Understanding of Digital Marketing – OnlinEmage

March 16, 20200

Understanding of Digital Marketing – Digital Marketing is driven by technology. Most part of Digital Marketing is about targeting and communication, in which technology is an enabler. But the fundamentals of marketing need to be understood to get the right communication and targeting, which helps in achieving the business goal over the long term. So, a digital marketer needs to understand and appreciate the fundamentals of marketing, starting from designing the Marketing Mix, to understanding how consumers buy to create a favorable position in the form of branding.

Marketing Mix

Marketing, according to Philip Kotler is “the human activity directed at satisfying the needs and wants through an exchange process”. It involves a set of activities to create a product, to communicate to the target audience and exchange some value with the customers.

Marketing is not something new. It has been in civilization for thousands of years since the time of barter. However, it is only after World War II, that marketing started to evolve as science. The evolution started with the Marketing Mix and went into terms such as product life-cycle, segmentation and then to the targeting and positioning. In the current era, digital components like social media, search engines, blogging, and the website is involved in marketing.

Marketing Mix

4Ps of Marketing

Marketing Mix traditionally consists of 4 Ps – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. The 4Ps are like a set of rules and processes followed by a company to achieve its marketing goal, which in turn, satisfies the needs and wants of the customers. In 1960, Marketing Mix was introduced by Jerome McCarthy in his book, Basic Marketing.

4Ps of Marketing

  • Product
    The goods or services, provided by a company as per the customers’ needs are termed ‘product’. The product should be above average in quality, compared to other products or services available in the market, thus standing out from its competitors. A marketer should have a thorough knowledge of the product and its life cycle.There are many factors that go into the 1st P such as:
    1. Design
    2. Branding Features
    3. Packaging
    4. Services Guarantee
    5. ReturnFor example, consider the design aspect of the product, keeping the customers’ needs in mind wherein the product design is compared with the competing products along with the usage and benefits.
  • Place
    This refers to providing the customers the access to products or services and includes all channels that are used to reach the consumer. The place may be physical, such as a retail or a virtual store or online store. The factors considered are:
    • Strategies of placement
    • Market coverage
    • Assortment of channels
    • Decision about location
    • Inventory to keep
    • Transport
  • Price
    It is the amount paid by the customer to buy a product or service. The factors determining the price are:
    • Competition price
    • Market value
    • Supply-demand
    • Discount and allowances, and
    • Payment methods
    A company’s survival depends on the pricing. For example, consider the payment method aspect of pricing, where the consumer has to decide between credit and outright purchase, as shown in the following image.
  • Promotion: 
    It is a form of communication used by a company to sell a product or service to the existing and potential customers.Communication can be in the form of:
    • Advertisement
    • Public relation
    • Personal selling
    • Word of mouthThe important areas to consider in the promotion are:
    • Direct marketing
    • Sales promotion
    • Communication strategy
    • Channel and media strategy, and
    • Message frequency

4Ps in Digital World 

4Ps in a connected and evolving digital landscape should go beyond the basic traditional definition.

For example:

  • Marketers should aim at providing a solution to solve customers’ problems, instead of just looking at products.
  • The place may be irrelevant, especially in the age of Millennials. The more important aspect is the accessibility of the product and services at the place and time, required by the consumer.

Instead of focusing only on price, focus on the value of the product or service, derived by the customer. Consumers look at the promotions in the digital world as interruptions. Instead, look at more of interactions in the form of information and education for the target audience. Hence, it helps them to adopt and recommend products and services.

Additional 3Ps

Additional 3Ps of Marketing Mix are People, Process and Physical evidence. The additional Ps were introduced by Booms and Bitner in the early 1980s to cover the service business, as the 4Ps were not sufficient.

  1. People
    People are those who directly or indirectly influence the perceived value of the product or the service such as:• Uniform and grooming
    • Understanding the scripts with which customers are greeted and communicated
    • Training the people who communicate with the customers in the store or customers online
    • Handling questions, complaints, and queriesThis is one of the key success factors for a business. They should be made aware of the product and taught to deliver the desired service to the consumer.
  2. Process
    The process involves the procedure, flow, and mechanism of exchange of values in the form of goods and services, such as:• The blueprint of the process
    • The flowcharts
    • Operation manual
    • The levels of standardization versus customization
    • Monitoring of the performance
    • Creating key performance indicatorsThe process should be consistent to create brand loyalty.
  3. Physical Evidence
    Physical evidence is the experience of receiving the value of the product or service from the customer. It includes tangible things such as:• Buildings and interiors, including the decoration
    • Signs and logos
    • Websites visited by the customers
    • Brochures and business card
    • Furniture and equipment used in the shopFor example, when a customer visits the service provider’s website, the navigation of the website and the performance of the website forms an important part of the physical evidence.

