Home » Digital Marketing » What is the Role of Digital Marketing in Marketing Communications?

I’m sorry, but you are not a true marketer.

If you, like I did, was involved in marketing by none of your intetion, without any prior plan and had no formal education on marketing in the university or from external courses, keep reading. If you want to understand what role digital plays and how it is positioned in the context of marketing, keep reading.

Graduating from the university with a general English degree, I thought that my job was to be translator or something. And in deed my first job was at a small domestic company to translate a bunch of daily English articles into Vietnamese and post it on the company’s sales website. Then starting from the managing and writing content for the website, for many reasons (which I will tell on another occasion) I started learning and doing SEO on my own. I dived in an ocean of knowledge of SEO, learned by myself everything about HTML / CSS, Javascript, PHP, domain, hosting and anything else to do my job well. After more than 2.5 years working in that first company, I could call myself an SEO person.

Source: pinterest

The second company I worked for was a Japanese company. The company didn’t have a big budget at that time, so I was alone in charge of all the advertising channels of the company, besides SEO which I was hired for. I started to learn about Google ads, Facebook, Ad network and all the different channels. Terms such as ad network, publisher, cpm, cpc, display advertising, DSP, SSP were still alien things that I had to try to put in my head. At this time, I also started taking some freelance jobs to get the opportunity to apply the knowledge of running ads. These freelance opportunities gave me very valuable knowledge, though sometimes the testing failed so I had to spend extra money to make up for the customer. After more than 1.5 years working in the second company with running ads for the company and doing many freelance projects of different types, I could identify myself as an ad runner.

At that time I thought I was so qualified. Source: quickmeme

Now with about 4 years of experience and knowledge ranging from SEO, writing content, using social channels, different types of ads, I started thinking myself not just a guy doing SEO, not just an ad runner but a marketer. I thought that just because I knew how to use advertising tools, I became a marketer.

I just started to realize that what I knew about marketing was just tactics, fragmented pieces, insufficient knowledge, and misleading thoughts about the so-called relationship between the brand and the customer. I also realized my weakness in the knowledge of the industry when I had the opportunity to talk and share with more experienced people working in traditional marketing segments.

After more than four years in the industry, I realized that I did not know what the hell marketing was.

I understood that marketing was not about using tools, marketing was a mindset that needed to be trained and to do it in the right way, it required a solid knowledge base about the industry. The basic terms and definitión of the old days at the university that I did not mind so much now suddenly began to become more interesting. I returned to the basics, gobbled up the knowledge in marketing textbooks, learned all the most basic theories, and thereby understood the most basic knowledge. Then I started reading more books and topics to build my own knowledge base. Along with the knowledge that came from websites and blogs, books are a great source of knowledge for you to dig into and grow yourself. Take a look at some marketing books to read and web pages, digital blogs should follow.

What did I realize at that time? I realized that…

Digital marketing is not isolated from traditional marketing …

… and all the marketing theories and foundations have never changed from the beginning. Being a person who did not learn the basics of marketing but just jumped into the industry, then learning by myself rambling knowledge from various places and manually assembling them, I used to think that digital marketing was an integral part, was the future of marketing, and that traditional marketing was going down and then would die. But no, digital marketing was not a new concept, and it was not something separate from traditional channels and actually were part of the whole of the integrated marketing communications concept that we will talk about later.

* Please note the word “communications” which means the media (TVC, signs, digital) must have the “s” at the end. Because I have seen many of you write it wrong as communication which means the normal communication between people and people. And because in marketing, the way a brand is used to convey a message to a user is usually through the media, so communications will be used frequently.

Digital marketing is a concept that embraces new media channels and methods that appears recently and are often assumed to be online channels. However, digital marketing in my opinion is more general and includes Digital Advertising and Online Marketing. With the current transformation, the boundaries between these two branches of digital marketing will gradually fade.

Compositions of Marketing and definitions

One of the reasons I am writing this article is because in the last few months I’ve seen quite many sharing from the community and some of them were not so true in my opinion. I do not say that the sharing was completely wrong because there are so many different ways of understanding and perspective when talking about the knowledge in marketing. Even marketing models for planning strategy have many variations and different types, such as 4Ps, 4Cs, 7Ps, 7S, AIDA, 5Is, BCG Matrix, SOSTAC, and there are still many controversies about what is right and what is wrong or what is applicable.

However, as mentioned above, the foundation is very important. If you talk about the background but you are misleading, then all the following directions and meanings will be wrong. It’s great to share your knowledge, but the wrong foundation will also have a negative impact, especially for young people who are still in the stage of learning a lot of things.

In the next parts, I just want to give some very basic share so all will know what marketing mix is, what is marketing communications, what is the role of Digital Marketing in it, what integrated marketing communications is. Of course this is just my perspectives of marketing, based on what I know and the knowledge I have, and maybe it will be different from some others.

