Digital technologies have created a world packed with change, information, and communication networks, making a digital marketing strategy one of the most cost-effective, influential, and direct available today. This emergent trend may make traditional marketing methods appear obsolete.  There are various forms of digital marketing, each having their own benefits and drawbacks, with a combination of a few of them usually being the most successful approach. This article will outline some of the key points of each of the variations, in an attempt to explain their potential for tactical application in a business context. It will also depict the most modern trends, whilst demonstrating why certain efforts are favoured over others in order to briefly establish viable options.

Internet advertising has been around for the longest time out of the digital marketing strategies and has rapidly grown to become one of the most influential, surpassing the previously dominant television advertising for quite some time. Traditional display and classified advertising have recently seen expenditure decreases. In contrast, search engine marketing and video marketing are on the increase as the popularity of sites including Google and Youtube have also surged. These have been applied to try to complete objectives for internet advertising include increasing website traffic, purchases and customer loyalty through repeat purchase schemes. In addition to this, the scope for available Internet communication channels has somewhat recently widened to incorporate mobile phones, gaming consoles and tablets.

Social media marketing is one of the recently raging trends that many marketers are keen to become used to, due to its potential to create social capital through public relations, marketing research and customer service.  Return on investment of sales activities is harder to measure, although one can use social media simply to engage a customer with a product and apply other traditional marketing techniques to further capture their customers. Despite this, payment methods for social media apps have begun to appear, increasing the likelihood of direct sales activities on the social media platforms. All age demographics have taken to social media, with the over 60s growing at an accelerated rate, making it the perfect tool to segment and cost-effectively communicate with one’s chosen target market.

Email marketing can be viewed as the outdated version of social media marketing, although still relevant due to its widespread implementation. The scope of the term includes any emailed propaganda that allows a user the option of participation. It is as cost-effective as social media marketing with regards to application, creation and the dissemination of information, being one of the forefronts of consumer relation marketing. The ability to communicate makes it perfect for provision of marketing communications in addition to qualitative and quantitative marketing research, through newsletters and customer feedback forms respectively.

Search engines popularity has exponentially grown ever since they were introduced due to the ease of typing in a few keywords, in comparison to a whole website address. The fact they are used more so than browser bars themselves and that  search engine optimization (SEO) is free, makes them the most appropriate to capture audiences and increase awareness of a brand, product or website. Paid placement can also occur, although obviously being less economic. The emergent trends in search engine marketing include contextual advertising and digital asset optimization, the latter of which is the most prominent due to the extensive availability and demand of various media formats, as well as its inexpensive application.

Viral marketing is another form of marketing that has really risen sharply in popularity. This is owing to the fact that word of mouth (WOM) marketing has always been a cost-effective way to advertise, exploiting human peer pressure behaviours, now made even more effective with cheap communication networks. Viral marketing allows for increased coverage, from minimal effort, playing off peoples’ need to belong socially and feel accepted in order to increase influence. Most effective viral campaigns exploit common behaviours, using modern media methods like videos to disseminate a message via an existing communication network.

Viral marketing has become an increasing success, largely due to the rapid rise in supply of mobile phones, with over six billion phone contracts existing worldwide. This massive growth has subsequently allowed for a mobile marketing boom, as wide scopes of people are able to be reached. Mobile marketing is becoming ever-more popular due to the engagement style it allows companies to adopt. This allows for businesses to receive feedback from their customers. The availability of data including location also allows for more specific targeting, which is beneficial to companies, as consumers are becoming ever-more empowered and furthermore wary of general marketing communications.

Gaming applications on mobile phones, social media platforms and digital games consoles have allowed for the creation of a phenomenon known as advergaming. This form of marketing is beneficial as it has incorporated itself in one of the most popular and innovative products that exist, making it very influential. In addition to this, advergaming allows users to subconsciously associate whatever brand, with the perceived playfulness they feel as they play the game. In the modern day environment advergaming is still an emergent development that has yet to maximize its potential. The market will expand with the increasing availability of social media and mobile phone applications, including adverts, which are rising rapidly.

Digital marketing has clearly evolved, along with technological advancements, to provide an array of options to any modern marketer. Favoured possibilities include Internet marketing, search engine marketing and mobile marketing due to the fact their established, economic and informative respectively. However, social media marketing is also considered important, although being an emergent trend, meaning it’s still developing and innovating. In actuality most forms are interlinked, meaning the most effective of strategies would incorporate many methods in order to engage a wider scope of audience, providing personalized communications, whilst receiving marketing research in return.