Digital marketing. Just another one of those new, fancy buzzwords you should use to sound smart in meetings or is it the real deal?
Maybe a better question is: what is digital marketing?
This digital marketing guide will show you what’s what.
First popularized as a term in the early 2000’s, digital marketing has actually been around much longer.
Like, WAY longer. About 100 years longer, to be exact.
Here’s a pic of the first digital marketer in history:
(Image source: Wikipedia)
His name: Guglielmo Marconi.
Yup. In 1896 he was the first human to demonstrate a, “public transmission of wireless signals.”
This dude invented the radio.
Shortly after his little demonstration in England, morse signals were transmitted across open water.
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 stuff.
The first live broadcast was from an opera performance at the Met and guess what people did after it?
They bought show tickets!
Digital marketing strategy was born.
I bet you’re surprised. I didn’t mention smartphones, apps, Facebook ads or blogs at all.
That’s because digital marketing has nothing to do with the internet.
If you are wondering what digital marketing is… it’s is advertising delivered through digital channels. Channels such as social media, mobile applications, email, web applications, search engines, websites, or any new digital channel.
Or a simpler version…
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.
Why digital marketing matters
As a young kid in California, my experiences from the back seat of our car mostly alternated between: “Mom, when are we there?” and “Uh, look, McDonalds, can we go?”, whenever one of those 10 foot billboards popped up on the side of the road.
Growing up with Indian parents, the answer to both of those would, most times, be the same: “Not yet.”
Sometimes, big brands would even start a billboard war, like this one between Audi and BMW, which got quite a few laughs: