media) to various audiences, fulfilling certain practical purposes such as:
- Rich consumer experiences at digital touch points
- Highly relevant offerings and communication (personalization)
- Realizing value of technology investments (in marketing)
- Assessing the product (its benefits) and ability to decide confidently, as a customer
- Ability to take informed product and marketing decisions
Technology marketing is about defining and enabling the valuable experiences a technology product, channel, or a service provides. Therefore, digital marketing can be thought of as an application of technology marketing. Technology marketing enables and supercharges all the facets of marketing and sales, and entails orchestration of multiple skills, resources, knowledge, connections, functions, processes and perspectives. Digital marketing, in this approach, becomes an all-permeating aspect of all the related activities from envisaging the product to monetizing it.
Having a coherent marketing effort through myriad experiences – different audiences, different mediums, different messages etc., is hard. It is difficult to get right the combination of connected skills together at the right time. Some examples of such skills include technology skills, product knowledge, business model understanding, creative skills, and of course marketing skills. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that technology is hard to understand. And further, technology, market conditions, and business needs are dynamic and change rapidly. That technology makes things very transparent and easily replicable means that marketers have to be on their toes to sustain any advantage.
Digital marketing has to productively gain from a range of enabling technologies such as cloud, big data, social analytics, web experiences, mobile experiences, crowdsourcing, etc. The digital marketing effort has to tune itself to unique audience, product and media contexts.
Therefore, digital marketing effectiveness requires keeping pace with changes in all the dimensions and it would be a substantial advantage to have a model that can be adjusted to meet unique customer and business contexts. This can be enabled by a comprehensive and structured approach that includes well-defined connections at all levels of the sales and marketing processes. Advaiya, an Udaipur based technology and marketing consulting firm, has developed Technology Marketing as a Service (TMaaS) as a comprehensive architecture to deliver the same. TMaaS has various elements of marketing function abstracted into services with clear definitions, having a well-defined mechanism to engage and interact with all other aspects of marketing and consumer interaction. Digital marketing envisaged, executed and measured in this framework is much more comprehensive, coherent and effective.
Therefore, Digital marketers should look at the broader aspects of technology marketing and not just focus on websites, SEO, pay-per-click, etc. Digital marketing should be looked as something that permeates through sales and marketing cycle. To increase the effectiveness of digital marketing, marketers should internalize such comprehensive technology marketing model that allows quick tuning to varying contexts – customers, products, technology or business.