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Digital Marketing: Common activities, trends, and choosing courses

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Digital marketing is a set of integrated techniques, technologies and information that enables marketing to create new products and services; enter new markets; improve the processes needed to engage in a dynamic conversation with people who are influencers and buyers; and ultimately target, acquire and retain customers.

Digital marketing, which continues to be integrated with multichannel campaign management, includes addressable branding/advertising, contextual marketing, social marketing and transactional marketing. ​​Digital marketing extends the marketing process through channels such as the Web, video, mobile and social applications, point-of-sale terminals, digital signage and kiosks. (Gartner’s Definitions)

Most-common digital marketing tasks in India

The below chart can give you specific activities that are part of digital marketing.


Those are the tasks. We also need to know the where our audiences visit. For example, here is some data about the 8th to 12th class students in urban India (1739 Schools in 14 Cities). A whopping 85% of them are on social media.

TCS Survey Students in Urban India Who Use Social Media

Trends / Career / Courses

Since “digital” is a popular buzz word these days, there will be quite a lot of misinformation and disinformation about this. You may see SEO, SEM or SMO courses labelled as “Digital Marketing” courses. This is not bad, if the courses really cover the wide areas of, and trends in, digital marketing. For example, eMarketer says

Programmatic advertising will continue to drive growth and innovation. In a first, more than 50% of all US digital video ad spending will flow via automation in 2016

We need to keep ourselves updated whether we are History teachers, doctors or mechanical engineers. And, all the fields are undergoing changes. But, when it comes to jobs in emerging fields like Digital Advertising, please keep in mind that the turbulence / pace of changes will be high.

For example, how will the digital marketing deal with ad-blocking? PageFair and Adobe estimate there were 198 million monthly active users of ad-blocking technologies worldwide as of June 2015. Will the Native advertising, which is expected to grow much faster, be a reliable solution to digital ad blocking? How about the impact of growing ad-fraud? So, one needs to keep monitoring several trends in digital marketing.

Choosing a course: For those interested in pursuing courses to get a full-time or part-time job in digital marketing, it’s better to look around & get a glimpse of what the digital marketers do in your region. And then, choose a course that teaches most of those tasks. Don’t pick a course, and then look if there are jobs for you.

If you plan to be a freelancer, then you may need to learn a wider set of courses, if you would kike to get projects from anywhere. But, when it comes to assignments / works, the local projects may be preferable to remote projects (for receiving payments for your work). If you take freelance projects for far-away clients, chances are you will face a lot more problems in receiving remuneration.


Social media optimization (SMO) is the use of a number of social media outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, brand or event. Types of social media involved include RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as social networking sites, such as Twitter, and video and blogging sites. SMO is similar to search engine optimization in that the goal is to generate traffic and awareness for a website. In general, social media optimization refers to optimizing a website and its content in terms of sharing across social media and networking sites. (Wikipedia)

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance pay per click (PPC) listings (Wikipedia)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. (Wikipedia)

AD BLOCKING: Removing or altering advertising in digital channels by consumers. Includes usage patterns, attitudes, and software on both desktop and mobile devices (eMarketer)

Ad blocking or ad filtering is removing or altering advertising content in a webpage. All browsers offer some solution to the problem, either by targeting technologies (Adobe Flash/Shockwave, Windows Media Audio files, etc.) that are used to deliver ads, targeting URLs that are the source of ads, or targeting behavioral characteristic of ads (such as the use of HTML5 auto-play of both audio and video) (Wikipedia)

PROGRAMMATIC ADVERTISING: An automated, technology-driven method of buying digital display advertising (eMarketer)

NATIVE ADVERTISING: Digital advertisements that match the visual design of a user experience, where they function and look like natural content. Primarily used in social media settings, examples include sponsored posts, promoted videos, and search ads (eMarketer)

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Written by S Ibrahim

2016-02-01 at 10:38 PM

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