We choose to use the terminology “digital marketing channels” rather than “types” as each channel that may be used to reach potential customers may be complex depending on the level of integration and tactics you apply across your digital marketing strategy and campaigns.

Our RACE planning framework maps the online customer journey across all potential touchpoints, showing the scale and opportunity digital marketing provides – more than just “a website” or “a Facebook page”.

To understand the importance of digital marketing to the future of marketing in any business, it’s beneficial to think about what target audience interactions we need to understand and manage. Digital marketing today is about many more types of target audience interaction than website or email… The 5Ds define the opportunities for customers to interact with brands and for businesses to reach and learn from their audiences in different ways:

Digital Devices

Audiences experience brands as they interact with business websites and mobile apps usually through a combination of connected devices which includes smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, TVs and gaming devices.

Digital Platforms

Most interactions on these devices are through a browser or apps from the major platforms or services, that’s Facebook (and Instagram), Google (and YouTube), Twitter and LinkedIn.

Digital Media

Different paid, owned and earned communications channels for reaching and engaging audiences including advertising email and messaging search engines and social networks.

Digital data

The insight businesses collect about their audience profiles and their interactions with businesses, which now need to be protected by law in most countries.

Digital technology

The marketing technology that businesses use to create interactive experiences from websites and mobile apps to in-store kiosks and email campaigns.

Defining digital marketing:

The use of the internet and other digital media and technology to support ‘modern marketing’ has given a lift to a bewildering range of labels and jargon created by both academics and professionals. It’s been called digital marketing, internet marketing, e-marketing, and web marketing and these alternative terms have varied through time…

The scope of the term should include activities across the customer life cycle:

• Digital media and communications channels

• Digital and mobile experiences along with web design and mobile apps

• Prospect and customer relationship management through marketing
automation

• Digital strategy and integrating multichannel communications and experiences

• Digital technology and platforms to manage all digital marketing activities

The role of digital platforms in supporting integrated multichannel marketing is an essential part of digital marketing but is often overlooked. In many ways, this highlights how important it is to break down silos between ‘digital’ and ‘traditional’ marketing departments. Online channels can also be controlled to support the whole buying procedure from pre-sale to sale to post-sale and further development of customer relationships.