Marketing in the Digital Age

In a customer-driven firm, managers in all business functions need a solid foundation of marketing knowledge. The USC Aiken online MBA programs include a core course in marketing management that introduces essential marketing concepts and skills. Advanced topics include consumer behavior, market segmentation, product positioning, marketing research, customer communications, and management of relationships with sales force and distribution partners.

The Marketing Management course prepares graduates to ensure that all marketing activities forge a coherent strategy, connecting with the right people in the right places and at the right times.

The Evolution of Modern Marketing

Until recently, the mediums that marketers and advertisers used to reach their prospects and customers were all forms of outbound marketing. That is, according to Posse, “marketing that interrupts the consumer, talking at them, instead of with them.” To better understand the evolution of marketing up until today’s Digital Age, let us review some of the remarkable advances that brought us to the present:

1450: Printed Advertising appears, through the invention of movable type.

1730s: Magazines emerge as a printed medium.

1836: The earliest recorded billboard rental appears.

1922: Radio advertising begins.

1941: The first use of television advertising is recorded.

1970: The controversial medium of telemarketing emerges.

1985: Print advertising is made easier with the emergence of desktop publishing.

Each of these mediums represented a new opportunity for reaching consumers and finding them in different locations at different times and in different mindsets. Magazines were portable, and consumers spent considerable discretionary time relaxing with them. Radio advertising was ubiquitous, and was eventually used to reach motorists on their daily commutes or in their free time. TV advertising found families together, and could prompt discussions about where to eat or what new car to buy.

As revolutionary as these mediums were, marketers could never know for sure how many people saw a magazine ad or heard a radio commercial. They could not be used to precisely target niches, to get accurate campaign results in real time, and to precisely measure ROI.

Digital Marketing Assets and Tactics

Digital marketing refers to all forms of marketing that take place online. Unlike traditional “outbound” marketing, these forms also incorporate “inbound” principles to attract consumers who may be interested in what marketers have to offer. Since the term “digital marketing” was first used to describe “Archie,” the first search engine in 1990, marketers have used a growing array of online assets and tactics to pursue their objectives. Assets include websites, social media channels, online content and earned online media coverage. Digital marketing tactics leverage these assets to achieve specific marketing objectives in support of overarching goals. Here are a few examples:

Email Marketing: Communicate with prospects and consumers, promote content or offers, and direct recipients to the business’s website for additional calls to action.

Search Engine Optimization: Generate free or “organic” traffic from search results on search engines, through optimization of content and structure of a website.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Drive website traffic by paying for each ad “click.” These may be delivered through banners on niche websites or paid ads following specific search engine queries.

Social Media Marketing: Promote your brand on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to engage consumers and prospects, drive traffic to a website, generate leads or raise brand awareness.

Content Marketing: Develop informational assets, such as blog articles, whitepapers and e-books to build a brand image, generate traffic and educate leads.

Mobile Applications: The marketing possibilities are limitless for applications for Android and iPhone devices. Media apps deliver customized content and targeted advertising; navigation apps find convenient routes for motorists, informing them of hotels and restaurants along the way; geo-targeting apps enable retailers to attract nearby drivers to a sale; and e-commerce applications enable consumers to buy items they need, whenever the impulse strikes.

Throughout its history, marketing has always been about connecting with audiences in the right place and at the right time. In an always connected world, the present and future of marketing are largely digital.

Learn more about USC Aiken’s online MBA programs.


Simplilearn: The History and Evolution of Digital Marketing

HubSpot: What Is Digital Marketing?

HubSpot: The History of Marketing: An Exhaustive Timeline

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