Digital marketing is best described as “the application of the internet and related digital technologies in conjunction with traditional communications to achieve marketing objectives”. The application of digital marketing is vital in order to be able to identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirements. Not only is the internet essential in terms of market research and understanding consumers’ wants and needs, but it also provides consumers themselves with the necessary information in order to aid them in the decision-making process.
The internet plays an important role in the everyday life of millions of people. Since the turn of the century, the internet has become a daily necessity for billions of people worldwide. In 2018, internet access penetration was 54.4%, with the highest penetration in North America (95%) and Europe (85.2%). The development of 4G mobile coverage has allowed individuals to access the internet on the go, with three-quarters of the world having access to such technology. However, with the never-ending evolution of technology, the world is moving towards 5G. The introduction of 5g will enable internet users to download videos to mobile devices within seconds. Over 4 billion people can easily access the latest technologies as a result of easy internet access around the globe. Some of these evolutionary technologies include chatbots, automation, voice-led devices, as well as augmented and virtual reality.
In order for companies to ensure a steady stream of business improvements and keep up with the ever-evolving market they must incur some form of digital transformation. They must invest in such technologies in order to improve their efficiency. For a company or organization to digitally transform they must ensure the following: everyone in the organization must be involved, it is an ongoing process, meaning it will never end. It must be organization-wide and also be understood by everyone in the organization, It is necessary for the transformation to be cultural and not forced. Digital transformation includes the following key elements:
Big data consists of a compilation of data and information from and about everything internal and external to the organization. The purpose of compiling such data is to enable companies to monitor customers and their communications along with allowing businesses to measure and manage the customer experience.
Reverse marketing is where consumers trust the opinions of other consumers as opposed to trusting to marketing messages pushed by organizations and brands, resulting in the customer essentially becoming the marketer. Conversations between customers on platforms such as Facebook, as well as customers posting reviews on platforms such as TripAdvisor are simple examples of reverse marketing
In recent times the mobile phone has become the preferred device in terms of internet usage, largely due to its convenience as opposed to a PC
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things can be best described as a network of physical objects and computers that are interconnected with the purpose of completing tasks without the need for human interaction. Sensors, software, and other technologies are usually incorporated into such devices in order for this to be possible. Many of these devices are wearable and can be used to monitor health, along with athletic performance, Fitbit is an example of such.
The Automation of Business Processes.
The oldest element of digital transformation refers to the use of technology to automate processes. Examples of this may be a factory assembly line or computers doing administration work.