Digital is the new normal, which also means: Marketing today always takes place online. However, with the possibilities of the Internet world, so does confusion. This week, absatzwirtschaft.de is therefore devoting one focus to the topic of “digital marketing.” Every morning we examine an aspect of the topic from theory and practice, present current studies and interview experts.

More than half of the companies in the IT and telecommunications sector want to increase their spending on online communication this year. Overall, the share of online marketing will increase significantly this year from 24 to 30 percent, according to a survey by the high-tech association Bitkom.

The tendency that is emerging here can be seen across the entire marketing industry. With the increasing use of the Internet, digital or at least cross-media marketing has become an essential part of every marketing mix. But this means much more than social media or banner advertising.

Digital marketing: the disciplines

In fact, the term brings together a number of very specific disciplines. The biggest difference and advantage compared to traditional marketing measures such as print or TV is the more precise measurability of the advertising effect in the form of user data, movement profiles , click rates, etc. The individual disciplines include:

  • Company website:  It is the linchpin of online communication, is linked to social media profiles and activities and can determine the first impression the company gives. They should therefore make an effort and make the design as suitable as possible, pay attention to user-friendliness and offer clearly visible feedback options for the customer.
  • Search engine marketing , also “Search Engine Marketing (SEM)”: Measures that improve the visibility of a website in the results lists of search engines such as Google. This also includes SEA or “Search Engine Advertising”, which means paid advertisements on the results pages of a search engine. The third term in the group, SEO, means “Search Engine Optimization” and describes measures such as optimizing the website, the domain name or the content in order to be found by search engines.
  • Content Marketing:  The production and distribution of content in the subject area of ​​the respective product via blogs, news, videos, whitepapers, electric locomotives or graphics increases the reach and addresses consumers beyond the product. 
  • Email marketing and advertising:  the online version of addressed advertising mail.
  • Social media marketing:  Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest … The dialogue with the customer via social networks is inevitable today. Important: Do not create “dead” channels, i.e. profiles on which users wait ages for feedback. Response is the key word. The motto here is: “Less is more.” A well-maintained channel is always better than many “dialogue graveyards.” 
  • Influencer Marketing:  Whether blogger, Youtuber or Instagrammer –  the new brand ambassadors are the customers themselves. In every industry there are a few who are not only particularly well versed in the respective topic, but also have a large following of online fans, -Have listeners or viewers. Companies benefit from both their reach and opinion leadership . 
  • Affiliate Marketing:  A website operator provides advertising space on which companies can place their advertising. When a user comes into contact with this, the provider is paid. Billing is based on cost per order, per action, per lead or per click.
  • Display marketing:  banner advertising, pop-ups, layer ads (overlay the actual content of a website), also as video advertising.
  • Mobile marketing:  Whether smartphones or tablets – the use of mobile devices is increasing, and with it the possibilities of mobile advertising. The most important keywords here are: beacons, mobile optimization and second screen.
  • Big data:  whoever has data has power. The more companies know about their target groups and consumers in general, the more individually they can address them . The personalized approach is more important than ever. Customers are still skeptical of the data collection culture.

Experts wanted

The individual departments are increasing the need for digital expertise. The importance of digital marketing and the individual disciplines can therefore be seen not least in the numerous courses that have been devoted to the topic in recent years. Some focus on business administration , others on  IT.  Whether as a specialist lawyer for online law, online marketing strategist or affiliate : Those who receive training in this area will later find suitable positions in marketing departments, digital and creative agencies, organizations and associations.

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