Digital marketing — what is it?

Alina Ostapenko
26.11.2019544 views Write the first comment

There is nothing to be scared of in digital marketing. Moreover, its methods are successfully used by many companies that sometimes don’t even suspect that they actually do. To make it clear, we described what is digital marketing and asked experts to share their opinions on the topic.

Digital marketing — what is it?

Digital marketing is a common term for the marketing of products and services that use Internet channels to attract and hold customers. Meanwhile, these channels can be various — from an advertisement on online radio up to message in paid ads.

Traditional promotion methods such as advertisements in newspapers and TV, fliers, billboards don’t apply to digital marketing. However, if a QR code that leads to the website will be mentioned on a banner, then it is digital marketing.

Digital VS Traditional marketing


How it started

At the time, it was possible to use digital without the Internet. SoftAd Group company (ChannelNet now) is an example of this area explorers. In the middle of the 80s years, they developed for several automakers an unusual ad campaign for that time. 

The idea was the following: magazine readers had to crop from it a special liner and send it by post. As a reply, they received an offer of a free test drive and a floppy disk with advertisements for different car models. Thus, the company used digital storage in conjunction with offline promotion. The term “digital marketing” itself, started to be used in the 90s.


Digital marketing components 

Each digital marketing instrument and channel can be separately discussed in the whole article. That’s we won’t describe them in detail but will go through the most common out of them:

  • DTV (digital television) and online radio;
  • advertisement in apps, messengers, online games;
  • SMS and MMS mailing;
  • advertising on interactive and street LED screens, self-service terminals;
  • SEO and SEM —  search engine optimization and marketing;
  • paid ads, banners, and pre-launch (teaser) campaign;
  • SMM — social media marketing;
  • email direct marketing;
  • partnership marketing where the webmaster receives payment for involving each visitor or customer.

Only a few companies can afford all promotion channels at once. But usually, it’s not necessary. A choice depends on the business goals and/or vision of the agency that manages the project. The perspective on digital may differ, that’s why we asked for opinions of multiple experts in this field. 

“There are a lot of tools in digital marketing. They can be divided into three basic groups. Paid resources: all manifestations in digital that has to be paid for. Own resources: websites, pages in social media that business owns and can manage. Gained resources: so-called word-of-mouth or earned media — free or gained communication channels”.

— Dmitry Kudinov, Media planning director of Aimbulance digital agency

“Video and messengers are in trend right now. They are in high demand but a few people can fully work with them. The self-brand also stays popular — the company’s promotion due to charming personality recognition. For example, streams on Facebook help to popularize a brand and create a traffic boost from search systems”.

— Sergey Aliksuk, co-founder of educational project,

the author of telegram channel about digital marketing

“Many people try to deviate from classics of digital marketing and find out own way that will allow spending less money and receive more profit. Content marketing should be mentioned separately. It is effective and suits almost all companies. A good article makes not only traffic and leads increase but link building growth as well. The most important thing here is the company’s reputation management. After a user read an article, he memorizes the brand. Thus, loyalty increases. And with it the probability of recommendations, sharing, multiple visits, and purchases”.

— Kiril Solar, SOLAR Digital agency founder

How digital agencies work

Generally speaking, digital agencies provide brand presence and promotion in a digital sphere. A team can include a marketer, SEO Specialist, analytic, project manager, designer, template designer, programmer, content manager, and copywriter. Such an agency can hire freelancers, for example, photographers or video operators, for occasional tasks.


Digital agencies provide the following services:

  • development of a comprehensive strategy of product promotion;
  • website creation, design, media, and contextual promotion;
  • work with online communities;
  • offline events organization;
  • creation of advertisements for digital TV or online radio etc.

But there is another important moment — digital marketing almost always means analytics. Fortunately, the digital sphere makes it easy to collect data. Marketers analyze information on users and their behavior: demographic data, interests, online activities, advertising sources of transfer to the website, etc.


Using such data, digital agencies can better understand the target audience and the efficacy of a particular advertisement or promotion strategy. That’s why experts name analytical systems among the most important tools for them.

“Google Analytics suits everyone. The thing here is to set up properly the tracking of key performance indicators (KPI), to use the collected data and make decisions based on them. I also often use the Google Tag Manager. First of all, it helps to depend less on developers, and secondly, to track more data, and to make important decisions drawing on them”.

— Maxim Gapchuk, web analytic at SOTNIK agency of digital marketing.

Due to analytics, digital agencies specialists understand what works best. They even can investigate the popularity of different promotional channels for specific topics. For example, Sergey Korgut from Promodo shared with us the results of such research. The full version can be downloaded via the link.

Agency experts have studied which digital marketing channels use 93 large online stores from Central and Eastern Europe. It turned out that search engine optimization and paid ads bring the most traffic:

Source: Promodo investigation

Advantages of digital marketing

  1. Digital marketing allows you to reach both online and offline consumers who use tablets and smartphones, who play games and download applications. Thus, the brand can refer to a wider audience, not limiting to the Internet.
  2. The opportunity to collect accurate and detailed data. Almost all user actions in a digital area are fixed by analytical systems. This allows making clear conclusions on the efficacy of several promotion channels, as well as to create a precise customer portrait.
  3. A flexible attitude — digital marketing allows you to attract an offline audience to the online market, and vice versa. For example, using QR code on the flier a user can be “transferred” to the website. At the same time, due to email blast, subscribers can be invited to a seminar or another offline event.

Digital marketing is a complex promotion that includes multiple channels. Therefore, it is important not to try to cover them all, but to proceed from the business goals and capabilities. Moreover, almost all interviewed experts consider that universal solutions don’t exist and tools have to be chosen individually for a specific company. By the way, Ringostat actively collaborates with agencies and offers them a special loyalty program.


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