What is Digital Marketing & Why you need Digital Strategy

What is Digital Marketing & Why you need Digital Strategy

When we use the word “Digital Marketing”, we are actually referring to online marketing efforts from a brand. Therefore, if you are asking what is Digital Marketing, here is your answer:

Digital Marketing is advertising messages delivered through online channels such as websites, mobile apps, search engines, social media and emails. It helps a brand generate interest in their products among their consumers.

Though digital marketing started gaining popularity in the year 2000. In the last couple of years it has revolutionised marketing communication.

Global Digital Snapshot


Today almost 50% of global population is connected to internet and mobile is driving connectivity at a rapid rate.

Adweek reported that, the consumer’s attention is shifting from television to mobile devices and social media.

As per Tubular Insights:

  • 87% millennials are inseperable from their smartphone
  • 92% millennials browse on other devices while watching TV programs
    • On the second device they are spending time on social networks

Needless to say brands of all size, startups and even individuals are exploring option to leverage digital marketing.

Free Digital Marketing Courses


If you want to learn digital marketing and apply it to grow your career, you can get free access to my Digital Marketing course on  Personal Branding.



If you want to learn digital marketing and apply it to grow your business, you can get free access to my Digital Marketing course on Traffic Building.

What is Digital Marketing?

In a real sense:

Digital Marketing is brand messaging (Advertisements) delivered through electronic channels such as Television, Radio, Internet etc. Electronic channels generate, store and transmit data in the series of the number 0 or 1.

Therefore, Digital Marketing can happen both Online and Offline.


If the above is true, then

Digital marketing existed ever since Guglielmo Marconi sent first wireless signals in 1896.

Isn’t that crazy!

However, the simple definition of digital marketing does not say enough about the practice of digital marketing in today’s world.

This meaning is useless as technology is just the enabler of digital marketing.  So let us understand what exactly digital marketing is?

What is Digital Marketing in Today’s Context?

In today’s context:

Digital Marketing is a set of interactive marketing promotion activities which are done online. These activities help an individual or organization reach its target audience and achieve its business & financial objectives.

Therefore when we say digital marketing, we are essentially referring to Online Digital Marketing.

The other form of Digital marketing is offiline digital marketing, which happens on other electronic devices such as Radio or Television.

I know you are not here to read about radio or TV, so I will spare you (though I have invested millions of dollors on Offilne Digital marketing during my career).

Online Digital Marketing meaning in detail

Going forward in this article when I say “Digital marketing”, I am actually referring to “Online Digital marketing”, as that is what you intend to read here, right?

1. Digital marketing is a set of marketing activities and not just one activity.

2. Digital marketing is Interactive and not just one way.

  • It enables two-way communication and is much more engaging compared to the other marketing methods.
  • Interactivity is what distinguishes digital marketing from advertising on Television, which is also electronic but not interactive.

3. Digital marketing happens online.

  • What it essentially means is that digital marketing activity is carried out on the Internet or telecom networks.
  • Though it happens online, it can empower both the virtual or offline world.
    • An example of Digital marketing in the virtual or online world is email marketing or social media marketing or search engine marketing. In the colloquial sense when we say digital marketing we refer to virtual or online marketing only.
    • An example of digital marketing in the offline world is the use of tablets to showcase product offerings at a retail store.

4. Digital marketing helps an individual or organization.

  • It is useful not only for large companies but also for individuals as well, unlike TV or newspaper advertising.
  • One can take advantage of digital advertising on small budgets as well.

5. Digital marketing helps reach and engage the target audience.

  • It is focused, and one can use multiple targeting methods to reach their audience.

6. Digital marketing helps achieve business and financial objectives.

  • It is measurable & ROI-driven.
  • It helps achieve business & financial goals.

Why Digital Marketing is a must

Today for most marketers, digital is no longer a wait and watch option. It is already pretty big.

Are you still doubtful?

Remember its not a question of IF you want to use digital marketing, rather its a question of WHEN will you take the digital leap. The earlier the better. Don’t be late.

Here’s why you need to adopt digital as part of your overall marketing strategy:

1. The digital landscape is going to be much larger in future:

  • More than 50% of the global population (3.8 Billion out of 7.5 Billion) is already on the Internet.
  • More than 68% of the connected audience (2.5 Billion out of 3.8 Billion) is already an active social media user on the mobile.
  • In India, its 35% population (462 million out of 1.3 Billion) is already on the Internet.
  • 79% of India’s population is already on mobile, and soon they will be on the internet with the disruption taking place in the telecom industry.
    • For less than US$ 2/month a user has access to almost 30GB of data every month.
  • An Internet-connected Indian is spending much more time on a digitally connected device (PC/tablet: 480 minutes, Mobile: 202 minutes) instead of TV (only 111 minutes).
  • 28% of Internet-connected Indians (137 Million) have purchased something online. This number is only going to grow as we go along.

