Online and digital marketing are terms that are often confused and misused. I work in the industry yet have found myself wondering should I write online or digital?
It may sound trivial, but knowing the difference can help you shape your overall marketing strategy.
It can also help you analyze your current strategy by categorizing in which type of marketing your efforts fall. Are you making sustainable long-term efforts that will yield results consistently or are you simply playing by ear with each of your outreach efforts?
The Umbrella Term: Digital Marketing
Digital marketing refers to using digital channels, devices, and platforms (regardless of whether they are online or not) to build or promote your marketing message.
In other words, with digital marketing you don’t limit yourself to using the internet, and in this way digital marketing can serve as an ‘umbrella’ term because it encompasses many marketing techniques.
However, there are distinct differences between these two terms that have implications for any marketing plan. Digital marketing is an umbrella term that covers all types of marketing that involve electronic media.
Digital marketing has grown and changed to include a multitude of channels, which according to SAS include:
- Phone Apps
- Podcasts & Radio
- Electronic Billboards
- Online Marketing
One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is the vast amount of data available to you regarding what is working and what is not; typically with most forms of digital marketing, a company can see exactly which pieces of their marketing plan are attracting attention and converting those viewers into consumers. Using this data, you can fine-tune your marketing plans to respond quickly to the ever-changing needs of consumers.
Online marketing is the one subset of the digital marketing realm as a whole and includes:
- Social Media
- Mobile Marketing
- Content Marketing
This particular subset of digital marketing is growing at an unprecedented rate. Change in the online marketing world happens quickly, and savvy marketers must stay on top of the latest trends and changes to continue to attract new customers and retain current customers.
While online marketing has indeed become a central focus, it’s vital for you to develop a marketing plan that includes more than just online marketing. You must reach customers across a wide array of platforms since it frequently requires more than one interaction with a business or product for a person to become a customer. A comprehensive marketing plan will reach customers both online and offline, utilizing both digital marketing and one of its subsets, online marketing.
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