How was life before 1990, can you remember. How was it to live life without a mobile phone, Facebook, and other social media websites as you know them today?
Before 1990 there was no such word as, digital marketing, in the dictionary hence the only word you could find then was ‘marketing.’
Thus marketing took place offline the traditional way, placing ads on the print media, on radio, TV, sending business letters, and making cold calls from a landline from the office or a call box in the street.
The word ‘digital marketing’ was non-existent in the nineteen-eighties and the years before. Digital marketing started in 1993 when ‘the first clickable banner ad went life’ (Avantika M, 2020).
What is digital marketing? According to the Digital Marketing Institute, ‘digital marketing is the use of digital channels to promote or market products or services to targeted consumers and businesses.)
In simple terms: digital marketing is the use of the internet to promote, advertise, market, and sell a product or service, purely online. It is delivered via digital channels as; social media, mobile applications, websites, email, search engines, and web applications.
The digital market has many advantages for any business that chooses to go digital but at the same time, it has disadvantages too, therefore, this paper discusses the positive and negative effects of digital marketing to businesses.
Advantages of digital marketing to the business that choose to digitalize their marketing campaign are many.
The major benefit to a business that chooses to go digital marketing way is that a targeted audience can be reached, easily, cost-effectively, promptly and it is measurable. That is a great marketing advantage moreover; there are other advantages too:
Worldwide customer reach (global reach) is made possible by having and maintaining a company business website.
The business can target, reach, and acquire customers from any part of the world with a small marketing budget using social media platforms such as Facebook and advertising channels such as Google ads.
The reach of the leading national newspaper in Kenya (Daily Nation) has a circulation of less than 200,000 per day while with a Facebook ad; businesses can reach a targeted audience of more than one million people per day.
The cost aspect: Digital marketing has made advertising cheap in contrast with traditional offline marketing, which is costly and not as nearly as effective.
With a small budget, a company can reach millions of people while a billboard’s reach is local with limited reach yet its cost is very high moreover, the audience is not targeted.
Ever since the arrival of YouTube, the efficiency of TV ads has gone down rapidly, because they are not specific (i.e., TV ads are not targeted to a specific audience) according to Neil Patel.
Brand Building: Every business craves to build its brand and make it vividly visible to its current clientele, to potential customers and generations to come.
A properly built brand name shines like an original high quality, and expensive gem, one that makes make sure that people who come into contact with it, shall not forget but shall remember it, for the rest of their lives.
Marketing Automation: Businesses can run their marketing campaigns using software that automates operations requiring no hands-on.
Set it up and it runs on its own 24 hours a day even when the employees and owners are asleep. Some of the operations that can be automated are; email marketing, public relations, and online marketing.
Some businesses such as drop shipping, eBook sales, music, doctor appointments, and many more, can run on automation requiring little human interventions.
Sales improvement: the businesses that have incorporated digital marketing into their marketing plans have reported an increase in sales due to the ability to target potential customers, built trust, and follow up reminders via automated emails. Zappos, an American company dealing in shoes, saw a dramatic rise in sales as soon as they started digital marketing campaigns for their products.
The disadvantages of using digital marketing for business are not as many as its advantages still, the negative effects cannot be overlooked either.
Some of these disadvantages that negate the gains of digital marketing scene include:
Training required: Companies have to train marketing department employees to bring them up to date with the skillset requirement in digital marketing.
Furthermore, constant retraining is required to keep abreast of the changing nature of modern technologies such as digital marketing.
That is a cost a company can do without although, this would be detrimental to the company’s future because businesses must keep pace with the advancements of technological changes that affect their bottom line.
The time factor: the things that make digital marketing excel are time-consuming, tedious, and tiresome. Content marketing is one of the cornerstone factors that make digital marketing so good at marketing a product or service. Producing marketing content takes precious time as does Search Engine Optimization. It does not bring success overnight rather a long period passes before the company’s website can start seeing quality traffic.
The competition for customer acquisition is cutthroat online because most global businesses are moving online in search of potential customers too.
Thus, it is not a local competition for customers, a business that goes online is competing with global small and heavy competitors and that can be difficult to overcome and thrive.
Security issues: a company must ensure the safety of customer data as well as their privacy while on their website. This is a legal requirement.
Any breach of these requirements can lead to legal challenges that may cost a company dearly.
Fraud risk: Criminals do hack websites to steal data and eventually use the stolen data to access company or customer bank accounts.
They may steal data to commit many other crimes and a company may be found liable by a court if found to have been negligent.
Feedback: customers and potential clientele will take the opportunity to engage with the company as the company’s website makes this possible.
Some customers give positive feedback while others give adverse feedback. The problem is that malicious people or competitors may choose this tool to malign the company and this is a serious challenge to deal with.
As the discussion has shown, the advantages of digital market outweigh the disadvantages by a large margin but it’s the opinion of this paper that the disadvantages are serious and a threat to business,
therefore, steps must be taken to guarantee the safety of consumers as they visit and patronize businesses’ websites online.
Digital marketing works for all businesses regardless of size, and location however; this does not mean that all businesses should implement digital marketing strategies similarly (or in a similar way) because marketing needs differ.
This paper recommends a deeper look at the negative side and the implementation of better safety measures for online products and services consumers.
Essay Writer: Steve Wanjie
Founder: Dijito Marketing
Further information on this topic