2. Digital is empowering the world

With the evolution of Digital media, a consumer has access to the entire world’s information at their fingertips.

Now you are not the only one building your brand, your customer also has a say in your brand building exercise.

Therefore it becomes essential that you are out there talking and helping them. Because today’s consumers  want brands:

  • They can trust
  • That understands them and helps them
  • which provides them relevant and customized solutions

RELATED ARTICLE : Building Strong Brands & How Branding helps you build your Business?

3. Digital Marketing is measurable in real time

Apart from the above, please note that digital marketing is measurable in real time. This measurability allows a marketer to make changes and enhancements in the marketing approach and drive enhanced ROI for the business.

For example, if you have created TV advertisements, you will not know the results until the people-meter report is available from media monitoring services. Even if the data is available, you can not surely say that it was the advertisement that led to increase in sales.

However, if you are on digital, you will have the result of every marketing effort you make online almost instantly. You will be able to identify what is working for you and what is not.

4. Generates Real Business Leads

Businesses generate a significant number of leads on a daily basis. Most of the sales people always struggle with segmenting qualified or fake leads as one does not have any mechanism to differentiate the same.

However, when you generate leads on a digital platform, you can put your leads in a specific stage of the purchasing funnel. This kind of segmentation can enable sales to focus on advanced leads and generate better ROI for the business.

5. Helps you Connect the Dots

As a marketer, you have many marketing tools available to promote your business. It is a universal truth that there are always more opportunities for investing your money than what is available in your marketing budget. So how do you prioritise?

Most of my clients have this dilemma. Well, this is where digital allows you to identify what is working and what is not. As a marketing professional, you can detect and invest your resources accordingly.

Digital allows you to identify what is working and what is not.

With the attribution modelling, you can determine the steps a consumer take to buy your product & service and invest in the most important measures.

From the above, it is must be clear to you that digital marketing can create tremendous value for your business. It is an interactive medium, which can take several forms. So let us understand what the different forms or components of digital marketing are.

Below are my Digi10, the Ten components of Digital Marketing.  🙂

Digi10: The Ten Components of Digital Marketing

In the modern world, when we say digital marketing, we are referring to online digital marketing. Below are the most critical components of digital marketing:

  1. Websites and Mobile app
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  3. Content Marketing
    • Which include Blogging, Video, Podcast, etc.
  4. Social Media Optimization (SMO)
  5. Search Engine Marketing (SMM)
    • Pay per Click (PPC) Advertising
    • Display Advertising
  6. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Email Marketing
  9. eCommerce
  10. Digital Analytics

Critical Components of Digital Marketing

You might be wondering:

  • Ten parts are too much to handle.
  • How to prioritize if you are a start-up or a small business.
  • Where you will get best and sustainable returns with your limited marketing budget.

Here is the deal:

  • Depending on what your objectives are, you must prioritize where you invest your money.

However, to build sustainable and profitable digital ecosystem you must use and make use of the following components of digital marketing irrespective of the objective and size of your business:

  • A super fast loading and responsive website.
  • Business critical keywords optimised pages on the site.
  • Presence on the leading social media portals such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
  • Lead generation mechanism to identify, attend and engage prospective customers
  • Digital Analytics

Want to know the best part:

Most of the above you can deploy free of cost if you know the basic web technology.

And here is the kicker: If you don’t know all this, stay tuned here and I will teach you all of it.

Digital Marketing Plan: How to Do Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing plan is nothing but a marketing plan document that outlines how digital is going to help you achieve marketing and business objectives.

A Good digital marketing plan contains the following:

1. Strategic Digital Ecosystem Analysis

  • Analysis of Online Customers: Emerging online trends, behaviour and Sociographics; Technology drivers and their impact; Unmet consumer needs and Online segmentation (in terms of In-Market; Affinity, Behaviour and Contextual segmentation)
  • Online Competitor Audit: Audit of the main competitor’s presence online; their strengths and weaknesses; Online Brand salience; Traffic Analysis; Social Audit; eCommerce Audit.
  • Online Audit of Own Digital Ecosystem: Benchmarking against competition; Traffic Drivers; Conversion rates and Social Engagement.

2. Value Proposition caliberisation

  • What your business offers that is valuable to a customer segment?
  • Is there anything that falls in customer sweetspot?
  • Is there a need to create or reorient a capability?

3. The Ask

  • How digital will help you identify and connect with the clients seeking the value proposition that you are offering.

