Although digital marketing seems to be the future of marketing, it's been around for a long time. Practically since the first live broadcast was sent across the radio waves. You must be thinking to yourself, "that doesn't make sense!" It does, and I'll explain why by first answering the question, what is digital marketing? Neil Patel, one of the top marketers globally, defines digital marketing as any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices. In other words, Digital marketing is simply marketing but online.
If you look at the "big four" of digital marketing - Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube - you can see that they are just digital avenues of traditional marketing. Google can be attributed to the Yellow Pages, Facebook and Instagram are similar to radio, and YouTube is the online equivalent to television. Just as in the Yellow Pages, if someone is searching for you or a product or service you deliver, they search for it in Google. Facebook and Instagram ads are more interruptive, as in radio. The listener (or scroller) isn't necessarily seeking your product, but it interrupts their listening or scrolling with an ad for a product or service they may be interested in. The similarities between YouTube and television are pretty straightforward. It is the same as radio, but a visual interruption.
However, marketing as an industry has changed since the "big four" have become advertising leaders. It has evolved and gotten more complicated only because more technology and services surrounding advertising have come about. The trends are constantly changing, and the avenues of content creation have expanded. Each of these avenues creates more data than could ever be gathered from traditional marketing. This data allows for more targeted ads and the ability to reach your target market more cost-effectively. It takes a dedicated marketer to understand and respond to the information being received or a business owner willing to learn digital marketing.
Are you still wondering how my original statement makes sense? The first-ever public radio broadcast was of Enrico Caruso and other Opera singers performing live from the Metropolitan Opera as transmitted by Lee de Forest. After this event, the Opera saw a rise in ticket sales and catapulted the first digital marketing strategy wave. Now think to yourself, does your business need a digital marketing strategy?