Development of ICT and Evaluation of Digital Marketing

The development of ICT communication technology began during the 1990s with the arrival of Web 1.0 which was an era of very little interaction. The beginning of banner ads, the basic search engine, the founding of Google, and the launching of email interaction on mobile devices were all included in this first web phase.

Next came Web 2.0, introduced around 2000, which was a more interactive and the beginning of the creation of online social spaces. Apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube were all created during this time.

The arrival of Web 3.0 around 2010 represents users being able to interact with machines. New smart technological devices were introduced such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri all serving the role of a voice assistant. To adapt to the expansion of technology during these eras, there are constant changes in marketing strategy. The physical development of technology and digital product is now one of the prime forms of digital marketing. The way digital marketing is approached is also changing due to the increased penetration of the internet.

Three reasons for the use of digital marketing

There are three reasons for the use of digital marketing.

  1. The Internet can be used to identify what customers need and want true market research.
  2. The Internet provides a platform where customers can buy goods with the help of information that they can access. Anticipating this demand is key in resource allocation to e-marketing.
  3. When participating in e-marketing customer satisfaction can be achieved by having an easy-to-use site that performs adequately, a high standard of customer service, and acceptable dispatch of products.

What is Digital Marketing? How digital marketing is related to different technologies? What are the key elements of Digital Transformation?

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

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

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

Mobile Applications

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.

Digital Marketing Jargons – Focus on Ads

In my previous posts on Digital Marketing Jargons, I was talking about Website related Jargons and Search Engine related Jargons. In this post, I’m going to focus on Advertisements. Hope this will be very helpful for the beginners of Digital Marketing.

Analytics or Web Analytics Tools : The analysis of data generated by people’s activity on websites or mobile apps, for the purpose of discovering ways to improve websites and marketing campaigns. For instance, you can use web analytics tools to come up with ideas to redesign your website. For this Website – , we use Google Analytics in order to know from where people are reading our blog and how they are coming to our site.

App (Application) : A program designed to run on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. For instance, for planning my vacation, I used a travel app to make my hotel reservation. All of us are using a dozen of App on our Smartphones.

Natural Listings or Organic Listings : Results from a search engine that are not paid adverts. The higher my website ranks in a search engine’s natural listings, the more website traffic I’ll get. We will talk more about it in our SEO section.

Paid Listings : Advertisements that appear on search engines results pages. You may think about paying to have your website appear in the paid listings. It can bring more customers to your website.

Banner Ad : A form of advert found on web pages and mobile applications, usually in image format. For instance, you may use banner ads to bring new customers to your website.

Click­through Rate (CTR) : The number of times people click on an item of interest, like an advert, in comparison to the number of times users are exposed to that item. For example, my click­through rate on ads about homemade muffins is 3%.

Conversion or Goal : The action you want visitors to perform. Examples include e­commerce purchases, form submissions, phone calls, and video views. For instance, your main goal is for people to book a consultation on my website, but signing up for my email newsletter would also be a conversion.

Conversion Optimization : The process of increasing the percentage of visitors who complete your goals.

Conversion Rate : The ratio of conversions to visits, often used to measure digital performance. I’m not sure why, but my conversion rate on external painting is very low for male visitors.

Cost per Click (CPC) : The amount of money required to produce a single click on a digital advertisement.

Pay­Per­Click (PPC) : An advertising system in which advertisers pay for users to click on their advertisements. For example, if you are running an ad on Google Search Engine, and the PPC is 1 euro. That means each time, when someone is going to click on your ad, you will pay 1 euro to Google.

Impressions : The number of times an advert is displayed. My new marketing campaign for homemade muffins has received thousands of impressions, but I’m not sure if I’ve booked any sales yet.

Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) : A pricing model where the publisher charges a flat rate for 1,000 displays or impressions of an advertisement to the audience.

Cost-Per-Acquisition or Cost-Per-Action (CPA) : A pricing model where the payment only takes place when the user performs the action such as installation, click, or converting to the lead. It’s very common is Affiliation  Marketing.

Digital Marketing Jargons – Focus on Website

In my previous post on “Digital Marketing Jargons“, I focused on Search Engine. Here, I’m going to focus on Website related terms that we need to understand.

Website : A set of related web pages located under a single domain name, typically produced by a single person or organization.