4. Setting and prioritising Digital Marketing Objectives

  • The specific and measurable results that are expected from digital marketing. These results could be in terms of Traffic to the website, engagement on social media, sales on eCommerce channels or even share of voice on search engines.

5. Target Customer online

  • Defined in terms of demographic, sociographic, Search behavior, Affinity and technology usage.

6. Digital Marketing Strategy

  • Digital marketing strategy outlines the components of digital marketing that will be at play. It includes:
    • Digital Channels that will be used to connect with the user. A brand can use search engines or social media or affiliate marketing or CPC or CPM advertisements.
    • Organic vs. Paid media composition: A good digital marketing strategy will always focus on sustainable investments with a larger share of organic traffic.

7. Digital Marketing Budget & Timelines

  • Defined in terms of budget deployment to different components of digital marketing and expected delivery out of it.
  • Timelines that define what you want to create in terms of execution of strategy and leading & lagging indicators in terms of result.

8. Measurement of delivery

  • Deployment and Measurement analytics tools to measure your customer activities on web, social, email and other channels.


Objectives of Digital Marketing


You know that goals or objectives are critical elements of a marketing plan. Goals help digital marketers define:

  • What do we want to achieve?
  • When do we want to reach there?

Objectives are specific targets you can have. However, what you must note here is that setting up clear goals for a digital marketing plan is not easy due to the following reasons:

  • The proliferation of digital channels: Marketers today have multiple digital channel options just like the consumer. This increases complexity and makes it difficult to connect with customers.
  • Intense Competition: Competition on digital channels is increasing making it difficult for brands to achieve their marketing objectives.

So what’s the bottom line?

For continued success with digital marketing, it is critical to define clear objectives and measure them regularly. Digital medium allows you adjust in real time. Put your digital marketing efforts to task to achieve your overall business goals.

Types of Digital Marketing Objectives

Business goals should be the primary objectives of digital marketing. Digital marketing goals should be defined in one of the following ways:

  • Reach out to new prospective customers and build traffic to digital properties
  • Increase overall brand awareness and Top of mind recall
  • Generate Leads for the Business
  • Support trial of a good or service and aid in information dissemination
  • Increase sales
  • Increase profit for the firm with repeat or incremental sales
  • Delight a customer by resolving their service issues

Whatever may the objective of your digital marketing strategy always remember that:

To be truly successful you need S.M.A.R.T objectives for your digital marketing strategy.

SMART is an acronym for the below:

  • Specific: Objectives of Digital marketing should state exactly what is to be achieved.
  • Measurable: Objectives of Digital marketing should be measurable with the available tools (online or offline)
  • Achievable: Objectives of Digital marketing should be realistic given the resources and market situation.
  • Relevant: Objectives of Digital marketing should be consistent and valuable for the business.
  • Time Bound: Objectives of Digital marketing should be set with a realistic timeline in mind.

Free Digital Marketing Courses


If you want to learn digital marketing and apply it to grow your career, you can get free access to my Digital Marketing course on  Personal Branding.



If you want to learn digital marketing and apply it to grow your business, you can get free access to my Digital Marketing course on Traffic Building.

What is Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a long term marketing and business objectives online (with the usage of internet and telecommunication networks).

A good digital marketing strategy organizes all the components of digital marketing in such a way that the components support each other to achieve the desired strategic outcome.

A good digital marketing strategy helps achieve marketing and business goals. From the digital marketing perspective below are the three modified goals a business can have:


Engage with Prospective Customers

  • Reach out to new potential customers and build traffic to digital properties
  • Increase overall brand awareness, Top of mind recall leading to increased engagement online
  • Generate Sales
    • Generate Leads for the Business
    • Supports trial of a good or service and aid in information dissemination
    • Increase sales
  • Generate Referral
    • Positive word of mouth and recommendation leading to greater profit for the firm with repeat or incremental sales
    • Delight a customer by resolving their service issues
  • Have you noticed that the digital marketing objectives are all action oriented? A digital marketing objective is not fulfilled if it does not motivates a customer to take action. Unlike traditional advertising where a brand expects just

    As part of traditional marketing strategy, a brand expects just one action from the customer that is sales. However, in the digital marketing world, a brand expects achievement of several micro-objectives before a customer pays (which is the macro objective or the final goal really).

    But remember, trying to get all as a result of one digital marketing campaign is a recipe for disaster.

    Focus on the biggest challenge your business is facing and make its resolution as the primary objective of your digital marketing strategy and others could be your secondary business priorities.

    Brand Website: The most important pillar of Digital Marketing Strategy

    You might be wondering:

    Why the hell I am talking about a website here.

