What in the world is digital marketing and who started it all? Although the term was not coined up until the start of the new millennium, different sources still give varying accounts of what it truly means and how it started.
One person may say that only internet-based strategies count as digital marketing. Another person may say that offline advertising – just like how you can place an order on McDonald’s through screen tapping- also falls under the same umbrella.
But is anyone really in the wrong here? To define it simply, we can take one of Forbes’ top 10 marketers and The Wall Street Journal’s leading web influencer, Neil Patel’s simple interpretation of the term:
And just like that, Patel’s uncomplicated, straight-to-the-point definition puts all the other wordy, complicated ones to rest. The ability to mass-communicate and sell through electronic means is by all means and sense, digital marketing. Websites are no longer an online brochure for a company. It can now bring in leads, sales, and brand awareness – if utilized correctly.
For those wondering who started it all, well, it all depends on who you ask. Some argue that it was only when Ray Tomlinson, a pioneering programmer sent the first ever email in 1971 (to himself, because no one was even aware of the concept at that time) that prompted the rise of digital marketing.
But some argue that the first method of digitally marketing a service happened more than a century ago when an Italian by the name of Guglielmo Marconi was credited as the inventor of the radio. Through a “public transmission of wireless signals,” he was able to demonstrate how easy it was to send messages to a wide audience at such a short time.
It took another 10 years for Marconi’s device to be readily available to the public. But once the first live broadcast of a Met opera performance was heard electronically for the first time, it didn’t take long for fast-thinking entrepreneurs to put two and two together to use it to their advantage. Before anyone can even anticipate it, tickets to the opera were marketed through the radio and people naturally started buying them after hearing the announcement!
Nevertheless, the business landscape keeps changing and it is more than noticeable how adopting digital services can enhance a brand’s presence and ultimately increase its revenue. Companies are not only relying on the traditional methods of marketing to get their word out, but are aiming to gain significant online presence. This serves them well at present, because let’s face it, this is where most people now invest most of their time in.
Be on the lookout for the next article, where we delve deeper into digital marketing by sharing more insights as to how this strategy can elevate any brand or business.