Digital Marketing refers to the use of digital channels, devices, and platforms (regardless of whether they are online or not) to build or promote a company’s marketing message. It is the practice of promoting products and services using digital distribution channels, reaching targeted consumers, building iterative relationship with those consumers and having the ability to produce measurable results. For instance, mediums that might be used as part of the digital marketing strategy of a business could include promotional efforts made via the Internet, social media, mobile phones and electronic billboards, as well as via digital and television and radio channels.
Online marketing, also commonly referred to, as ‘Internet’ Marketing is a subset of digital marketing. The main characteristic of online marketing is that it requires a live Internet connection to work and that all of its tactics are targeted at enhancing a company’s web presence. The Internet, once purely a source of information has now become a place where people meet to share their stories and experiences, a platform for discussion and debate, a source of entertainment and much more. Furthermore, the Web has several important marketing aspects that enable companies to boost their performance: 24 hours online; multimedia compatible; globally available; interactive; micromarketing compatible; integration ready. A variety of new tools are available that can build brand awareness, increase brand loyalty and improve the bottom line. Some of the key online marketing tools include- Corporate Website, SEO, PPC, Display Advertising and Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, etc.). Most businesses will always engage in some digital marketing but the choice of mediums will be essentially determined by the:
- Business Type
- Marketing Budget
- Marketing Goals
- Target Audience
In today’s digital age, it is absolutely essential for any business to have an online presence. Moreover, for a business looking to expand internationally and targeting at global audience, online marketing is of critical importance. A global brand identity has become indispensable for a business seeking a presence in multiple markets. Businesses need to learn to operate with an international mindset and reach the balance between keeping global cohesion and branding, and integrating cultural flavors. The rapid growth of the Internet has already created the audience. Consumers have changed the way they think and act as a result of the influence of hypermedia; they are no longer waiting for information but are seeking it out. Rather it’s the company that needs to be where the customer is.
The following are the reasons why it is extremely important for a brand to have an online presence in order to promote a company internationally:
Business Opportunity: According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for businesses. Having a strong online presence is a crucial component of a company’s marketing strategy, no matter what size the business is or what industry it belongs to. Even if the company does not conduct business online, customers and potential customers expect to see it online. And if they don’t see it there, the company will be losing out on the opportunity to increase its customer base and get the word about its nature of business. The Internet gives businesses an effective platform for showcasing what they have to offer. With a few simple clicks, customers can see what the company is all about. The business is open to the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no time zone barriers and no labor costs to watch it, thus, ensuring a competitive advantage.
Worldwide Exposure:Internet is the most effective way to trade internationally. A website and social media presence can broaden the base of customer, members, distributors or suppliers. The massive reach of the Internet and the precision targeting of the search engines can be leveraged by a company to register with various directories that can reach more than 800 million internet users across the world. Further, social media offers businesses greater opportunities than ever to connect with large, global audiences in a way that feels far more personal than most mediums previously available
A Professional & Credible Image: Organizations that do not have a web presence in today’s time inadvertently make a statement about their ability to embrace technology and adapt to change in today’s dynamic environment. For a small international business, a well designed website is a great way of creating credibility and looking bigger than it actually is.
Brand Building:As industries grow more and more competitive, one of the biggest challenges small businesses face is building their brand. A company’s website and online presence is so much more than “just a website”. It is an extension of its brand that never sleeps and is one of the best ways to build brand loyalty. Because, online presence is an all over the world presence, brand building for a business to expand in the foreign markets becomes relatively an easier task.
Marketing Possibilities:Using the Internet for marketing purposes allows an international business to overcome distance barriers. Persons thousands of miles away can learn all about it with just a few keystrokes. The “share-ability” of social media allows a customer to easily spread the word about the business. Ultimately, online marketing gives the company an opportunity to market its brand, domestically and internationally, in a creative, exciting and cost-effective way.
Know your customer: Online presence makes it easier to locate and engage with customers at a deep root level both domestically and with those in the international market. Being interactive with existing customers in the domestic market and potential customers in the foreign market establishes their trust in the brand. Social media is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to get persons interested in a company and to form real relationships with real people.
Great RecruitingTool: An online presence can prove a great recruiting tool for international businesses enabling them to attract the best talent from the target markets.
Measurability:Online marketing communications can be distributed at a faster rate and with a broader reach than traditional marketing communications. Because of the use of digital technology, the results of a digital marketing effort can be tracked by reach, views, clicks, visits, response rates, purchases made and so on. This way the international business is always aware of its position globally In this blooming era of Internet and technology, a business without web presence will be left behind in the changing trends of the marketing world, and the growing need of maintaining an online existence. No matter what arena a business operates in, and what products or service it offers, the benefits of being active online are uniform and high impact. An online presence is one of the most important investments that a brand intending to go international can make. It is also one of the most cost-effective methods to promote a business internationally.