What is Digital Marketing?

Written by Matthew Edwards

January 5, 2021

We talk a lot about digital marketing here at Mars Digital, but I don’t believe I’ve ever gone into an explanation of exactly what digital marketing is. So this is exactly what I’ll be doing in this post. At a very high level, digital marketing is the process or act of advertising through and on digital platforms such as search engines like Google (through SEO, PPC, and more), websites, social media, email, and mobile applications.

While putting together notes for this article I actually came across a quote which personally sums up my opinion of digital marketing to a T.

“Digital is at the core of everything in marketing today—it has gone from ‘one of the things marketing does’ to ‘THE thing that marketing does.’”

– Sanjay Dholakia, Former Chief Marketing Officer, Marketo

So Why Digital Marketing?

Put simply, you should consider digital marketing because of one simple fact; your customers spend a lot of time on the internet. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it’s the only place to advertise and that you should completely get rid of any traditional media advertising because ultimately it’s about what works for you and what generates the best ROI. Ultimately, your marketing efforts should help you solve a problem and digital marketing looks at solving several of these. Boiled down, we can focus on 3 overarching problems that most businesses will face at once point or another.

    1. You don’t know your customers well.
    2. Your customers don’t know you exist.
    3. Your customers don’t come back.

Knowledge is Power

It might not be the sexiest part of any marketing campaign but its essential if you want to have a successful campaign. So if you’ve identified with the first problem: you don’t know your customers well. Then lucky for you, digital marketing can help.

You might have heard someone talk about developing customer profiles or personas, I do this for and with my clients, but at the end of the day, these are a starting point and should be viewed as something fluid. Your customers are the ones spending the most time on your website and digital platforms and might not behave in the way you expect them to. That where data capture and split testing comes into its own.

The ability to test different images, language (tone and style), different layouts and even different pricing for products gives you a huge amount of insight into your customers. Testing all these while running an in-depth look at your customers’ journey through Google Analytics will arm you with all the knowledge you need to boost your website’s conversion, improve your offline marketing and even provide insights into how your customers will react to your products in-store.

Mass Marketing & Branding

Perhaps you’ve just started your new business or moved to a new area, perhaps you’re selling a product or service no one has ever seen before. If this is the case, chances are you identified with the second problem; your customers don’t know you exist.

Well, digital marketing is perfect for this. When you compare general figures it really is a no brainer that you should be putting the majority of your efforts into promoting your business digitally. For example, if you look at radio in New Zealand, you have around 66% of the population listening to morning radio at least once a week but around 89% actively using the internet.

*Statista and RBA

Using a variety of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram along with a bit of SEO and a Google Ads campaign, you’ll easily be able to reach a high number of potential customers. Especially when you implement targeting. In fact, you’d be silly not to. In the section above I touched on creating customer profiles, well once you’ve made sure those are up to date and any modifications are made that need to be you can use tools available on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Ads to target your customers and other individuals similar to them, making sure that your marketing spend is being optimised and you’re not just paying for a blanket approach.

Boosting Repeat Business

Once a customer has purchased from you once, its a lot easier to get them to come back than it is to find a whole new customer. Repeat business, or customer retention, on average accounts for 41% of e-commerce sales according to the Adobe Digital Index, and this 41% of revenue is being made up of only 8% of visitors. When you couple this with the fact that Smile.io revealed the average e-commerce store puts more than 80% of their marketing budget into customer acquisition you can immediately see how improving customer retention can boost your bottom line. Imagine an e-commerce store turning over $1,000,000 per annum and with a marketing budget of $300,000. With these statistics, we can see that in this scenario the store is paying around $240,000 per annum to generate around $410,000 in revenue and in the other corner, around $60,000 to secure $590,000 from previous and existing customers.

In order to generate repeat business, whether you’re an e-commerce store or not, you can use your website, remarketing campaigns, email marketing and automation to reach out to your customers and bring them back again and again.

Note: I would really recommend giving that Smile.io article a read. I also plan on going into detail for each of these three points and creating a unique, how to, style blog post for them. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and get in touch.

A digital agency that creates solutions, not just websites.


      – Mars Digital

This isn’t something we thought just sounded good, it really is our underlying purpose, our goal and our motto.  We focus on developing ideas and bringing them to live through the use of the internet and related technologies.

We look into the issues and limits that a business is faced with and put our minds together to find a way to smash through the barrier and help your business soar!

More Articles