What is Digital Marketing?


Robyn Oglesby


August 20, 2021

What is Digital Marketing?

Meet your customers where they are -- online.

Even though most of my life has revolved around communications, I've been actively working in marketing now for more than ten years. I like this profession because there is always something new to discover, and it's a job that begs for multitasking. There are so many different areas to consider when you are trying to engage with your target audience, which is, by definition, what marketing is. The concept has been around for millennia, but according to etymologists, the term marketing first appeared in dictionaries in the sixteenth century. It referred to the process of buying and selling at a market. A more contemporary definition of the word first appeared in 1897 when it was used as "a process of moving goods from producer to consumer with an emphasis on sales and advertising (Wikipedia)."

So while marketing as a concept is hundreds of years old, the practice of digital marketing is practically brand new. Digital marketing involves using online-based technologies - such as computers, mobile phones, the internet, and other digital media - to promote products and services. One of the very first instances of digital marketing happened in 1971 - just 50 years ago - when Ray Tomlinson sent the first email. This one event marked the beginning of a communication revolution that drives us forward in business and life today.

The term "digital marketing" wasn't popularized until the 1990s, when Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications started to be developed. CRMs are a significant piece of marketing technology as they allow you to track and monitor your customer base. CRMs also paved the way for marketing automation, which was first developed in 2007. Marketing automation helps with customer segmentation, multichannel marketing campaigns, and providing personalized offers directly to customers.

In the past ten years, digital marketing has evolved quickly because of customer demand. Consumers expect a flawless customer experience, and therefore, marketers have had to diversify marketing technology to keep up. Today, digital marketing strategies can include any of the following:

  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • search engine marketing (SEM)
  • content marketing
  • influencer marketing
  • content automation
  • campaign marketing
  • data-driven marketing
  • e-commerce marketing
  • social media marketing
  • social media optimization
  • e-mail direct marketing
  • display advertising
  • ebooks
  • games

If you are attempting to reach your customers online, then you are likely already doing some form of digital marketing and incorporating one of the aforementioned areas. Chances are, you can likely think of some areas you would like to see improved. Our experts stand ready to assist with SEO optimization as well as ironing out your overall digital marketing strategies. Connect with us today.


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