Digital Marketing does not Exist!
“If you don’t show up on the first page of Google, no one will ever know you”
“If you are not online, you are completely out of the loop”
“If you don’t think about the new digital age is because you’re still stuck in the last century”
How many of us, as managers or entrepreneurs, haven’t heard of this? The truth is, if you haven’t faced the reality, you need to realise that Digital Marketing simply does not exist. What exists are: channels, campaigns or marketing activities that are integrated in a digital context but, as a mother science, Digital Marketing does not exist. Mother science is and will forever be Marketing. Unfortunately, most marketing managers have forgotten about mother science and it’s necessary to put them on the right track again.
Every day, we receive dozens of metrics such as ROI (return on investment), CAC (cost of acquisition per customer), LTV (lifetime value), CTR (click-through-rate), CPC (cost per click), CPL (cost per lead)… and other designations such as SEO, SEM, KPI s… acronyms that may seem strange to ordinary mortals, but are mandatory references that often held the client or the company hostage by a channel that, is not always applied to the business area. In an Era in which everything revolves around the digital, the social networks, the algorithms, one must go back to the basics: to Marketing.
It is undeniable that metrics provide a crucial diagnostic in marketing and most of the time, they ensure the efforts made by marketing managers, are focused on areas that are really open to interpretation. It is also undeniable that metrics generate data that demonstrate the company’s evolution and provide solid answers for managers and shareholders. This is all true. But, the basics of Marketing are still segmentation, positioning, differentiation, the target audience, etc., and no matter how many years have passed, how many technological evolutions, this will never change and it’s necessary to understand that companies must focus on the strategy and not only on channels, marketing activities or campaigns. It is necessary to remember that the success of a certain business area will always begin by the basics of Marketing and only then, in the respective activities, it would be unthinkable to reverse this process. Besides, in Marketing we know that everything is transformed and it’s most likely that in a near future, our digital channels shall be replaced by others, and you’re mistaken if you think otherwise.
If you still believe that nowadays a good marketing strategy will only be effective if there are activities on digital channels, if you believe that this will solve all your problems, if you believe that digital channels are the trend and those with the best results, then take a look at this example: “Miss Mary” cafe in Blockley is known by “Pound Cake”, a typical sweet much appreciated in England. At some point the sales of “Pound Cake” decreased without anyone predicting it. We could consider that “Miss Mary” cafe needed to evolve, to communicate their sweets on a Facebook page, to create “landing pages” to raise “leads” and pay for ads on Google to increase the ranking on online searches for “Pound Cake”. Also, we could consider the hypothesis of internationalising the sweet, working with specific metrics, study keywords more effectively, translate them, and adapt them to each country so as to increase the volume of sales. In fact, “Miss Mary” cafe, has forgotten the basics of Marketing called the 4 p’s (price, product, promotion and distribution) and an analysis of that, would quickly show that the sales of the “Pound Cake” have decreased, because “Miss Mary” cafe has changed supplier and the eggs for cooking this sweet, had no longer the same quality, and changed completely the taste of the “Pound Cake”. This is just an example that perfectly portrays most Marketing problems in business. Sometimes, we have to think “inside out” and not the other way around, to elaborate a strategy with real goals and only then, in the activities and campaigns, this whole process would operate. It is important for companies to remain concerned about the quality of their products and services, to know their customers, to build relationships and to know their processes of sales, methods and techniques. There must be a planning, a strategy, goals and a whole range of activities that always begin from inside out. The channels, whether digital or not, will obviously be part of this process. And this is the key point of this whole issue. Because now we know that digital marketing does not exist, digital channels can be part of a Marketing strategy … and this is a correct statement.
Nevertheless, it is important to have specialists in the digital area, it is important to have professionals who can effectively read all the metrics, as well as submit marketing proposals that use digital channels to achieve their goals, if they go along with the digital. But it is also important that marketing departments do not distinguish between Marketing and digital channels, it is important for Marketing to be seen as a whole, with strategies based on its own basics and with its activities, campaigns and specialised teams. It is also important that marketers do not forget this Marketing, pure and simple, that many consider to have been created by the “father of Marketing”, Philip Kotler. It is important to cease digital marketing courses that only address to a small part of Marketing and new Marketing courses rise and address the digital channels. It is important that agencies work with their clients, meeting their needs based on Marketing’s basics, including the 4 p’s, segmentation, target audience, positioning … and if still, the strategy passes by digital channels, then at least, there was a great Marketing basics to make that decision.
MA Marketing Course Leader
London School of Design and Marketing