I drew the picture below so that everyone could easily imagine:

Marketing Mix: 4Ps and 7Ps

Source: wikipedia

The marketing mix is ​​a mix of 4Ps: Product, Price, Place, Promotion and later expanded into 7Ps with People, Process and Physical Environment. Here I just summarize about 4Ps and 7Ps:

1. Product: can be a tangible (goods) or invisible (service) product that satisfies the needs or desires of the user.

2. Price is the cost (money, time, effort) a customer is willing to pay for a product or service received.

3. Place: the method to deliver products or services to customers in the most convenient way.

4. Promotion: This is the part where many people are confused with marketing. In promotion there is promotion mix with direct marketing, advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and public relations (PR).

Other 3Ps were added later:

5. People: Human engages in providing products and services to customers, interacting with employees and customers, or between customers.

6. Process: the policy and procedure by which the service is provided to the customer.

7. Physical Environment: the environment in which the purchase or sale of goods or services occurs or the facilities to produce goods or services.

Several other variants of 7Ps will use Packaging, Positioning, Partners, Persuasion, Policy, Philosophy, etc. to replace the Physical Environment or Process. You can find more about this.

To learn more about marketing mix, you should read Philip Kotler’s The Principles of Marketing, which is the basic introductory textbook that anyone doing marketing should read.

Promotion Mix – Marketing Communications

Let’s get back to what is Promotion, Promotion Mix. Promotion Mix (also known as Marketing Communications – Marcom) is a collection of tools that marketers can use to convey messages or interact with users and influence their purchasing decisions.

Source: wikipedia

1. Advertising: This is a way of publicity, regardless of audience, for the purpose of spreading the idea or identifying the brand to the user on a large scale. Formats such as signage, TV, radio, magazines, etc. all belong to advertising.

2. Direct marketing: Or sometimes called direct response is the method of targeting ads, not as broad as advertising. Most digital advertising channels like Paid Search, Facebook Ads, Email, SMS, etc. are of direct marketing because they are able to target the audience.

3. Personal selling is a direct approach to the consumer through salespeople or consultants. It includes: salespeople, telephone consultants, relationship sales, etc.

4. Sales promotion: These are activities aimed at stimulating and encouraging users to buy products including promotions, demo items, vouchers, coupons, display at the point of sale, etc.

5. Public Relations: These are activities aimed at building a consistent image of the brand not just for the customer but also for different groups of people in the society. Public relations include:

+ Government relations: complying with legal requirements, fulfilling the company’s obligations, performing social responsibility.

+ Customer relations: the relationship that the company builds with the customers they are providing the service or product.

+ Community relations: to build a brand image with the local community or industry community where the company is located or running the business.

+ Media relations: communication relations – build good relationships with media agencies, newspapers to ensure a consistent brand image on the media channels.

+ Influencer relations: relationships with influencers who can be used as an effective communication channel.

+ Publicity: activities that attract the attention of the society and the public to promote reputation and brand.

+ Internal communications: communicating with employees of the company and partners about the company’s image and branding to build culture and committment.

* Some of you use Publicity as a synonym for Public Relations but that is wrong because Publicity is only part of PR – Branding activities.

The role and position of digital marketing in promotion mix / marketing communications

At this point we now reach the transmission channel part. Digital channels, along with traditional channels, act as a means of conveying messages to customers. Choosing which channel to transmit is dependent on the tools that the brand uses, the target audience and the type of content they create. No matter which channel you convey, there are three steps to take:

Source: conversion.vn

1. Creative: Create content and designs that are relevant to the target audience and can convey the message that you want to send. For example, design banners for banner ads, write ad text for paid search ads or tap TVC to run ads on TV.

2. Transmit: The process of activating the channels to convey the message to the client. For example, with online advertising, it is about setting up advertising campaigns, or for press, it’s about booking, etc.

3. Audit: Evaluating the effectiveness of your advertising campaign bases on predefined targets such as revenue, brand awareness, market share, etc. For assessments, you have many ways such as using online measurement toolss, social listening for digital channels or market research, surveys for traditional channels.

The concept of integrated marketing communications (IMC) as mentioned in The Principles of Marketing is the transmission of messages to users in a uniform way by combining the tools of Promotion Mix and transmission channels, whether it is digital or traditional. As you can see on the picture, the IMC is all the Promotion Mix components above.

Of course, as mentioned, this is just a view. IMC, with some others, will come from different perspectives, starting from concept, brand images, or from different directions. What I am presenting here is the IMC understood in the basic way, diviđe by the standard and marketing mix model that is being taught.

You can see that digital marketing is now part of the IMC as a message delivery channel and it is part of a top-down overall strategy that goes along with other factors such as Product, Price, Place, People, Process or Physical Environment, it does not exist singly or in isolation.

Hope this article will help you have a clearer and more general view of Marketing and its components. What is Marketing Mix, Promotion Mix / Marketing Communications and what is the role of digital marketing in the whole chain. If you have any comments or thoughts, please leave it below. Thank you and I will be looking forward to your constructive feedbacks.

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Hien are is Director of Marketing Store Vietnam Ringier AG. Digital Marketing and passionate about sharing knowledge as expected những scraped past tense as multiple users of coal, I was quyết create conversion.vn blog. If need to contact me, please email as through tu.bui@conversion.vn

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