Recently in preparation for a talk I had to revisit this core question. Being involved in the day to day running of a Digital Marketing agency and consultancy I take for granted the useful definitions which define the work we do.
The best place to start is by splitting the word Digital Marketing into two components. Digital & Marketing.
The first component we will look at is marketing. Why? Because it is the foundation component for which everything else is built on. Marketing is best defined by the Seth Godin:
‘Marketing makes change happen by promising someone if you spend your time or money with me, your life will change.’
Therefore, it is important we understand marketing is a philosophy first before a how to. Seth Godin then goes on to discuss three questions to ask, when putting together a marketing plan:
What change do you want to make?
Who do you want to make this change for?
What promise are you making?
The more niche and specific you can answer these questions, the greater your marketing will be. Many business owners will skip this part and retrospectively work out why things are not quite as expected, not enough sales, wrong customers, customer complaints, undelivered promises.
Ultimately if you are asking for someone’s time and money, the change better be guaranteed.
Marketing is therefore a philosophy in order for you to define the change you want to make happen.
That brings us on to component 2. Digital. These are the tools and ecosystem for where you present your potential customers with the promise. It may also be the same place where you make the change happen.
Typical tools used to successfully present your prospects with your promise are websites, podcasts, landing pages, email marketing, lead magnets, pay per click, online advertising, e-commerce sites.
If you are business owner, solo entrepreneur, self-employed, freelancer or employee, understanding the 2 components which make up digital marketing will allow you to elevate the type of conversation you have with a client, service provider, digital marketer. Including hiring accordingly. Often component 1, marketing must come from within the company or through specialist consultants. Component 2, digital can be outsourced to an agency.