Content ­ The digital material available to users, via text, video, audio, images, etc. Fresh content is highly important for SEO.

E­commerce : The sale of products and services online.

Home Page : The introductory or “main” page of a website.

Landing Page : The first page on a website that a person usually sees—not necessarily the home page of that website. The landing page is highly important for brands as it can reduce the bounce rate and improve the Ad Quality Score.

Blog : A regularly updated website written by an individual, typically in a conversational style, and focused on a specific subject.

HTML ­: Hypertext Markup Language. A language used by web developers to create websites.

Link ­: A text or image that provides a link from one web page or website to another.

URL or Uniform Resource Locator : The unique address of a page or piece of digital content on the Internet. Please note that it’s not your domain name, but URL = Domain name + name of the page.

Unique Visitor : A single visitor to a website during a specific period of time. No matter how many times Uncle Bob visits my website, he’s still just one unique visitor.

Session or Visit : A group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example a single session can contain multiple page views and e­commerce transactions. My website got 5,000 visits last month, but what I really care about is whether those visits resulted in sales.

Digital Marketing Jargons – Focus on Search Engine

This post is for the beginners who want to update the Digital Marketing Vocabulary and explore the endless opportunities that digital may bring for their their business. I’m going to write them in several posts with explanations.

Search Engine : A search engine is a platform that is designed to carry out web searches. For example, Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Some search engines are popular in some countries but not really used in the other part of the world. For example, in France, Google is on the top with 94% market share. But, if you are planning to traget customers from the US, you should focus on Google and Bing. Because the US customers use both of them. If you are plnning to hit the Chinese Market, you should take into consideration Baidu. So, it’s highly imporant to know which search engine is the most popular among the customers that you are planning to reach.

Keyword :­ A word or a phrase typed into a search engine, which businesses can target as part of their advertising campaigns.

Search Term­ or Query : The keyword or phrase a user types into a search engine in order to find what they’re looking for. You can read our article on Long-tail Keywords in order to know more about the different types of Keyword. For example, when people use the search term “the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe”, they might be looking for the informations on different European cities, rankings by tourists, tips on how and when to travel/visit, etc. You may use Google Trends (which is a free online tool) to get more insights on a search term.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ­: A list of results appearing in a search engine in response to a user’s search query. For example, after I searched for “the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe”, I noticed that the SERP had listings of different cities, travel bolgs, review and rating websites, hotels, etc. One of the objectives of Digital Marketing is to optimize the visibility of your brand (product or service) and it’s highly important that your brand/website appears on the 1st page of the SERP. Multiple studies confirm that 85% of the internet users only consult the results from the 1st page (vs. only 10% from the 2nd page).

Ranking :­ A listing’s position on a search engine results page. For example, when you use the search term “Upnotion Digital Marketing” on Google, our website has the #1 ranking on search engine. Ranking is highly important for your website because it can increase the average time spent (by the visitors on your website) and reduce the bounce rate (Bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit a page and then immediately leave).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ­: The practice of making changes to web pages, content, and the promotion of that content to improve visibility in the organic—or unpaid—search engine results. Investing in SEO will help your website to get a higher ranking in search engine results.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Search Engine Advertising (SEA) : A form of advertising that allows you to bid for your advertisement to show along with search results for keywords that people are typing in. This lets businesses be seen by people at the very moment they’re searching for the things a business offers. The SEO takes time and it’s a long process, but using SEM will help companies to get a lot more website traffic really quickly.

How social media data can influence consumers’ attitudes towards cosmetic brands? The case of Maybelline

This aim of this research was to understand how French consumers’ use of social media data influences their perceptions of cosmetic brands. The first observation is the recurrence of expectations on social media from the consumer point of view. This notion of expectation describes the entire attitudes and behaviours consumers think a brand should have on social media.

Source: Hasan, Zaman & Princet (2021)

Results show that the more the brand meets consumers’ expectations, the higher their attitude towards the brand. More precisely, consumers may have a more positive attitude towards Maybelline if the brand provides them with valuable true data / information about the products. The first expectation consumers have of the cosmetic brands is product oriented, and indeed, these results show consumers’ positive attitudes towards a cosmetic brand, such as Maybelline, is first and foremost based on trust regarding the quality and function of each product.

