In the good old traditional world, marketing would mostly hinge around communicating with the customer through advertisements or public relations (PR). And advertisements would be mostly in the print media and electronic media, which was quite expensive and difficult for small and medium enterprises to get access to. The print and electronic media also had a limited reach and was also quite unpredictable in terms of readership, viewership and whether the potential target group actually bought the products or services after they watched the ad.
David Ogilvy, the father of advertising, had famously said, ‘The more you tell, the more you sell.’ Without proper communication and promotion, a brand had absolutely no visibility in the market. And consequently, there was little hope that the product or service would sell. So advertising was an absolute necessity. But a contrarian view was given by another marketing guru called John Wanamaker, who famously said: ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.
Digital Marketing has come as a saviour for start-ups, young entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises. These companies, which have limited marketing and promotion budgets, can reach out to a wide audience at a very low cost. They can start by using organic tools like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMM (Social Media Marketing) and then gradually scale up to paid tools like SEM (Search Engine Marketing) as they start getting revenue and good results.
For large enterprises also, digital marketing has come as a saviour as the coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns, social distancing and work-from-home has increased the usage of mobiles and social media and reduced the reach of newspapers and electronic media. A study done by Hammerkopf Consumer Survey found that internet browsing saw a 72 percent spike during the first week of lockdown. Before the lockdown, social media usage was on average 150 minutes per day. However, in the first week of lockdown, the figures jumped to 280 minutes per day, showed the survey. The survey added that 75 percent people were spending more time on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp compared to the week before. The big companies have also acknowledged this trend and made a tangible shift towards digital media.
Digital Marketing also scores high in terms of accountability. Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other digital marketing companies have advertising models like PPC(Pay-Per-Click), PPV(Pay-Per-View), PPM(Pay-Per-Mille) and PPA(Pay-Per-Acquisition), where the advertiser has to pay only if the desired objective is fulfilled. The advertiser has full control over the promotional activity through digital media and also gets the consumer behavior data through web analytics tools like Google Analytics.
There are currently 7 billion mobile phone users across the World, out of which 1 billion are from India. The number of smartphone users in the World is 3.5 billion, out of which 500 million are from India. Around 5 billion people across the World have got access to the Internet, out of which 700 million are from India. Google processes 5.8 billion searches per day and 2 trillion searches per year. 800 million unique visitors go to YouTube every month and 4 billion videos are watched every day. Facebook has 2.5 billion active users across the World. Twitter has 152 million active users across the World. These mind-boggling numbers stand testimony to the growing importance of Digital Marketing, which now every company wants to adopt for marketing and promotion.