This report will discuss the main objective of online marketing and the technology of digital media marketing and its impact on business. The report has been generated based on an interview with Mr. Yazan Taha, Digital Media Manager in MEC Agency in Amman, and will analyze a current marketing revolution.
I thank my friend, Mr. Yazan Taha, who provided me with rich information to inform this study. My sincerest gratitude also goes to Dr. Fawwaz Hammad for guiding me through the research process.
History of Digital Marketing:
The term ‘digital marketing’ was first used in the 1990s. In the 2000s and the 2010s, digital marketing became more sophisticated as an effective way to create a relationship with the consumer that has depth and relevance. While the term ‘digital marketing’ may not have been used until the 1990s, digital marketing itself has roots to the mid-1980s when the SoftAd Group, now ChannelNet, developed advertising campaigns for several major automobile companies, wherein people would send in reader reply cards found in magazines and receive in return floppy disks that contained multimedia content promoting various cars and offering free test drives.
The rapid evolution of digital media has created new opportunities and avenues for advertising and marketing. Fueled by the proliferation of devices to access digital media, this has led to the exponential growth of digital advertising.
In 2012 and 2013 statistics showed digital marketing remained a growing field.
Digital media growth is estimated at 4.5 trillion online ads served annually with digital media spend at 48% growth in 2010. An increasing portion of advertising stems from businesses employing Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) to tailor advertising for Internet users. Though an innovative resource, OBA raises concern with regards to consumer privacy and data protection. Such implications are important considerations for responsible communications. Digital marketing is often referred to as ‘online marketing’, ‘internet marketing’ or ‘web marketing’. The term ‘digital marketing’ has grown in popularity over time, particularly in certain countries. In the USA for example, ‘online marketing’ is still prevalent, and in Italy it is referred to as ‘web marketing,’ but in the UK and worldwide, ‘digital marketing’ has become the most common term, especially after the year 2013.
Digital technologies are becoming increasingly important in most sectors of economic activity. Due to high levels of interconnectivity, the Internet has been likened to the wheel and the airplane in terms of its ability to affect the future development of business and society. Consequently, the Internet has provided the impetus for many companies to rethink the role of technology, and evidence already indicates the extent of its global impact.
An interview was conducted with Mr. Yazan Taha, Digital Media Manager in MEC Agency, a global marketing company that specializes in online marketing. In the interview we discussed the importance of digital marketing, and its impact on business.
Mr. Taha introduced me to the digital marketing world by explaining its primary components, the strategies of good digital marketing plans, as well as the challenges facing this marketing sector. The contents of the interview are analyzed in the next section of this report.
Aim of the Study
The aim of this research project is to investigate the impact of digital marketing on business, how the experts in this field implement the marketing plans and how they measure the success.
According to Mr. Taha, digital marketing is the way you communicate and send your product or service message to your customers through the online channels, and the main digital marketing channels are social media: “anything that relates to the two way of communications,” video advertising, contents marketing, digital direct marketing, and mobile advertising.
The main tasks that digital marketers deal with on a daily basis are choosing the best channels to promote their client’s business, to utilize these channels to get the best of to gain the highest reach, to coordinate between publishers or suppliers of online services and the client as Mr. Yazan Taha mentioned, and also to generate digital marketing plans and then launch the digital campaign based on these plans.
A Digital Marketing Plan starts with a meeting between the client and the media team to discuss the client’s business, the product/service, and the client objective out of this upcoming marketing plan, which is referred to by marketers as “the briefing.” After listening to the client’s needs, the team conducts internal research through utilizing the save data they have, which is “the records” or the database (which might be provided by the client) in order for the marketing team to analyze the data to identify what problem the client has and where the gaps are in his current marketing plan.
During a briefing meeting, the client will typically mention that his product is high quality, has a good performance and competitive price, but it is not being purchased. Therefore, the marketing team does their analysis on the data and the current marketing plan, which the client has by using SWAT analysis, root causes analysis.
Next, the marketers start targeting the suitable audience for this product. The process of knowing the suitable audience for that product is determined by knowing the customers behavior, demographics, and psychographic of the customers.
After collecting all of this data about the client, business, the market, and the targeted audience, the marketers start launching their marketing plan implementation by investing in the correct way and on the appropriate channels.
Campaign objectives are been set before the launching of any campaign and the marketers continue to monitor the outcomes and indicators of the campaign throughout its duration. Based on those figures they transfer the budget to the highly responded channels and that’s how media marketers optimize the marketing campaign.
Based on this interview, I am convinced that by using the technology of the digital media, we can target the right customer for our product. In other words we can predict those who are willing to buy our product based on various statistics and insights from the customer such as what they are eating, their age, gender, income, and even last places they visited. For example, knowing that a customer opened an advertisement on a website for 20 seconds will indicate that he was curious about that product. The next time he visits the website, marketers can change that ads into something that will attract the same “future customer” such as a discount, an offer, or even a prize. This is called retargeting; a very smart approach to digital marketing.
The main challenges that are facing this sector of marketing in the MENA region in particular is the client himself because of the lack of awareness and knowledge of the benefits of digital marketing, which is better than spending a lot of money on offline or traditional marketing. As Mr. Taha mentioned, “the cost of unique users online is less than 0.01 JOD, unlike the offline costs per user which is up to 100 JOD sometimes”
The disadvantage of digital marketing is that we have to track the channel contents, such as the website or online portals contents to ensure brand safety. We don’t want the client’s ads beside a breaking news story about ISIS human rights abuses or content that utilizes racist remarks. With offline marketing, such issues are not likely to happen.
At the end, it is about the product or the service that the client is providing for the market. To build a good brand image in the mind of customers is critical, because based on studies, the mind of a normal person absorbs 3 main brands, so client should build a good brand to compete with in the market and this product must be engineered well, be up-to-date, and needed by the customers. “Everything else will be easier after that” according to MEC Media Marketing Manager Mr. Yazan Taha.
The impact of digital marketing on business in general will minimize the marketing costs by transforming from traditional/offline marketing to a mix of offline and online marketing with a focus on the online marketing, and the cost per unique users will decrease. For example, the 10,000 JOD investments on an offline advertisement will attract less than 6,000 users, but with the same amount of money online, at least 100,000 users will be attracted and consequently may be interested in your product.
Online marketing also will increase your product and awareness of your business because in Jordan and worldwide the online marketing channels are the highest reach.
Promoting your business online eventually will lead to an increase in product sales because you do the right targeting. If you placed your ads in a newspaper, you don’t know who will read your ads, or if you placed an outdoor sign in The University street-Amman, you don’t know who will see your ads. With digital marketing you do 100% true targeting, so your product will be profitable and you will reach more people.
Brands can now be direct sellers, content producers, bloggers, tweeters and even friends without having to rely on media to deliver those messages. Consumers can seek out those brands, connect with them through social networks, tweet about them, and instantaneously let all their friends know what they think about them or what they plan to buy.