    When you hear about digital marketing the first thing which comes to your mind in Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram . . . . . . . . . whichever is the current flavour of the month when it comes to social media.  Most of us also think that when we talk about digital marketing, we are talking about these platforms. Therefore we believe that we need to have a presence on these platforms.

    What we forget is that all these platforms are a business and they decide the rules of the game. They pay attention to their website or mobile app and try to portray that if you are not there on their platform, you are nobody. What if they become irrelevant tomorrow.

    Remember Orkut? Nobody does. Not surprising if you don’t.

    Advertising on these platforms is not like TV advertising which leads to increase in brand awareness / Top of mind recall. Where in once your prospective customer is aware of your offering, distribution and retail promotion will lead to sales.

    The traditional advertising model does not work in digital.

    If you advertise on digital platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter to build just the Brand awareness you are creating a captive audience for your competitor’s brands to tap into. Your competitors will target all your audience based on behavioral methods.

    Therefore TV like brand awareness campaigns does not work well for a brand on digital media. You need to do much more to get the sales and ROI for your business.

    This is where your website comes into the picture. Your website should be your leading Digital Marketing Pillar as has the following benefits over other digital channels.

    • Control: You have absolute control over your website, and you set the rules of the same on it.
    • Priorities: You can decide what will be the focus of your marketing strategy.
    • Messaging: Your customer get to hear the authentic voice of the brand
    • Connect: Your consumer can connect and talk to you directly. You have an unparalleled opportunity to delight the customer.
    • Segmentation: You will be able to segment your customer on the basis of his stage in the buying process and act accordingly.

    Brand Website Vision: to meet the Objectives of Digital Marketing

    To be successful, a brand needs to convert its website into a Digital Brand Commerce platform. This platform needs to inspire consumers to engage with the brand and help in co-creation. A Brand website is essentially a community of believers with a purpose.

    Digital Marketing Tools

    No matter where you are in your online progress, there are amazing digital marketing tools that can save you dozens of hours per week.

    Automation of key marketing activities saves me money and will save you thousands of dollars on pricey freelancers. The trick is to know the right tools at the right stage.

    What is a Digital Marketing Tool

    Digital Marketing tools help a digital marketer achieve marketing & business objective with ease and save hundreds of hour of work. Experts have created hundreds of digital marketing tool for every component of digital marketing.

    This is crazy: the good crazy!

    How on earth you can choose the best tool for a component of digital marketing. I know many marketers who spend hundreds of hours to choose a digital marketing tool.

    So here’s the deal:

    I will share tried and trusted digital marketing tools with you so that you can build your business with ease. Stay tuned to our digital marketing guides and tools of the trade.

    Below is the list of Digital Marketing Tools:

    • Websites and Mobile app
    • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
      • Google Search Console; Bing Webmaster.
      • Screaming frog, Wildshark SEO spider, WebBee.
      • Google Pagespeed Insights, Pingdom, GTMetrix.
      • Google Adwords, Searchmetrics, SEMRush.
      • Ahref, Moz
      • Yoast, WordPress SEO
    • Content Marketing: Which include Blogging, Video, Podcast, etc.
      • Blogspot, WordPress
      • Buzzsumo, EpicBeat, Content Ideator, TweetDeck, Nuzzel
      • Grammarly
      • Youtube, Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin
      • Blogmint,
      • Canva, Photoshop, Snappa
    • Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
      • Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest
      • Quora, Yahoo Answers, Reddit
      • Buffer, Hootsuite
      • FanPageKarma, RivalIQ
      • ManageFlitter
    • Search Engine Marketing (SMM)
      • Pay per Click (PPC) Advertising
        • Google Adwords
      • Display Advertising
        • Google Adwords
    • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
      • Facebook ads Manager, Twitter ads, Google Adwords
    • Affiliate Marketing
      • ShareASale, Affiliate Window, Commission Junction, LinkShare, eBay Enterprise Network, Clickbank
    • Email Marketing
      • Aweber, MailChimp, ConstantContact
      • OptinMosnter, SumoMe
    • eCommerce
    • Digital Analytics
      • Google Analytics
    • Advertising networks
      • Google Adsense, GoSquared, Mention, SumAll, Visually
    • CRM

    RELATED ARTICLE : Top 10 Payment Gateways in India – Choose the Best for your Business

    Deploying Digital Marketing Tools

    You might be wondering:

    Which of the above tools are critical for the success of your business? So I am going to help you choose digital marketing tools that you should be using while deploying your digital marketing strategy.


    Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any further info with Digital!

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    One comment

    1. Optinmark

      Really amazing information that you have shared with us. I would highly recommend this blog to everyone to just check out once. It really helps me to know about “Digital Marketing Updates”.
      Thanks for sharing with us and keep posting!

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