Ten years ago if I were asked to accept a complete stranger’s feedback on a product I wanted to purchase, I would have refused. Today, we actively seek feedback/ product information on social media from friends, friends of friends and people we’ve never met before!
Marketing has gone through many generations of change. From Mass Marketing in the 70s to Target Marketing in the 90s to Segmentation and Customization in the millennium. Now, we are on the cusp of the Next-Gen Marketing which involves customer engagement, at the right time, place and in the right context.
While all the former phases of Marketing fall into the category of Traditional Marketing, which meant more dollars spent in an attempt to understand consumer needs better, what is emerging now is the new-age, digital face of it, where one can expect to spend fewer dollars and yet get closer to the customer and offer him exactly what he is looking for, when he is looking for it.
Digital Marketing is about a customer actively seeking information about a product on the web, thus displaying an Intent to Buy. For a Marketer, it is also about getting your product out there in the quickest possible time, without being too in-your-face. Digital Marketing also has the ability to integrate with traditional mediums of marketing like TV, Radio, Billboard Advertising and print media, in order to provide the consumer an enhanced experience of convenience and comfort.
Segmentation and customization meant that we could design a specific offer to suit a particular customer’s needs based on his behavior, demographics etc. Digital Marketing helps us go one step further and makes that offer to the customer at the actual time that he is looking for it/ seeking it. Hence the probability of conversion increases manifold.
Digital Marketing scores in areas of Speed to market, convenience and accessibility. Online security features are being constantly augmented to provide safer monetary transactions on the web. Fears of intrusions into one’s life are being dispelled with enhanced privacy options online.
Internet Banking, E-tailing and Healthcare are among the industries that are starting to reap the benefits of the Digital Age. Brick and mortar and online companies alike are increasingly employing digital tactics to engage customers. There is no doubt that marketers need to start allocating higher marketing budgets towards the digital space, if they want to stay in the race and be competitive.