Digital Marketing in a Nutshell

While we have come up with many fancy words to differentiate ourselves from traditional marketers, the goal in marketing has remained the same. What has changed is the ecosystem in which we have to operate. What we started to call “digital marketing” today, will be called “marketing” again, tomorrow.

Essentially we are still competing for eyeballs and attention in order to deliver a specific message that best matches our theoretical target audience.

I am feeling most comfortable dividing digital marketing into two subcategories. The “editorial portion” and the “technical portion”.

The editorial portion of digital marketing is dealing with crafting a message that will trigger a desired behavior by the target audiences and that will differentiate the offer from the competition. Content marketing and email marketing are also part of this category and are essential to moving a potential client through the marketing (sales) funnel.

The technical portion of digital marketing deals with the distribution of the key message and this is where we have seen a lot of innovation in the last 10 years. I have a slight bias towards calling this part of marketing, digital marketing, as this where a lot of change has happened.

How digital marketing works today

Let us have a look at a few concrete examples of how digital marketing works today.

There are currently 2 main types of digital channels that we need to talk about. While you can split them up into many subsets, I would like to keep this as simple as possible.

We are talking about display ads and search marketing.

Display advertising

Display ad marketing can take many forms and it can be used in different stages of the marketing funnel. Essentially this is a rather passive form of marketing similar to the traditional outdoor ad banners. For simplicity reasons I am including social media advertising into this category even if it is probably inappropriate for a more detailed summary.

You will find display ads on social media platforms, websites and apps. One very effective display ad technique is the remarketing advertising where we are retargeting people that had prior contact with one of our online properties. This is something that has never been possible before the internet. Just imagine being able to swap street advertising banner ads individually for each passing person based on where they had been the day before or based on what they are interested in the most. That is possible now online and is often very effective.

Search marketing

Search marketing is advertising on search engines such as Google, Bing or YouTube. That means that if someone is actively searching for a “microphone” on a search engine, we have the option to showcase our shop or product to that user during that search as ads are being matched with search queries in real time. This has never been possible before the internet either. Search engine marketing also is known as SEM, can also be split into subcategories such as search engine advertising and search engine optimization, but the scope of this article is really introductory in nature.

You may now see how powerful digital marketing can be to market a product or service. As the internet is with us at all times on our mobile devices, we can now say that we have fully adopted the web into our lives.

We now interact with various social platforms, search engines, and content hubs on a daily basis and we as marketers are beginning to build customer journeys across all those platforms to spread our key messages and to guide potential clients towards a commercial decision in favor of a target project.

Would you like to learn more about what is possible for your business? Do not hesitate to reach out to me with your questions. Email me:


©2019 Feraz Zeid

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