Digital Marketing Minus the Marketing

Digital Marketing is the new buzzword. Every second resume floating around the jobosphere claims Digital Marketing skills. Colleges and Institutes are cashing in and offering courses with fancy names.

A few weeks D, one of our alumni was conducting interviews for a Digital Marketing positioning for a well-funded startup. Around 100 candidates applied for the position and about 40 were shortlisted for interviews, all claiming 2-5 years of Digital Marketing experience. After a frustrated week of interviewing he nearly gave up….

So what is the problem? In a nutshell, trying to ‘do’ digital marketing without a clue about marketing. One candidate stared blankly when asked what was the audience segment he was targeting! Another had never heard of positioning!

Digital Marketing is simply marketing in a Digital world. Digital Media offers great power and flexibility to someone who understands marketing. Everyone else is a monkey with a new toy.

Let me illustrate. One of the core concepts of marketing is STP: Segmenting, Targeting and Positioning.

It starts with the idea that all consumers are not the same and that their needs and aspirations are different. So one carefully defines that segment of the audience that wants to target. Today, availability of data and analytical tools allow us to segment the audience more efficiently and effectively than before. GPS tells us where they are (and have been). App data tells us what they browse, buy and when.

And then we see how we can specifically target that segment of the audience with a customized message. Here again Digital Marketing is way more powerful than traditional marketing. Say, you are marketing a lipstick. You look at media that has women audiences, like say TV Soaps, Women’s magazines etc. But it is inefficient. Not all women like soaps and many women don’t read women’s magazines. On the flipside, there are women who read sports magazines and watch News on TV (both considered to be largely male audiences).

Enter Google and Facebook. Click a few buttons and you can ensure exactly who watches your ad. Women, Age 15 to 45, Metro and small town etc. You can even make a special 25% birthday promotion and show the ad only to those who have birthdays in the coming week. Fb has 150+ parameters on which you can target
a specific audience.

The other beautiful thing is that you can create and target tailored ads for each segment of the audience. Digital Ads are cheap and easy to produce. And unlike traditional ads you can quickly get an idea of what works and what doesn’t? CTR or click through rate is the percentage of people who click on an Ad. So you can take two different ads, run them for a few hours and check which one has a higher CTR (called A/B testing).

So what’s the takeaway. Digital Marketing is an exciting field, which is revolutionizing marketing across the world. And yes, you can build a great career in it. But, you need a strong foundation in marketing.

Digital Marketing Minus the Marketing
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