Business Software Solutions: Digital Marketing

Mini-Series: Part 4 of 5

digital marketing
In response to the positive feedback we received from the style of last week’s post about web apps, we’re going to follow suit with this week’s topic: digital marketing. In this article, we’ll delve into the differences between digital and traditional marketing, the various components of digital marketing, and the type of marketing your business should leverage. While many of you are quite familiar with this topic, I’m hoping to bring up some points that let you look at it from a different perspective. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

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But wait for one second! I want to preface the rest of this article by stating that I am by no means a marketing expert. I do not have a marketing-related degree. I consider myself a student of life with an unhealthy obsession with human psychology and behaviors. Most of my experience in marketing comes from my previous life as a sales manager. Now in the tech industry, I’ve been waiting to share the differences I’ve noticed between digital and traditional marketing, and what I’ve seen do very well for businesses.

Traditional vs Digital Marketing

Suffice it to say tech companies do things differently compared to non-tech companies. Whether that stems from the unique thought process that software engineers gravitate towards, or the purposeful strive towards uniqueness, who knows? What I do know is that with the dot com boom, tech companies, specifically digital marketing companies, changed the game. With a new medium to market on, and many presentational facets, marketing evolved. The introduction of websites may have been the genesis of digital marketing, but smartphones are the catalyst to its success. Confused? I don’t blame you. Let’s unpack this a bit.

Basically, what I’m referring to is the overwhelming number of smartphone users in the modern world. According to this article, 52% of all internet traffic is from smartphones! Whoa! The same article even goes as far as to share a projection that 72.6% of smartphone users will use their device to access the internet by 2025. This steady and steep growth of smartphone internet usage has paved the way for a whole new form of marketing. Today we see ads every time we use our smartphone: from checking our inbox to beating a level in our free-to-play game. Ad revenue, especially from mobile platforms, generates so much money that some companies do not even need to sell their products – they simply include spaces for ads!

The differences between traditional and digital marketing should be glaring by this point, but if not, it’s mainly the medium in which marketing is conducted. Due to the internet’s flexibility and growth potential, this medium has proven to be better categorized in a variety of categories. Traditional marketing is typically broken up into 5 main categories: print, broadcast, direct mail, telephone, and outdoor. I won’t be going into too much detail on this so if you’d like to learn more, I found this article to be quite informative. Other notable differences are: the amount of interaction the company has with its audience, the timing of the advertisement and the cost to run the ad or marketing campaign.

Types of Digital Marketing

Similar to traditional marketing, digital marketing is an all encompassing term for a slew of internet-based marketing. While there are a number of different categories, the four main ones are: SEM (Search Engine Marketing), email marketing, website marketing, and, of course, social media marketing. Website and email marketing have been around the longest and I’m sure you’re familiar with what they are and how they operate. If you don’t, website marketing encompasses advertising on websites and email marketing is nowadays fairly synonymous with spam. There have been a lot of innovations in these categories since their inception into the marketing sphere but they both share a fatal flaw…time. In order to be effective in website or email marketing it takes quite a bit of time to gain enough steady traffic to your website to profit from the ads or build up an email list that is viable for an email campaign.

The most effective digital marketing strategies that we’ve found work well with our clients are SEM and social media marketing. The beauty of these two types of marketing is that they are versatile enough to be used as either short or long term strategies! Due to the ever-growing user-base of social media platforms and search engines, it’s easier than ever to reach your target audience. When a client comes to us interested in our marketing services, we ideally start them out with a Google and Facebook ad campaign combo. After they’ve seen an influx in leads it’s not a hard sell to get them on a longer-term marketing campaign.

What Type of Marketing Should I Use?

Here’s, in my opinion, the most important part of this article: the considerations you, a business owner or operator, should know when considering the best marketing approach for your product or service. The most important point to consider is who your target audience is. If the median age of your audience falls under 50, digital marketing should be your go to! Generally, those under the age of 50 are extremely likely to be technologically savvy enough to use Google and will most likely have some form of social media presence (usually Facebook amongst others). For target audiences falling specifically within the millennial or younger demographic, digital marketing is an absolute must.

If you have a product or service that is un-opinionated regarding age, you have a lot of freedom! The most cost effective approach would be to start with digital marketing then include one or two forms of traditional marketing if you’re not hitting the capture rates you were expecting. Hybrid approaches, or approaches utilizing both digital and traditional marketing, are great because they allow you to showcase your product or service in different mediums. Sometimes it just looks better on a flyer or handout than on a monitor! There’s still a lot of value in having something physical for prospects. The sense of ownership goes far if leveraged properly!

Conclusion

And that’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed our insight in marketing and what we’ve seen work for clients. If you’ve read through at least a few of our articles you probably noticed they’re a bit on the shorter end. We still have plenty to share on any of the topics we’ve written about but don’t want to lose the message’s “stickiness” with too much information. If you’re still curious about digital marketing, please feel free to start a discussion in the comments below!

We have one more week to go as we end our business software solutions mini-series. After next week’s topic of Software Integrations we’ll be taking a hiatus from the posts but we plan on coming back as soon as we have more time to write awesome content! If there are any topics you’d like to pick our brains about in the future just let us know by filling out our contact form and we’ll be sure to cover it when we’re back! See you next week!

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