Digital marketing – A concept in demand

Written By Kaushik Ahmed

MNA Editorial Desk: Marketing has become more of a necessity rather than a supporting function during the last two decades. The corporate world in every sector and industry now seems to be obsessed with inventing different marketing techniques to reach the heart, mind and pocket of their target audience. We have seen different marketing approaches like above the line (ATL), below the line (BTL) and through the line (TTL) etc and multiple modes of implementing these strategic approaches and in today’s world, the most trending marketing concept is ‘Digital Marketing’.

During the last decade, in USA and other European countries, digital marketing has become a very popular concept. Due to the ever expanding dependency on internet based communication, this concept has become the best way to reach the potential consumers for almost any product. The gaining popularity of social networking sites and virtual market place has created a huge success factor for this sort of marketing. The companies in developed countries started using e-commerce as a tool from the 1990s and in continuation of expanding the markets for their products and services, these companies started using digital marketing as a comparatively low cost but high engagement tool. This web based marketing tool simply provides companies with an effective solution to reach their potential consumers all around the world. The market grew, the effort got reduced and revenue started to incline and digital marketing kept getting more popular. Today, with expanding digitalisation of Bangladesh, this concept is getting more attention from even the conservative business groups in Bangladesh.

Different concepts or tools of digital marketing were oriented in use over the years since the term ‘Digital Marketing’ was first used in the 1990s. The popular tools of digital marketing contain Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Back Linking and Link Building, Social Media Marketing, Display Advertising, Email Marketing etc. It does not only use channels which involve internet but also non-internet channels like cell phones and any other device that provides digital media services. Through the use of these tools digital marketing gives a platform to create a relationship with the customers in a sophisticated and effective way.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) being the most popular digital marketing tool enables the companies to reach their clients as an organisation of priority. With the proper use of this tool, a company will be able to place itself on top whenever a potential customers search for a product or service they offer. Today, we know the world as a place of digitalisation where internet has reached the lives of people irrespective of their education, age, lifestyle and any other parameters. Whenever we need a product or service, we search for it on the web and find out the companies or places where we can get a particular product or service. Here the role of SEO becomes very critical. There are many companies who provide a specific type of product or service. But it becomes a competition among those companies to place themselves on the top few search results as the customers tend to visit only the sites of those first few companies on the search result list. Google for instance is the largest search engine and uses huge server to store millions of data which they convert into optimised information for the users of their services. Many organisations now spend a handsome amount to place themselves on top in the search engines so that they turn into the first choice of their possible customers or clients.

In today’s world, the most trending digital marketing tool being used is the social media. During the past decade, the social media has appeared as a phenomenon in the lives of people all around the world. A trend has been found of more and more people using social media networks whereas spending more and more of their time on these sites. Today, not only the youth but also people from all age groups have developed a habit to spend a major portion of their days on social media sites. In Bangladesh, not only the urban people but also the rural people are using social networking sites like Facebook, irrespective of the huge difference in their educational background and context. Advertising on these social networking sites has become a great way to reach the customers today.

We often see organisations or personnel inviting us over Facebook to like their page. This is a sort of social media marketing. By liking someone’s page we actually get acquainted with the products or services offered by the company or individual who is being represented by that particular page. Moreover, we invite our friends to like that page and they invite their friends and at the end of the day, this chain makes a lot of people know about your page hence know about your products and services. This is not required to mention that this exposure ultimately results in revenue for the business.

Nowadays, almost all organisations create their Facebook page, even during their inception. It has become a trend to inform people in the community about the business you are getting in. There are many small entrepreneurs who run their whole business depending on the social marketing as they conduct their business over social networking sites with their products and services offered from their own page and also by collecting orders from the visitors of these sites. This type of business is getting popular day by day not only in technologically developed countries but also in a country like Bangladesh. Here the base concept is to create visibility among the possible customers to increase the number of successful sales. Everything the businesses are doing is to ensure their presence among the target audience. Sometimes we find pages of organisations that are very large and well known among their specific audience but still they maintain their social sites links as they don’t want to lose their presence at any platform. Overall, social media marketing today itself is generating billions of dollars all over the world.

We have mentioned before that, companies today allocate funds specifically for digital marketing and a major portion of that is subjected to paid advertisements. This is one of the most effective ways to reach the target audience in a controlled manner, meaning the ad-giver company can ensure the reach from their end as they are paying for it. Every day when we surf on internet, we unwillingly find some advertisement popping up on our screen and these might be some sort of paid advertisements. A common allegation against this type of marketing is – it is annoying for the audience as they do not pursue the information from their end and it definitely hampers the essential working time of the users. But paid advertisement is a highly trending digital marketing tool, nevertheless, throughout the world.

Every year, the marketing concepts and trends change significantly in different parts of the world and digital marketing is no different from that. Some already strongly established traits are going to change over 2015 and onwards. Like; we already know about the overwhelmingly strong position of Google as the unmentioned digital marketing partners of many companies all around the world. But it will be wrong to rely completely on this specific search engine over the upcoming years. Google is getting highly loaded with paid promotions and organic search results are getting lower significance. Moreover, other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Hotbot etc are getting their own significance to their specific audience who are clearly getting higher in numbers. Moreover, the search engine algorithms will definitely change over the next few years as the data sorting and relevance marking will require to be updated for a better service to both the companies and the target audience. Along with that, cost optimization for the search engine service providers will play a strong role behind this. So, companies relying on Google only might need to think again over their choice of search engines for SEO while making a digital marketing plan.

On top of that, though we might not like it, paid advertisements are going to increase over the next few years. As digital marketing is still comparatively new as a concept, the companies and individuals will also try to catch up with the early industry movers and that effort will have a stronger push on the paid advertisements as that only can give a quick edge over the competitors who are already at the platform. So, paid advertisements will stay strong for some more years and along with that, new payment methods are going to be introduced. We know there are several secured payment modes are already available but many other modes will be introduced as the focus on digital marketing keeps rising.

We can also expect that, the digital marketing will be more focused on the mobile based technological advances in the recent future. The sites are now required to be mobile responsive and the transactions are also to be supported on the handheld devices. Focus on the mobile devices are going to be extremely high over the next few years as we all know that, the people now prefer to use online services much more on their mobile phones rather than the computers. So, it will be wise to do everything with a focus on mobile compatibility as well as mobile responsiveness.

Another important change will be the emphasis on content rather than just ensuring presence. Content are going to be of more importance than ever. To grab the focus of the audience, good contents will be the greatest winning factor. To create a back link chain proper content will get higher representation. So, content is definitely going to be of more necessity and along with that, focus on developing rich content creators will be a major part of the businesses.

Bangladesh a fast developing country is already getting a lot of movement over the utilization of digital marketing as an important marketing tool. But to gain proper placement while creating global market, the Bangladeshi entrepreneurs need to keep themselves updated on the latest trends and expected changes happening throughout the world. Along with every positive sides, we cannot deny the fact that, growth hacking will prevail as businesses tend to pursue the easy way out. Considering every other facts, we hope our businesses will properly analyze the traits and trends of digital marketing so that, we achieve the best success in creating a global market for our products and services.

Kaushik Ahmed is the Associate Editor of Mohammadi News Agency. This article was first published in The Daily Observer.