A Brief Look at Digital Marketing

There are many strategies for achieving marketing goals through building consumer awareness, engagement and retention. Today’s consumers spend significant amounts of time online. Thus, marketing via the internet lends itself to connecting with them.

In response to this trend, Youngstown State University is offering an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Specialization in Marketing. Focusing on online consumer behavior, decision-making and marketing strategy, this degree program can help marketing professionals thrive in today’s digital world.

How Is Marketing Defined?

Investopedia states that “Marketing is the use of the internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines and other channels to reach consumers.” Being internet-based, most modern marketing methods would fall under this definition. New marketing channels, like mobile, have spawned customer touchpoints that did not exist even a decade ago.

What Does Marketing Do for Businesses?

Modern marketing methods leverage consumer data and the exposure that digital platforms provide to maximize the reach and impact of marketing efforts. Insights drawn from data analytics help marketers understand consumer behavior in the digital realm. This allows them to base their strategies on how to best meet consumer needs and expectations.

Analytics tools also allow marketers to monitor the efficacy of marketing campaigns and strategies through a review of key performance indicators (KPIs). These may include ad clicks, time spent on websites or viewing video content, lead generation, sales, and customer retention. Marketers can use KPI data to track the customer journey and experience in order to judge how marketing tactics are working. They can then take steps to revise or improve the tactics.

Inbound Versus Outbound Marketing

An interesting development in the era of marketing is the shift from outbound to inbound marketing.

Outbound marketing “pushes” messages to consumers, disrupting other experiences. This is a more forced-exposure approach, examples being TV commercials, newspaper ads, billboards, and display ads on websites.

Inbound marketing is a more customer-centric approach, focused on “pulling” them in with content related to their interests and online behavior. This type of marketing creates brand awareness through attracting and engaging consumers. The goal is for positive impressions developed through the engagement to generate leads.

If leads translate to sales, good customer relationship management is important to continuing positive engagement. This fosters brand loyalty and builds a company’s reputation through customer reviews and word of mouth.

What Are Common Methods of Marketing?

Marketing can take many forms. Building an informative, attractive and user-friendly website is an important first step for any business operating today. This could be a simple blog on WordPress or a professionally designed website with advanced, interactive features.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential aspect of marketing. This process involves using keywords, inbound links and technical site optimization to boost website ranking in search engines. This helps drive organic traffic to websites.

Social media marketing is another way to connect with customers on their level. Businesses should have a strong presence on social media platforms used by their target audience. Creative posts and special offers to followers can build brand awareness and leads.

Paid social media ads can use platform algorithms and analytics to target very specific audiences as well. Banner ads, embedded videos, popup windows, purchased email lists and pay-per-click search engine links are other examples of paid marketing.

Content marketing is an important part of these and other marketing methods. It involves creating engaging content like blog posts, videos, white papers, and infographics. The goal is to draw the audience in, by offering something of interest.

This content can live on the business’s website, circulate through social media, and have a presence on affiliates’ websites. Furthering the inbound approach, a company might offer free enriched content like an e-book, webinar or product trial if a consumer creates an account or opts in to receive email marketing messages.

Traditional marketing is still useful for certain purposes, but modern marketing can be more targeted and interactive while reaching a vast audience, increasing consumer engagement and lead generation on a greater scale.

Marketing is here to stay, offering a variety of career opportunities to those who embrace its potential. Earning an MBA focused on marketing can prepare you for managerial and leadership roles in this exciting field.

Learn more about Youngstown State University’s online MBA in Marketing.


HubSpot: The Who, What, Why & How of Marketing

NeilPatel.com: Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide

Investopedia: Marketing

Business Dictionary: Marketing

Outbrain: What Is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?

HubSpot: Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

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