Digital Marketing The phrase marketers, brands and businesses use constantly. A phrase that carries so much weight—and yet, so much confusion.  

As a Digital Strategist at Boston Digital, I hear from clients all the time, “We need to do digital marketing.” But they’re unsure of where to start, what exactly digital marketing entails, and how to implement it. 

It’s often seen as a line item on a media budget or gets tossed around as a channel they should be investing in. But really, digital is no longer a medium to plan for, but behaviors to plan against. Digital is an all encompassing word for mobile, social, web, and technology – aspects integrated into our everyday lives and habits.

Have I cleared things up? Probably not. So let’s keep going.

The truth is, digital is nearly impossible to narrowly define. But based on ten years of watching marketing evolve and digital transform year over year, the best way I can define it is:

Digital Marketing is following patterns, understanding needs, and delivering the right experiences that move consumers through a journey.

Let’s break this down. 

Following Patterns

Digital Marketing is the ability to make sense and draw reasonable assumptions from data. While marketers use a mix of insights and intuition, it’s all about making an informed hypothesis based on patterns or commonalities in people’s behavior, the landscape and the competition. It’s then testing these hypotheses by activating in-market to figure out whether or not we are following the right patterns.

Patterns

A large component of digital marketing is determining when we need tools and technology to more effectively and efficiently follow these patterns and make adjustments. Tracking, tagging, capturing and visualizing multiple data inputs are a few ways to draw better conclusions on what works and what doesn’t in digital.

Understanding Needs

The basis of digital marketing is centered around the consumer. Beyond demographics, effective digital marketing gets into the psyche of customers. It dives deeper into what consumers need and how your brand/product/good can fulfil that void better than the competition. 

At Boston Digital, we focus on strategically grouping your most valuable prospects and outlining what are the most effective channels, messages and visuals to support your brand.

Delivering the Right Experience

It’s not about delivering an experience—but delivering the right experience. There is no cookie cutter formula for creating the right customer experience - every customer's goals are different. What’s great in digital is that there are endless options to reach your customers. As mentioned earlier, digital incorporates social, mobile, web, etc., and within each of those buckets we can get even more granular. 

Customer Experience

Digital Marketing is not about being everywhere or picking channels because your competitors are doing so. It’s about being at the right place, at the right time, and mattering to your customers and your objectives. An experience is also not a moment in time. As strategic marketers, we need to follow your customer’s unique journey while simultaneously moving them through our marketing funnel in a way that feels authentic and meaningful.

At Boston Digital, we break down digital even further to include three core elements to delivering that “right” experience: Lead Generation, Capture and Nurture. If you're looking for tactical ways to implement digital keep reading here: https://www.bostondigital.com/blog/what-digital-marketing-3-basic-components. 

Digital Marketing RFP Template