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What Is Digital Marketing?

digital marketing Oct 25, 2018

In order to answer the question what is digital marketing, we first have to answer the question  "what is the definition of marketing"

There is no one size fits all definition of marketing, but we can look at a few definitions of marketing.

  • American Marketing Association - Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. 
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing - Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.
  • Dictionary.com defines marketing as, “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.”
  • HubSpot says - Marketing is the process of getting consumers interested in your company’s product or service. This happens through market research, analysis, and a solid understanding of your ideal consumer’s wants and needs. Marketing pertains to all aspects of a business, including product development, distribution methods, sales, and advertising.

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There are 4P's that are used to describe how marketing affects each step of a business.

These 4P's are

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

Lets dive deeper and describe the 4P's of marketing starting with the product.


You have a product idea. Great! Now what’s next? You need to do marketing research to answer critical questions like:

  • Who’s your target audience?
  • Is there market fit for this product?
  • What messaging will increase product sales, and on which platforms?
  • How should your product developers modify the product to increase likelihood of success?
  • What do focus groups think of the product, and what questions or hesitations do they have?
  • The results of answering these questions is to help determine the demand of the product and increase product quality.

Price: When determining price…

  • You check out competitors product prices to determine how much your ideal customer is willing to pay
  • If the price is too high, you will loose out on potential customers.
  • If price is too low, you will loose more money than you make
  • industry research and consumer analysis can be used to determine a good price range.

Place When looking at price, you will have to consider

  • Where to sell your products?
  • E-commerce store or retail location or vice versa or both?
  • Nationally or internationally?
  • Which location is best?
  • Where are your customers located?
  • Where do your customers usually buy similar product?

Promotion: How would you get your product in front of customers?

  • Online or print marketing
  • How do you increase awareness and interest in your product
  • Which method is best? Public relations campaigns, social media promotions, referrals, website?

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The definition of marketing and the 4P's of marketing brings us back to the question…

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is marketing activities executed through the use of online environment. These online platforms include:

  • Website
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Native Advertising
  • Email Marketing
  • Online Public Relations (PR)
  • Inbound marketing
  • Outbound marketing
  • App/Mobile Marketing

Lets dive deep and explore each area of digital marketing in detail.

Inbound Marketing:  As an inbound marketer, you primary objective is to attract new leads to your company, engage with them, and make them happy and satisfied individually.

The 3 goals of inbound marketing is  to

  • Attract your customers
  • Delight your customers and
  • Engage your customers
  • These methods are used to build trust, credibility, and momentum.

The 3  Main Aspects of Inbound Marketing

  • Attract – bringing the right customers who are more likely to become leads and then happy customers to your website by providing them with relevant content. Videos, blogs, social media, content, ads
  • Engage – creating lasing relationships with prospects by having conversations with them on the marketing channels they prefer. Email, live chat, or messaging apps. Email marketing, lead generation documents, tutorial videos.
  • Delight – continuously delivering the right information to your customers by answering their questions, resolving their problems, listening to their feedback, and ultimately turning them into lifelong customers. Customer service, answering questions by email, creating and distributing more content.

Outbound marketing is a process of pushing your message in front of potential consumers. These include:

  • Cold calling
  • Email blast to purchased list
  • Outsourced telemarketing
  • Advertising
  • Seminar series
  • Trade shows
  • Bill boards
  • Direct mail

The problem with outbound marketing is that consumers are figuring out more and more creative ways to block outbound marketing efforts like caller id, ad blocker, spam filtering, and many more.

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Inbound vs Outbound marketing

With inbound marketing

  • your ideal customers find you and your products.
  • They know, like, and trust you before buying from you.
  • You are able to build credibility and long lasting relationships with customers.
  • Results might be slower, but anything that is great takes time to build.
  • Inbound marketing is usually more cost effective than outbound marketing

With outbound marketing

  • the results might be faster, but it is significantly less effective than inbound marketing.
  • You might attract the wrong customers which means your customers won’t be happy.
  • People might buy from you, but they don’t know, like, or trust you.
  • You potentially do not have any relationships with your customer which means they may not buy from you over and over again.

Marketing Automation.

  • Marketing automation refers to methods marketers use to automate marketing tasks that would otherwise cause too much time to do continuously perform manually.

Examples include:

  • Setting up an autoresponder for your emails.
  • Connecting RSS feed of your blog to email list.
  • Scheduling social media posts
  • Scheduling your blog posts. 
  • Using sales funnel to sell your products. 
  • Using a landing page to capture email leads.
  • Tracking campaigns and reporting the results of the campaigns
  • can you think of any more? let me know in the comment section below

Email Marketing

Email is the most profitable marketing channel in terms of return on investment (ROI) Types of content you might market through email includes:

  • Blog subscription newsletters
  • Tips for customer nurturing
  • Welcome emails
  • Promotions
  • Follow up emails

Here is some statistics about email marketing.


