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February 15, 2021

Marketing in a digital world

Opinion

February 15, 2021

The idea of getting customers to subscribe to your products or services has to be one of the biggest factors a business considers when setting up a business. It is worth the thought because your products and services are nothing unless you have people who are willing to buy it from you.

As the population of the world increases (7.8 billion as of March 2020), the difficulties of using traditional marketing methods keep increasing. There has arisen a need to embrace a new method of marketing that will be far-reaching and effective among these difficulties.

Digital marketing is an incredibly ingenious concept in these modern times. Products and services are marketed using the internet to reach the final consumers and prospective consumers in a productive way that also creates interaction between the consumer and the producer. Digital marketing uses social media platforms, the world wide web, blogging, video streaming, texting, and online advertising.

According to statista.com, a whopping sum of $302 billion will be spent on advertisements in 2023, and about 66 percent of that money – which amounts to $201 billion – will be spent on digital marketing while the remaining will be spent on conventional marketing. One needs no soothsayer to point to the fact that digital marketing has a lot to offer in terms of return on investment, which is why it takes the larger chunk of marketing investment.

Conventional marketing or traditional marketing also seeks to achieve the same aim as digital marketing, which is to use TV, radio, mail, door-to-door advertising, newspapers and magazines to market products and services. The glaring difference between the two is that digital marketing is a more viable option in terms of cost margin, far-reaching engagement with the product by consumers, and effective conversion. Conventional marketing normally relies on newspapers, magazines and other forms which are no more appealing to the fast-paced world we live in right now.

Another reason why the market size of conventional marketing is reduced compared to the fast-rising digital market is the inability to monitor analytics and insightful information on a company's marketing campaign. Imagine having to spend a lot of money on an advert and you don’t know how the advert is doing, whether people like it or not, or whether it is getting to your customers. This is the case with the traditional method of advertising; There is an estimation of over 40 percent decline in the number of millennials and Gen-Xers watching traditional TV. Meanwhile, the average American spends approximately 25 hours on the internet weekly.

With these overwhelming facts, the question is how to get in line and benefit from the bounties of digital advertising as a service provider or a producer. The first thing to do is to get yourself abreast of the tools that have to be learnt for implementing digital marketing to optimize your sales funnel. The primary aim of these tools is to ensure that marketers can push out their adverts and oversee the performance of their campaigns.

Social media analytics tools are tools that help measure the level of engagement an advert has on a social media platform or a website. Google Analytics is a typical example of one of these tools, which is built to monitor the statistics of traffic on websites. Another is Twitter analytics and Facebook insights which perform a similar function of monitoring engagements, and its stored-up data about users are useful for advertisers.

Social media is the most engaging of digital marketing tools. This is because of the interactive features of most social media platforms that allow direct communication. Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp are some examples. The ads management feature of these apps enables them to run advertisements and monitor their developments.

The process of digital marketing is not limited to just posting ads. There are other factors to be considered when talking about ad creation, like the aesthetic part. One of them is the design tools. Examples are spark post, Canva, Adobe illustrator and Picsart. These user-friendly tools help create unique pictures for adverts.

Content creation is suitable for a content-based market ad. Tools like buzzsumo help business owners track the trending contents to write on; you can also track how others in your niche are doing with this website. Evernote is another tool under this category that helps take notes, organize ideas, and brainstorm for content. It also helps your team have access to your ideas and collaborate with you.

Email marketing is the tool with the highest return on investment because the contents are amplified through the possibility of interaction between the business and the prospective consumer. To get the best out of email marketing, some tools will enhance email marketing that you should consider. One of them is MailChimp, regarded as the email marketing company with the largest customers in the world. Quite a few Business to Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumers (B2C) companies use it. Other email marketing tools are Sendinblue, Optinmornster which is also a good lead generator for business.

The technicalities involved in marketing digitally, coupled with the cost of getting a specialized professional to help with this, is a turn off for many startups. The alternative is the use of freelancers to help out with the technicalities involved at a relatively affordable price. Hiring a freelancer affords you time to improve other aspects of your business without having to worry about the nitty-gritty of the technical aspect of digital marketing. The fixed nature of independent contractors makes it difficult for startups that need immediate service of the digital marketer to get booked easily. Freelancers can provide an easy way out in this situation.

Digital marketing has surely come to stay, and businesses all around the world are reaping its benefits. Pakistan is also striving to become the leader in digital marketing globally. Internet penetration in Pakistan seems quite promising and more and more users are coming to utilize internet digital technology.

Digital marketing technology is definitely the future. The right question to ask after this is: will the embrace of this new trend have a positive impact on the economy?

What drives the economy is primarily the theory of demand and supply; there has to be an interaction between the consumers and the producers. This simply means that if there is good rapport between the two parties, there will be an increase in demand. The interactive features of digital marketing help drive sales as opposed to traditional marketing that gives no room for quality interaction between the service providers and the clients.

The possibility of reaching customers from every part of the world is another boost to the economy. Before now, the opportunity to get customers in every region of the world was highly impossible without much financial commitment. Internet marketing also creates healthy rivalry between competing producers leading to many benefits such as affordable products and swiftness in response.

Conclusively, a step in the right direction will be to hone your skills in digital marketing, because it has a future in the world economy of today.

The writer is director of the Centre for Information and Communication Technology at IBA.

Email: [email protected] Twitter: @imranbatada