Digital marketing is a term used to describe all marketing activities in digital channels. And when we say digital, it really means digital in a specific definition.
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There are some marketers who insist that digital marketing includes all electronic channels such as radio, television, electronic billboard and other electronic media.
To get this ambiguation straight, we need to go to the basic definition of those two terms, electronic and digital. There is difference between them.
- Electronic means any devices that is using electron to power up or to make it work. This includes any big machinery equipments from high power mechanical transmitter to the smaller device such as mobile phones are electronic devices. We might also have heard the difference between analog and digital, though both are included as electronic devices.
- Digital, on the other hand means any devices using numeric values, based on binary values to operate. It is the opposite of the analog.
But since we are mostly non-technical people, let’s get an example to make it clearer.
You should have noticed that there’re two types of clock.
- The one with two or three “hands” that spin around to show the time, which is analog
- And the one that uses numbers and digits to display the exact time, which is digital clock.
Both type of clocks are certainly electronic devices, but the way they operate is noticeably different.
However, on the last decades, many electronic devices that runs on analog system are being converted to digital. Television, radio, billboard are now digital. But still, that doesn’t change much on how radio and TV are used in term of marketing.
Now, let’s get back to digital marketing.
Digital marketing doesn’t exist 20 years ago when TV and radio have been important marketing channels for years. The term only gotten more popular on the last decade. Why? Because that’s when internet has really emerges. It began to become our very daily lifestyle. Internet users are growing, mobile device users are growing as well.
We are using internet to search for information, watching video, socializing and talking with friends. Everybody do something everyday with the internet. That’s when the digital marketing buzz began.
We are creating the term “digital marketing” for a reason. Internet is digital technology. Internet is also being accessed using electronic devices which is specifically built upon digital technology.
Radio, TV, printed newspaper and magazines and billboard can be simply categorised as traditional marketing channels. The term “traditional” is an interpretation to describe something that exists long before while something new emerges.
All in all, digital marketing is simply a way to market your business, brand, product or service on the internet.
So, should we include radio, television, electronic billboard, etc. as part of digital marketing channels? Probably we should create a term “electronic marketing” as well, to includes all electronic devices in those “marketing channels”.
Wahidin Wong is a digital marketer. He is also a jazz and bossa lover.