What Is Digital Marketing And What Are Its Benefits?

There is no such thing as digital marketing. All of marketing is digital.

A superior of mine said this to me while I had the privilege of interning at Capella University. While there, I had the unique opportunity to work in the marketing department which had around 150 employees at the time.

So, because of my great love for all things marketing, I decided to conduct as many informational interviews as I possibly could with anyone in the marketing department who would give me one. At the end of my internship, I conducted approximately 50 informational interviews most of which were with people who worked in marketing for Capella.

While I did learn a lot about marketing in general, I will never forget that statement about digital marketing that my superior said to me. It has compelled me to mature my own digital marketing skills and even push more digital marketing services at my agency.

While the idea that “all marketing is now digital” may be controversial to some, corporate spending on digital advertising has risen substantially and isn’t stopping anytime soon.

To be more precise, the US advertising and marketing services industry includes about 38,000 establishments with combined annual revenue of about $100 billion.

So, to put it simply, brands are investing in digital forms of advertising to reach their target audiences. Because companies are investing more in digital marketing, those in the workforce are feeling the pressure to develop these in-demand skills (see #18).

Which brings us to the core of this blog post!

What is Digital Marketing?

Personally, I like Neil Patel’s definition of digital marketing:

“Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involve electronic devices.”

It’s simple yet broad which should be the case for digital marketing. Digital marketing is the process of using any form of digital media or electronic device to promote a brand. Simple yet broad.

To break this down a little further, I want to talk about the differences between print and digital content. Doing so will give you a fuller understanding of what we mean by digital marketing.

Print vs. Digital

Like Mr. Patel stated in the above definition, digital marketing uses electronic devices! Print marketing is the opposite. Print marketing is any form of marketing that is “printed” onto the material. For example, some obvious print marketing materials would be brochures, catalogs, leaflets, direct mail, and postcards. Although digital marketing has seen a tremendous increase in use among brands, print marketing still remains a favorite for some. Take a look at some print marketing examples that I really enjoy below.

I know the differences between print and digital marketing are obvious but just to sum it up, digital marketing is any form of marketing that utilizes electronic devices and print marketing is any type of marketing that uses tangible materials.

Now that we’ve distinguished between the classic print and the upcoming digital marketing, I’ll quickly walk you through some of the benefits of digital marketing.

What are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?

There are numerous benefits of digital marketing, but for the sake of brevity, I’m going to name and expound on three of the most beneficial aspects of digital marketing, mmmk?

1) Analytics

The largest benefit that digital marketing has over traditional forms of marketing is its use of analytics. I’m talking all the way from the front-end to the back-end.

For example, if you are launching an ad campaign on Facebook, you have a tremendous amount of ad targeting options at your fingertips. Digital marketing has allowed for brands and advertisers to gather large amounts of data on their target audiences and how they behave. This only increase our chances of placing a relevant message in front of the right audience.

On the back-end of a campaign, digital marketing analytics allow us to see which channel is the most profitable and what a user is doing on our site once they land. The detailed targeting options and behavioral data are clear advantages that digital marketing has over traditional means of marketing.

2) Lead Generation

Wouldn’t it be something if you could generate leads in your sleep? Well, with a well-placed lead magnet and marketing funnel, your website can do that for you! This is another distinct advantage that digital marketing has over traditional marketing.

Due to the rise in automation services, all a marketer has to do is create an appealing lead magnet, build an email workflow, and watch leads go from cold to warm all from simply visiting your website.

In the past, marketers would have to visit trade shows and make cold calls to generate leads but thanks to the advent of digital marketing, marketers can now add automated processes to their marketing tool belts.

The cool thing is, these lead generation strategies tend to be preferred by today’s consumer as well. Inbound lead generation is a little less invasive than an outbound generation strategy.

3) Low Cost

The final benefit of digital marketing that I want to point out is its insanely low cost. Seriously – if you have $20 to spare, you can get into digital advertising.

In fact, there’s a whole Facebook marketing strategy built around a budget of $1-a-day.

Offline, a business might spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to send out direct mail ads, send salespeople to trade shows, or put an ad up on a billboard. But with digital marketing, one can set a relatively low budget, precise targeting options, and specific marketing objectives that are not only effective but affordable.

Digital marketing has made it possible for any small business to place its product/service in front of thousands of potential customers.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! Digital marketing is any form of marketing that involves electronic devices and it’s good for marketing measurement, lead generation, and cutting costs (and many more things)! I hope I’ve answered your question as it relates to that topic. If you want to learn more specifics on digital marketing, check out my previous articles on Instagram marketing and PPC advertising explained.

As always, reach out to me via email or on social with any questions about digital marketing or if you’re just looking to connect. Cheers! 😊