Consumer Behaviour

Consumer Behaviour is defined as “The study of how people make decisions on what they want, what they need or act with regard to a product, service or the company”. In consumer behavior, different stages are studied which a consumer passes through before purchasing a product or service. It is important to understand from the viewpoint of a consumer, such as:

• Why does the consumer buy a product or service?
– For example, The consumer might buy a product as a gift.
• Why doesn’t the consumer buy a product or service?
– For example, The consumer may not buy a product because of 1-star reviews.
• When does a consumer buy a product or service?
– For example, The consumer may buy it during the annual sales.
• Where does the consumer buy the product or service from?
– For example, The consumer may buy it online.
• How does the consumer buy the product or service?
– For example, The consumer may ask his/her friends from Facebook for recommendations before buying the product.

Consumer Behavior

There are different factors that affect the consumer’s behavior. Here are the top 3 factors:

  • Psychological Factor: Everyone has different perceptions, attitudes, and reactions to the same marketing message differently. Hence, it is pertinent for the marketer to understand this and trigger the right perception about the
    product or service.
  • Personal Factor: Every person differs from each other in their habits, interests, and opinions. There are other demographic factors such as location, age and gender, and psychographic factors affecting consumer’s buying behavior. The marketing message should relate to personal factors.
  • Social Factor: Humans are social animals who interact with family, neighbors, and friends or even random strangers. People are influenced by education or socio-economic status. The marketer needs to analyze all social factors to develop the marketing plan.

AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) Model for Consumer Journey

AIDA Model

Traditionally, the consumer journey consists of four different stages. These are:

  • Awareness: This is the first stage, where the prospective customers become aware of the product or the service. This is done with a very interesting and compelling introduction about a product or service, with a mix of visual stimuli and enticing copywriting. A case at this point is the Coca-Cola Zero campaign, where posters were put up on bus stations and billboards. It had an image of the Coke bottle with an intriguing question. The peculiar questions attracted the attention of people as they were trying to understand what this was all about. This a great example of an awareness campaign.
  • Interest: Interest is the second stage in the traditional consumer journey, where the consumer learns more about the benefits and features of the product or the service. At this stage, marketers use interesting ad copies and banners. Sometimes, they involve storytelling to make a compelling case and highlight the features as well as demonstrate the advantages and benefits.
  • Desire: This is the third stage of the traditional consumer journey. Here, the consumer views the product or service favorably and dives into the features and benefits. Marketers use testimonials, endorsements, and statistics to convince the customer to buy and try appealing to the emotional side of the consumer, rather than the rational side. Sometimes, trials are given at this stage, and the influencers are asked to trigger the purchase decision.
  • Action: This is the last stage of the traditional consumer buying journey, wherein the consumer purchases the product or service or asks for a trial or gives a recommendation to another user. The marketers use promotions and other triggers to help in conversion. Nowadays, inbound techniques such as triggered mail and tactics such as Freemium and ‘fear of missing out’ are used to convert the desire into action. Marketers also focus on the fulfillment of the purchase like checkout and delivery.

AIDA in the Digital World

AIDA In Digital World

In the digital world, the consumer journey may not be linear as depicted in the following cartoon, neither does it need to be sequential, starting from attention and ending at purchase. Often, for low-involvement products, the entire journey is compressed.

Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), as popularised by Google, is a typical phenomenon in this interconnected world. ZMOT relates to the phase wherein a brand is not aware of its potential buyer, as the buyer is already interacting with the brand. It may be on a search engine or mentioning of the brand at a third-party site, or a potential client may just be researching a similar need. Hence, it is important for the marketer to make the content available online by giving the right information to help make the decision. Even if the buyer considers the seller’s product or service without the seller’s knowledge, the buyer should be able to make the choice favorable to the brand. Hence, make the content engaging and optimizing across devices.

Zero Moment of Truth

Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPO) is another phenomenon observed in the consumer journey of digital media. This is seen especially in luxury goods or high-price items. Consumers would like to know about such high-end products or services through the website reviews, recommendations on social media and user-generated content. Then they decide to drop into the seller’s shop and make the purchase. Also, the reverse happens, wherein a consumer can touch and feel a product in the seller’s shop and ultimately decides to buy it from Amazon at a discount.


