How many businesses, especially in a highly competitive market, can survive without digitalization in marketing? On average, over 4 million businesses are started in the United States every year. In fact, in 2021, there were over 5.4 million business applications filed in the United States. Imagine the level of competition an entrepreneur has to face.
Also, a massive number of modern-day consumers prefer digital modes of communication. They use the web and social media as their primary source of information and research. In light of this, it is almost mandatory to integrate digitalization into the marketing strategies you make for your business.
Marketing Tutor has prepared a detailed guide on digitalization, its role, and its impact on marketing. Let’s start with an introduction to digitalization.
What is Digitalization?
Digitalization, in simplest words, is a conversion of data or processes into digital or electronic formats. In broader terms, digitalization means using electronic or digital ways for communication, business, or any other activity. These electronic tools include World Wide Web (WWW), social media, email, or any other internet source.
Digitalization in marketing means using the internet as a source to market your business. Common digital marketing platforms include email marketing, blogging, social media marketing, paid Google ads, search engine optimization (SEO), vlogging, affiliate marketing, etc.
In addition to convenience, there are several benefits of digitalization in marketing that traditional marketing routes cannot provide. For example, digital marketing is:
- Cost-effective and highly affordable for small or growing businesses. They can use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn for organic growth.
- More interactive as businesses can directly communicate with their current and potential customers.
- Effective in targeting your audience more precisely through paid ad campaigns, and the results can be easily quantified.
Role/Impact of Digitalization in Marketing
Digitalization has simply revamped marketing practices around the globe, and there are tonnes of reasons behind it. Let’s understand the role of digitalization in marketing.
Better Customer Interaction
Personalization has become an important element in modern-day marketing strategies. People love to be treated individually rather than as ordinary customers. For example, regular customer feedback is a great way to involve them in your marketing process and make them feel heard.
Businesses nowadays even ask customers to share their opinions and ideas to improve products or services. Digitization helps the B2B industry by allowing businesses to talk or pitch directly to other businesses, CEOs, and those in leadership positions.
B2B businesses can send personalized emails to pitch their products or services or gain customers through informative blogging. It is almost impossible to impress a CEO or manager through billboards or newspaper ads, but a detailed, personalized email can.
More Ways to Reach Your Customer
Why are we emphasizing reaching/communicating with customers more and more? The customer is the king, and the business revolves around them. However, why is digitalization important when you can reach customers through traditional routes? You can call them, send a mail, or send a text message, right?
The biggest problem with the above-mentioned methods is that they are expensive and allow limited communication. On the contrary, digital channels allow you to reach and communicate with your customers on multiple fronts. For instance, brands nowadays:
- Run email campaigns to promote their products or services and seek customer feedback
- Ask customers to share their feedback on their social media profiles
- Provide customer support through Whatsapp, Telegram, and live chatting on website portals.
The best part is that customers can interact through their mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or other digital devices. Also, businesses can answer all customer queries in real-time.
Better Referral Marketing
How often do you see customer reviews in newspaper ads or magazines? However, a company website and social media profile is often decorated with customer feedback. In simple words, digitalization in marketing strengthens a business’s referral marketing game.
Referral marketing is super useful for startups or growing brands. It helps them build a healthy trust relationship. People still prefer word-of-mouth before buying anything, and online customer reviews affect buyers’ decisions greatly.
Referral marketing has a strong presence in the B2B sector. An endorsement or review from an industry leader or expert can help a business clinch more clients. That’s why you would see B2B company websites often share their customer reviews up front.
Alright, this is one of the best things about digitalization in marketing. If a company runs an ad in a local or national newspaper, how would it know whether people actually bought their product or service through that ad? There is no way to measure the effectiveness of that campaign accurately.
In digital marketing, things work in a different way, and businesses can easily measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. For example, a company can assess how many customers bought their products or services through an email ad.
Similarly, they can easily measure the number of sales made through their website or affiliates. Companies can also keep track of sales through social media profiles, Google ads, Facebooks ads, and other digital marketing campaigns.
Where digital marketing allows you to target your customer better and assess marketing campaign results effectively, it also helps you adapt to the situation better. It is not necessary that every marketing campaign you run on digital platforms will turn out to be a success.
However, not knowing what to do is even worse. You can easily assess whether a specific paid ad campaign on Facebook is bringing projected results or not. If it isn’t, you can make the necessary changes and repurpose your content in a better way.
Similarly, you can even get help from your competitors. That said, if your competitors launched a similar campaign and they are getting better results, you can study their tactics and implement them in your campaign to make it better. If nothing works, you can save your funds and try a different marketing strategy.
More Accurate Data Collection
Data or information is the backbone of modern-day businesses. Every single marketing campaign or any business decision is data-driven. Collecting accurate data is the biggest challenge for any marketing team.
Digitalization has made it simple and fast to collect loads of information from the target audience itself. Marketers can collect data directly or indirectly. For instance, they can:
- Ask direct questions from business followers or customers on social media pages
- Read comments and conversations between customers on their or competitors’ social media profiles
- Assess the search phrases or keywords their potential customers search and create content accordingly
- Read studies and research issued by other companies or global institutions and use that information for better targeting.
- Create and conduct surveys online to collect first-hand information
Digitalization allows you to streamline your marketing game. Successful marketers often automate different parts of the campaigns—thanks to sales automation software. That said, they can schedule a Christmas promotion email campaign and follow up too by using automation software.
Similarly, many businesses use chatbots to answer commonly asked questions asked by customers. Scheduled social media posts and automated responses on social media profiles are also common examples of automation.
Cost Effectiveness and Broader Reach
The scarcity of resources is not only a major problem for small businesses or startups, but even established entities are keen on cost-effective business practices. Digitalization in marketing is one of the best ways to keep it cost-effective.
Just as mentioned earlier, most of the digital marketing channels are either free or cost you a little. For example, emails are totally free, and you can reach your audience with a personalized message. Similarly, you can create social media profiles for free and share your message free of cost. You can even set up paid ad campaigns according to your budget. Best of all, you can convey your message to a local, national, and even global audience through digital platforms.
Example of Digitalization in Marketing
You can market your product, service, or brand through multiple digital channels. Here are some common examples of digitalization in marketing
- Mobile marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Content marketing
Digitalization in Marketing FAQs
Digitalization is the use of the internet, computer, and electronic devices for any specific process, such as communication, sales, marketing, etc.
Digitization in marketing is the use of the internet for marketing purposes. Digitalization allows marketers/businesses to communicate with the target audience, collect data, run marketing campaigns, and answer customer queries through digital channels.
Common examples of digital marketing include blogging, email campaigns, pay-per-click, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, vlogging, influencer marketing, and content marketing.
Digital marketing is more cost-effective, generates measurable results, provides automation in marketing processes, and allows better and instant customer interaction.