Home » Digital Marketing1 » The Differences between Digital Marketing & Internet/Online Marketing

Determining to give birth to the first article on the conversion.vn blog, I had to sit idy for more than an hour today. I don’t lack of idea to write, but it’s really hard to choose a topic to write because there is always the thought that something must be special for the first time. I always think about a general topic article which is able to cover all the content on the website, both general and introductory.

After a long thoughtful moment without any conlcusion, I decided to pause to sit down and edit the plugins, folders for the site, given that it is still new and has many things to adjust. While I was rearranging the directory of the articles, I wondered whether to name one of the folders in the site is Digital Marketing or Online Marketing or Internet Marketing. * Ding * There is something quite suitable to be the first article for this blog.

What is Digital Marketing?

Nowadays you will often hear words like Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing or Online Marketing floating around the internet and many people use these words as synonyms and can be interchangeable. In fact, Digital Marketing is a more inclusive phrase and Online Marketing (or Internet Marketing) is just part of Digital Marketing. What exactly is Digital Marketing? Here is the quote from the definition from Wikipedia:

Digital marketing is the use of electronic devices (computers) such as personal computers, smartphones, cellphones, tablets and game consoles to engage with stakeholders. Digital marketing applies technologies or platforms such as websites, e-mail, apps (classic and mobile) and social networks. – Wikipedia

We are talking about definitions and different people will have different definitions and understandings about Digital Marketing. But for me, Digital Marketing is divided into two very clearly distinct parts that are Online Marketing (or Internet Marketing) and Digital Advertising:


As you can see in the above graphic, Online Marketing / Internet Marketing includes advertising channels related to the need to be online or otherwise connected to the internet, while Digital Advertising is mostly some advertising methods in which you do not need a network connection. We will have time to go deeper into each type of advertising in the upcoming articles, but within this article we will stop at the summary of these types of ads.

Online Marketing / Internet Marketing

SEO – SEM:  advertising on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing (SEM) and optimize your website to get higher rankings on organic search engine results. (SEO).

Mobile Marketing: advertising through mobile devices, inccluding website optimization for better display, push ads, and banners in apps or games to encourage users to install apps.

Email Marketing: Advertising by email to customers on the lists or database and introduce them to services, products or news updates More about email marketing.

Content Marketing: advertising methods by creating or posting content that is likely to create good interaction with users and thereby increase traffic, pageviews or generate profits.

Social Marketing: advertising and conveying communication messages to users through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and to increase brand awareness.

Display: advertising through publising services (publishers, ad networks, ad exchange, DSP) in the form of display formats (images, video, flash, html) on the website in the suppliers’ system. More about Display advertising.

Digital Advertising

SMS: advertising through SMS on phone.

TV / Radio: advertising on TV and radio channels.

LCD / Banner: advertising through LCD displays (seen in buildings) or electronic signages in public places.

What are the differences between online marketing and digital advertising?

Here are three basic differences between the two channels: online marketing and digital advertising


The differences come from 3 angles:

1. Measure: 

Online marketing is more easily and effectively measured with the help of measurement tools (Google Analytics, for example). You can know exactly how many clicks come from the channel, how long the customer is on the website, on which page that they leave the website and whether they make a purchase or not. Note that I just say that online marketing is easier to measure, not to say, more accurate measurement – see also:
Google Analytics And Why It’s Not Accurate .

With digital advertising channel, it is not that easy because digital media is not dependent on the website or the internet and therefore more difficult to measure (similar to outdoor and traditional channels). You can not know how many people read your message when you send an SMS and how many people thereby make a purchase later.

2. How it works

Online marketing channels depend on the internet (of course). Without internet, there is no online marketing. Period.

Digital advertising channels are not dependent on the internet but depend on the telecommunications infrastructure (television, radio, telephone waves, etc.) and therefore the internet is still functioning.

3. Purpose of use

There are two main purposes when conducting advertising is 1. to improve conversion (sales, registrations, etc.), and 2.to increase brand awareness.

Online marketing has the strength to help boost conversions. See also: How to Optimize Your Advertising Effectively .

Digital advertising has the advantage of enhancing brand awareness. See also: Online Brand Management Process

Note that this does not mean that online marketing channels will not be able to increase brand awareness or that digital advertising channels will not be able to increase conversions. And that does not mean that brand awareness does not help sell more or vice versa. What I want to say here is that each channel has a specific strength and it’s up to the advertiser to use it properly.

The boundary is blurring thanks to the development of technology

But now the boundary between these words is also fading away with the development of technology and the internet. The phone has become a pocket-sized computer, and the television can also be connected to the Internet and access the Internet. Anyone can connect to the internet anywhere with the popularity of 3G, wifi. What is the difference between SMS and Push Message? If the TV is connected to the network and received promotional emails, is it email marketing or TV advertising? There are many things to argue, however, we can see that the boundaries between the two types of elements in Digital Marketing are not completely isolated.

The question now is, what kind of accurate words should we use? Such as Online Marketing and Internet Marketing, which words are more acceptable? To better understand this, we can look at a chart from Google Trends that shows the popularity of these keywords since 2004:


Xem biểu đồ Google Trends – tại đây.

We can see that the term Digital Marketing is becoming more and more popular, showing that the trend of combining ads from different channels to bring about more efficiency is more common. The keyword online marketing is still popular and saw a jump in 2013, which shows a growing interest in this topic. Internet Marketing is slowly declining in popularity compared to the other two, perhaps because the word “online” is more specific than “internet” when it comes to “marketing.” This is the reason why I decided to use “Digital Marketing” as a directory rather than Internet Marketing or Online Marketing because the content written on this blog will be geared toward the use of digital tools combined not only online.

Now that you know more about the meaning of these words, hopefully you can use them more accurately, depending on the case. If you agree or disagree with what is written in the post, please leave a comment and we can discuss it further.

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Tác giả:

Regional CMO quản lý khu vực Châu Á của Ringier AG - tập đoàn truyền thông đa quốc gia tư hữu lớn nhất của Thụy Sĩ. Anh từng giữ các vị trí cấp cao khác tại Ringier như CEO Marry Network và Marketing Director của MuaBanNhaDat. Anh từng đảm nhiệm vị trí CMO và là thành viên team sáng lập của GO-VIET (đối tác chính thức của GO-JEK tại Việt Nam) khi hãng này xây dựng chiến lược thị trường và ra mắt thành công tại Việt Nam. Anh cũng là người sáng lập UAN - cộng đồng Marketing và Truyền Thông năng động nhất hiện nay.

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