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  • Writer's pictureMartin Ferrand

What is Digital Marketing and why do you need it more than ever!

On hearing the term "digital marketing", many people think of an advertisement crashing into a favorite youtube video, forcing them to wait an agonizing five seconds to hit the "Skip Ad" button. But digital marketing embraces far more than annoying streaming-video commercials. Digital marketing is, in fact, a catch-all term for any promotional material delivered to consumers through a digital device such as a computer or smartphone.

In some respects, digital marketing is old wine in a new bottle: a web page is basically a text-rich magazine display ad, and streaming video is just a television commercial being played on a really tiny screen. But digital marketing takes advertising a step further by facilitating convenient and efficient reciprocal communication between producer and consumer. It does this through one of the greatest innovations of the digital age: the social-media platform.

The first social-media platforms were intended to be the virtual analogue of the coffee shop, pub, and town hall, offering members a place to meet people, exchange information, and express their views. As they learned to monetize their services, many platforms were transformed into the virtual equivalent of what had been, throughout history, the preeminent venue for social interaction: the marketplace.

Whether the general store of American rural communities or the wet markets of Asian cities, the marketplace operates largely on the basis of personal relationships between buyer and seller. Over time, a shopkeeper might learn the food preferences of certain families, and so offer bulk discounts on selected items only to them. In return, the buyers would feel comfortable dealing with this familiar face and so bypass the stalls of competing vendors. As the relationship matured, both buyer and seller would benefit.

Digital marketing seeks to recreate this pre-industrial paradigm in the post-industrial age. Digital marketers employ sophisticated technology to create slick presentations with eye-catching visuals and compelling text content for distribution across multiple platforms, but at the same time seek to build a personal relationship through direct interaction with the potential or actual buyer. Social media platforms provide customers with convenient tools for expressing concerns for or asking questions about the products or services on offer.

This real-time analysis of the levels and extent of customer engagement — whether a viewer immediately clicks through an ad or post or actively interacts with the page — serves to address the core concern of marketing managers everywhere: “Am I reaching my target market?” The viewer-engagement metrics, when applied to user profile data, allows companies to target their marketing resources with surgical precision.

Digital marketing is, of course, indispensable for online retailers and other companies whose very existence depends on the internet. But even companies operating in traditional sectors, where the only digital component in the production process is a laptop for writing emails, can supplement — or even re-imagine — sales and marketing.

To learn more about how digital marketing can help your company or organization, please contact us at

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