In the context of social media, advocacy could consist of active social participation by liking, commenting, or sharing the brand’s content, such as posts or photos, and it was demonstrated that watching pictures related to the brand has a positive impact on consumers’ purchase intentions related to cosmetic products. This result is not very surprising, especially when we consider most respondents are active users of Instagram, which is a photo-based social media. Our results show that in addition to product-oriented expectations, consumers also expect brands to put forward their visual identity to stimulate a purchase intention in their minds.

Therefore, this orientation to the product is still linked to the notion of trust, which had the strongest significance when analysing the relationship between the consumers’ online activities and their attitudes towards the brand’s products. The millennials and generation Zers differ from previous generations and are well connected to their friends, colleagues, and peers. This is reflected in their considering their fellow consumers’ and friends’ opinions as more reliable than any company source or other marketing activities.

The source of information / data in term of trust is highly important as social medias have been widely used to spread fake news. For example, in the USA, 80% of the consumers have seen fake news during the COVID-19 outbreak. In France, around 35% of the online reviews are inappropriate as most of these reviewers write their reviews without trying the product/service. Therefore, cosmetic brands should facilitate consumers’ social participation, which will help them gain visibility and the consumers’ and their peers’ trust.
Although, UGCs, especially sWOM (Social Word of Mouth), have a significant influence on brands, our results confirm that consumers’ attitudes towards sponsored online recommendations strongly influence their attitudes towards cosmetic brands. Therefore, our findings suggest that consumers do pay little attention to organic or sponsored recommendations; instead, they are looking for trustworthy and pertinent information. In the context of retargeting marketing in social media, brands should take into consideration this behaviour as customers (social media users) pay little attention to the origin of the advertising and they only want the pertinent information.

Source: Hasan, R., Zaman, M. & Princet, E. (2021). How social media data can influence consumers’ attitudes towards cosmetic brands? The case of Maybelline. International Journal of Big Data Management, (forthcoming).

What’s going on with Facebook after the outage and whistle-blowing?

I did a Twitter analysis based on recent 6000 tweets. The text-mining results are provided below-

It appears from the following word cloud that it is not only the outage impacting this brand but also the whistleblower is impacting this brand image of Facebook.

Outage and whistleblowing impact on Facebook

From my analysis, I found that people are expressing surprise-type feelings related to Facebook on their tweets.

We can see from the following word cloud, these surprise feelings are related to WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, outage, and whistleblower.

Surprise Feelings related to Facebook

3 important tips to consider for your Influencer Marketing

The following three tips are based on our published research in a book chapter. The chapter details are provided later.

Tip 1:

The number of followers of influencers is overrated. Businesses need to understand that Number of followers is not the only factor defining an influencer. Micro-influencers with fewer followers may lead to higher sales than established influencers because consumers are well aware of the difference between sponsored and organic content.

Tip 2:

Consumers notice when an expert in the industry shares an opinion, even if this expert does not have a large popular following across social media platforms. Therefore, businesses need to consider using experts for their influencer marketing.

Tip 3:

Brands that engage an influencer who is not well-matched with the brand image can cause more damage than brands realize. So, it is very important for businesses to match the influencer with their brand.

To know more about these tips, please read my following published chapter-

Hasan, Rajibul; Billa, Malvika (2021) ‘Influencers’ Impact on Business Model Innovation in the Luxury Personal Goods Industry’ In Business Model Innovation. United Kingdom: Routledge. [DOI][Details]

Social Influences on Social Media and Its Influence on Consumer Behaviors.

Through social media, consumers can interact with Key Opinion Leader (KOL), publish User-Generated Content (UGC), and view products recommended by their network.

Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) on social media can influence a consumer’s purchasing decision process, the network community is an essential means of improving the learners’ cognitive level, and the learners’ implicit knowledge plays an essential role in this cognitive process.

Understanding these social media attributes and their influence on
consumers can help marketers better comprehend social media’s influence on consumer behavior and adapt their strategies to attract consumers. The following Figure demonstrates Social Influences on Social Media and Its Influence on Consumer Behaviors.

Social Influences on Social Media and Its Influence on Consumer

To know more details, please visit my following research publication-

Hasan, Rajibul; Teng, Yulin; Shams, Riad (2021) ‘The Impact of Social Media on Business Model Innovation’ In: Business Model Innovation. United Kingdom: Routledge. [DOI][Details]