The traditional form of marketing comprised of calling or meeting the customer, doing promotions to attract the attention of the customer, pricing the product or service at an affordable range and developing a delivery channel to make the product reach to the customer. But with the increase in competition, convincing and pleasing the consumer is becoming a difficult proposition. Even after spending millions and billions of dollars in mega promotions, many products have failed in the market place — the case studies of Nokia, Motorola and Blackberry stand testimony to this.
On the other hand, we have case studies of companies who have achieved spectacular success by using digital marketing in an effective way. The Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi did not release any ad in print or electronic media when their flagship product Mi2 was launched in India. Instead they released a press release which said that Mi2 is being known as ‘Apple of China’ and a limited number of the high feature-low cost phone will be exclusively sold on Flipkart on the basis of prior registrations. Nearly one lakh people registered to buy the phone, but Xiaomi sold only 10,000 phones on 11th August, 2014. This created such a frenzy in the digital media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that Xiaomi became a household name in India within months of release. They grabbed an impressive 1.5% of the market share very quickly by selling mobile phones and making effective promotions only through digital media.
Digital Marketing has now become an integral part of the overall marketing strategy of almost all companies vying for market share and increase in sales. The digital marketing spend has been increasing by 15.7% year-on-year and is expected to touch $72 billion this year. The share of digital spend in overall marketing budget stands at an impressive 38%.
Why has digital marketing become so important to the marketers? The number of mobile phone users has increased to 4.88 billion and the mobile phone is now becoming a very popular conduit for access among internet users. The number of mobile phone users in India has crossed 500 million, with an estimated 314 million people who access the internet through smartphones. The spread of 2G and 3G and availability of internet access at low cost has also fueled the popularity of internet usage. The high decibel and smart promotions done by e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal has also made shopping on internet popular among internet customers. And by offering huge discounts, attractive freebies and promotional offers, the digital marketplace is adding new customers everyday by leaps and bounds.
Digital Marketing also offers opportunity to marketers to run targeted campaigns for specific customer groups who are the potential buyers of the product or service. The cost of running digital marketing campaigns is much lower in comparison to promotional campaigns run on electronic and print media. It is easier to measure the return on investment (ROI) of digital marketing campaign through electronic monitoring of the processes. It is also to easier to know the profile of the customers and their need, want and demand by using data mining tools. All these features are making digital marketing an important tool for every company to grow their business.
In view of the above facts, digital marketing is offering lucrative careers to students who are learning this course. The important skill sets that are highly desired are knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Affiliate Marketing, Data Mining, Banner Ad campaigning, E-Commerce, Mobile Commerce and Payment Gateways. A knowledge or expertise in the above mentioned skill sets can enable a student to become digital entrepreneur or seek highly paid jobs in E-Commerce sector.