Is this another fancy word that you should embrace and include in your conversational routine to look smarter? or is there a real benefit behind knowing what it is digital marketing?

Digital Marketing History

Here is the photo of the first digital marketer in history:

first digital marketer
Guglielmo Marconi – Father of the Radio

His name: Guglielmo Marconi.

Marconi was the first human to invent the radio back in 1867, shortly after his little demonstration, morse signals were transmitted across the world.

And, while it would take another 10 years for the radio to reach the general public, it sure didn’t take the creators long to realize they could use it to sell.

The first live broadcast was from an opera performance at the Met and people rushed to buy opera show tickets… The digital marketing strategy was born.

Digital marketing doesn’t deal only with internet, it is all marketing activities that happen through electronic devices, simple… Business can leverage all the new technologies such as search engines, social media, email, sms, whatsapp, website and mobile apps… to connect with current and prospects.

growing number of internet users 2005 to 2018
Growth of the number of internet users world wide in million 2005 to 2018 (Statista)

Seeing this numbers and coupled with the radical changes that occured recently in our shopping, booking and entertainment behaviour, we realize that classic marketing won’t be as effective as it used to be.

Marketing is about connecting with your audience wherever they are so if they are in the internet, you should go there and reach them!

So what is the simple definition of digital marketing?

Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices.

That’s the reason it has been around for decades (because electronics have) and why it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with content marketing, Google ads, social media or retargeting.

Digital marketing can be done both online and offline.

And, both kinds matter for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.

Online marketing strategies and tactics:

A good digital marketers should have a clear picture of how each campaign supports his goals and meet his strategy. Based on which he can decide if he opts for an organic or paid campaign.

content marketer, for example, can create a series of blog posts that serve to generate leads from a new ebook the business recently created. The company’s social media marketer might then help promote these blog posts through paid and organic posts on the business’s social media accounts. Perhaps the email marketer creates an email campaign to send those who download the ebook more information about the company. We’ll talk more about these specific digital marketers in a minute.

But first let’s define the most common online marketing channel available:

Online Digital Marketing Channels

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is the process of optimizing your website to “rank” higher in search engine results pages, thereby increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic your website receives. The channels that benefit from SEO include:

  • Websites.
  • Blogs.
  • Infographics.

Content Marketing

This term denotes the creation and promotion of content assets for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. The channels that can play a part in your content marketing strategy include:

  • Blog posts.
  • Ebooks and whitepapers.
  • Infographics.
  • Online brochures and lookbooks.

Social Media Marketing

This practice promotes your brand and your content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include:

  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Instagram.
  • Snapchat.
  • Pinterest.
  • Google+.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

PPC is a method of driving traffic to your website by paying a publisher every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google AdWords, which allows you to pay for top slots on Google’s search engine results pages at a price “per click” of the links you place. Other channels where you can use PPC include:

  • Paid ads on Facebook.
  • Promoted Tweets on Twitter.
  • Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a type of performance-based advertising where you receive commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. Affiliate marketing channels include:

Native Advertising

Native advertising refers to advertisements that are primarily content-led and featured on a platform alongside other, non-paid content. BuzzFeed-sponsored posts are a good example, but many people also consider social media advertising to be “native” — Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising, for example.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the software that serves to automate your basic marketing operations. Many marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks they would otherwise do manually, such as:

  • Email newsletters.
  • Social media post scheduling.
  • Contact list updating.
  • Lead-nurturing workflows.
  • Campaign tracking and reporting.

Email Marketing

Companies use email marketing as a way of communicating with their audiences. Email is often used to promote content, discounts and events, as well as to direct people toward the business’s website. The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include:

  • Blog subscription newsletters.
  • Follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something.
  • Customer welcome emails.
  • Holiday promotions to loyalty program members.
  • Tips or similar series emails for customer nurturing.

Online PR

Online PR is the practice of securing earned online coverage with digital publications, blogs, and other content-based websites. It’s much like traditional PR, but in the online space. The channels you can use to maximize your PR efforts include:

  • Reporter outreach via social media.
  • Engaging online reviews of your company.
  • Engaging comments on your personal website or blog.

Inbound Marketing or let them come to you

Inbound marketing refers to the a customer attraction approach by engaging, and delighting customers using relevant online content. You can use every online marketing channel listed above to build your inbound marketing strategy and get leads that convert into paying customers.

The outbound marketing strategy in the other hand is the classic marketing strategy that relies mainly on sales representatives.

inbound vs outbound marketing

Offline marketing channels

Enhanced offline marketing

Electronic billboards

Digital billboards

An electronic billboard is basically a large (or even giant!) screen made up of LED (light emitting diode) bulbs whose lights are arranged and timed to create static, changing or full motion text and images.  Digital billboards are primarily used for advertising, but they can also serve public service purposes. They can be integrated into a digital marketing strategy!

Digital product demos

Virtual reality (VR) technologies can be used nowadays to demos physical products or to help customer visualize the final product as part of their daily routine. Ikea and other furniture resellers uses this technology.