 Online Public Relations (PR)

  • Online PR much like traditional PR is the tactic of securing media coverage from digital publications, other people’s blogs, other’s YouTube channels other’s podcasts, and other content based digital medium.

PR tactics include:

  • Influencer or reporter creating content about you or company and/or sharing your content on social media.
  • Online reviews about you, your product, or your company
  • Comments on your website or blog
  • News channel covering stories related to you and your work

Native Advertising

  • Native advertising is usually considered to be content ads featured alongside other content that are not paid.
  • Examples could be like BuzzFeed and you might also consider Facebook ads, Twitter ads, and Pinterest ads native advertising.
  • Why consider social media as native advertising, because usually you have ad content that blends in with non-ad content side by side.


Social Media Marketing

Promotes your brand, content, products, and agendas on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, generate leads, engage with customers, and attract your potential idea clients to know, like, and trust you.

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Social media channels include:

Search Engine Optimization

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.
  • Optimized YouTube Videos 

Search Engines

These are the biggest search engines right now:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Baidu

When people do SEO, most times they just focus on optimizing for Google because it has the biggest share of consumer search queries which means if you optimize for it, you are going to get more traffic.


 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:

  • Hosting video ads through the YouTube Partner Program
  • Posting affiliate links from your social media accounts.
  • Becoming a JVZOO or Clickbank affiliate
  • Signing up for Amazon, Wal-Mart, or any other ecommerce store affiliate program
  • Helping sell any other person’s program.

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.
  • Bing Ads
  • Yahoo Ads

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
  • Videos

Mobile Marketing

Smartphone usage accounts for 69% of time spent consuming digital content in the United States. What does this mean for you as a digital marketer?

  • Optimize digital ads, social media images, web pages, and other digital assets.
  • Mobile users need to have the same experience as desktop users.
  • Mobile responsive website design
  • Reduce lead generation form length for hassle-free experience
  • Keep digital users in mind at all times when developing your marketing strategy and when creating marketing content for blogs or ads.

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How Business-to-business (B2B) Uses Digital Marketing

  • If your company is business-to-business (B2B), your digital marketing efforts are likely to be centered around online lead generation, with the end goal being for someone to speak to a salesperson. For that reason, the role of your marketing strategy is to attract and convert the highest quality leads for your salespeople via your website and supporting digital channels.
  • Beyond your website, you'll probably choose to focus your efforts on business-focused channels like LinkedIn where your demographic is spending their time online.

How B2C Uses Digital Marketing

  • If your company is business-to-consumer (B2C), depending on the price point of your products, it's likely that the goal of your digital marketing efforts is to attract people to your website and have them become customers without ever needing to speak to a salesperson.
  • For that reason, you're probably less likely to focus on ‘leads' in their traditional sense, and more likely to focus on building an accelerated buyer's journey, from the moment someone lands on your website, to the moment that they make a purchase. This will often mean your product features in your content higher up in the marketing funnel than it might for a B2B business, and you might need to use stronger calls-to-action (CTAs).
  • For B2C companies, channels like Instagram and Pinterest can often be more valuable than business-focused platforms LinkedIn.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. You can measure the ROI of any aspect of your marketing efforts

Examples include

  • Website traffic
  • Lead generation.
  • Content performance
  • Effective ad budgeting

And I will explain a few of these examples below

Website Traffic

With digital marketing, you can know

  • The number of people who have viewed your website homepage
  • The type of device people are using when they visit your website
  • You can see trends and patterns in people’s behavior and adjust your marketing to fit people’s behavior
  • You can make more informed decision about how to attract people to your website and how to keep them there

Content Performance and Lead Generation

With digital marketing, you can know

  • How many people view your blog and how many engage with it
  • How many people download your brochure, eBooks, or watch your videos
  • How many people listen to your podcast and download it
  • How many leads you generate from your website and content your create for people to download
  • How many leads you generate from the ads that you run
  • How many sales you generate from paid ads and organic search results
  • When you have all these data and statistics, you will know the best way to focus your marketing efforts.

 If you are looking to start a career in digital marketing, here are a few job descriptions of digital marketers.

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Digital Marketing Job Titles and Duties

Some digital marketing job titles include:

  • SEO manager
  • Content marketing specialist
  • Social media manager
  • Marketing automation coordinator
  • Digital marketing director
  • And many more

Where to find digital marketing jobs include:

  • Company Website
  • LinkedIn
  • Jobspresso.com
  • Remote.co
  • Indeed.com
  • Monster.com
  • Zip recruiter.com
  • Glassdoor.com
  • The muse.com
  • Usajobs.com
  • Payscale.com
  • Workopolis.com
  • Linkup.com
  • Google search
  • And many more 

Let me know what you think of this post below in the comment section.


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