Radio marketing

Over 100 years have passed since that original first live broadcast of the opera performance at the Met – radio is still here.

Since radio did fairly well in transitioning to the internet, it hasn’t taken as big of a hit as TV.  And, even old school radio still matters.

Some facts:

  • Radio still reaches 95% of the UAE population every week (2018)
  • Listeners listen 2 hrs per day, on average
  • The greatest reach is among higher income earners
  • About half the population of the US listens to internet radio at least once a month

Now, while profits have shrunk, radio isn’t dead.

TV marketing

Is all marketing and advertising activities carried by mean of television podcast.

TV commercials

The UAE Tv expenditure was estimated at 14 million U.S. dollars. The source predicts it will decrease to 10 million U.S. dollars by 2019. TV has the highest weekly reach in the UAE across all ages. Among Millennials, the second most often used medium is the internet.


This  is a form of television commercial, which generally includes a toll-free telephone number or website. Most often used as a form of direct  selling of products advertised and showcased through long format ads.

Super event commercials

A 60 second commercial aired during the Super Bowl costs $4.5 million.

Thanks to their cross-pollinating effect, the often viral and memorable commercials still pay for themselves.

Roughly 10% of all TV commercial-related shares on social media come from Super Bowl ads. So do about 8% of all views on Youtube that go to TV commercial videos.

This amazing xBox adaptive controller tv commercial is the best superbowl infomercial for 2019.

Phone marketing

Smartphones are killing it.

Now, over 80% of internet users own a smartphone and, in 2014, we crossed the tipping point where more people are accessing the internet from their phone than via a desktop PC or laptop.

Mobile marketing is here, and, in 2016, the amount spent on mobile ads will first exceed the amount spent on desktop ads.

In 2020, there will be as much money spent on mobile ads as there is now spent on TV advertising.  How’s that for fast growth?

Cold calling

Cold calling is the act of calling a person with no prior contact and trying to sell them something.

While at roughly 3 sales per day (marketers call 52 people a day, on average, with about 17 calls until they find a buyer), it doesn’t have the scalability of social media or email, it’s still a valid approach to marketing.

The tactic works, but doesn’t scale very well when selling to end customers (B2C) and making contact before trying to sell helps to close the deal (especially in B2B, which is all about connections).

Text message marketing

What works better is marketing via texting, an “app” that is also available on each and every single phone out there.

Online or offline, a text message is almost a guaranteed read.

What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing?

Unlike most traditional marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see results in real time. If you’ve ever put an advert in a newspaper, you’ll know how difficult it is to estimate how many people actually flipped to that page and paid attention to your ad. There’s no surefire way to know if that ad was responsible for any sales at all.

On the other hand, with digital marketing, you can measure the ROI of pretty much any aspect of your marketing efforts.

Here are some examples:

Website Traffic

With digital marketing, you can see the exact number of people who have viewed your website’s homepage in real time by using analytics software.

You can also see how many pages they visited, what device they were using, and where they came from, amongst other digital analytics data.

This intelligence helps you to prioritize which marketing channels to spend more or less time on, based on the number of people those channels are driving to your website. For example, if only 10% of your traffic is coming from organic search, you know that you probably need to spend some time on SEO to increase that percentage.

With offline marketing, it’s very difficult to tell how people are interacting with your brand before they have an interaction with a salesperson or make a purchase. With digital marketing, you can identify trends and patterns in people’s behavior before they’ve reached the final stage in their buyer’s journey, meaning you can make more informed decisions about how to attract them to your website right at the top of the marketing funnel.

Content Performance and Lead Generation

Imagine you’ve created a product brochure and posted it through people’s letterboxes — that brochure is a form of content, albeit offline. The problem is that you have no idea how many people opened your brochure or how many people threw it straight into the trash.

Now imagine you had that brochure on your website instead. You can measure exactly how many people viewed the page where it’s hosted, and you can collect the contact details of those who download it by using forms. Not only can you measure how many people are engaging with your content, but you’re also generating qualified leads when people download it.

Attribution Modeling

An effective digital marketing strategy combined with the right tools and technologies allows you to trace all of your sales back to a customer’s first digital touchpoint with your business.

We call this attribution modeling, and it allows you to identify trends in the way people research and buy your product, helping you to make more informed decisions about what parts of your marketing strategy deserve more attention, and what parts of your sales cycle need refining.

Connecting the dots between marketing and sales is hugely important — according to Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate, compared to a 4% decline in revenue for companies with poor alignment. If you can improve your customer’s’ journey through the buying cycle by using digital technologies, then it’s likely to reflect positively on your business’s bottom line.


I hope this guide expanded your knowledge and showed you that digital marketing is more than Google ads and social media blasts.

Will you use any of these tactics in your business?

Which of these do you remember from back in the day.  Have I missed any?

Let me know your thoughts and takeaways in the comments.


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