Branding is a very important element of marketing. It is where the seller discovers and communicates the essence of their business to the consumers. It also reflects the sum total of the consumers’ perceptions, based on their reactions with the service provider’s product or service, online, or in a physical location.


As per David Aaker, “Branding is a set of assets or liabilities linked to the brand’s name and the symbol that adds to or subtracts from the value provided by product or service”.

Jobber, Ellis, and Chadwick define Branding as “creating a unique position in the marketplace involving a careful choice of the target market and establishing clear differential in the minds of people”. Al Ries in this famous book called Immutable Laws of Marketing defines Branding as a “Single idea or concept that is owned in the mind of your prospect”.

History of Branding

Branding has been derived from the word ‘Brand’, which, in ancient Norse means “to burn”. In the 1950s, Brand referred to a mark burnt on livestock to proclaim ownership. In the 1800s, this was extended to burning marks on cases and crates to distinguish from the competition. Finally, in 1960, advertising got brand, with its current meaning, which was to hold an emotional position in the mind of the consumer.
Why Do We Need Branding?

  • Branding is the road map for the business, in terms of how to design products and communicate the benefits to the consumers.
  • Branding also helps to stand out amongst the competing sellers.
  • Branding makes the business sustainable, as competing on the features, benefits, and pricing is not a long-term solution and can be easily copied by the competitors.
  • Branding gives a long-term view, and hence, if the brand has the right position in the consumer’s mind, the consumer will buy, despite all challenges, thereby making business more profitable.

Branding in Digital World

For establishing a branding strategy in the interconnected world, a marketer needs to take care of the following:

  • Establish the purpose and craft the core message accordingly which is to be communicated to the target audience.
  • Listen to the customers before crafting a brand. Unlike what the service provider thinks, it’s the customer’s perception that makes a Brand.
  • Only features and benefits cannot make brand sustainable. It needs to have an emotional connection. Imagine the iPhone fans standing hours in queue during the launch as there is an emotional connection.
  • In today’s world, be aware of the millennials who are impatient; they are ambitious and are digitally savvy.
  • Try not to push the product or service, rather try to create a pull.
  • Be authentic that the audience doesn’t feel cheated.
  • Employees are an important element of Branding, as they are the best brand ambassadors. Treat them well, teach them how to deal with customers and Branding will happen automatically.
  • Be flexible in this evolving market where the features, benefits, and pricing changes with every innovation.
  • Look at the opportunities for improvement.
  • Create a consistent and reliable experience whether the consumer visits the
    service provider’s website or shop.
  • Don’t overpromise. Meet and exceed the promises made during the

Marketing Channel

Marketing channels are the ways by which the goods and services reach the consumers. It consists of different players like distributors, agents, brokers, wholesalers and retailers and logistics partners. Overall channel/s play a huge role in the success and profitability of a product or service.

Types of Channel The main players in a marketing channel consist of:

• Distributors
• Wholesalers
• Retailers
• Logistic partners

There are two kinds of channels:

  • Business to Consumer (B2C): It involves the product or service delivered by a producer to a consumer directly or through a network of agent, broker, wholesaler, distributor, and retailer. The following figure depicts the usual B2C marketing channels.
  • Business to Business (B2B): The producer makes the goods or services available to a business or to the government directly or through a network of agents, broker, and industrial distributors. The figure below depicts a typical B2B marketing channel.

Selecting the Right Channel

Selecting the right channel can make or break a business. Following are the points one should consider while selecting the channel:

  • Align it to the needs of the customer, whether they are shopping online or in physical stores.
  • Match the channel to the product or service. For instance, if the seller is selling a perishable product, the seller must invest in a cold chain.
  • Do a cost-benefit analysis of the chosen channels. For instance, electronic manufacturers might want to bypass all intermediaries and sell directly to the consumer and pass on the cost-benefit.
  • Always review the performance of the existing channel and see the kind of changes that can give better deliverability.
  • Always look at the competition and benchmarks on factors such as time, cost
    and quality.

Successful Channel Implementation

Some of the critical success factors for marketing channels to work positively for the business are:

  • Clear and equitable policy for the channel partners.
  • Get commitment from the channel partners and motivate them to promote all products in the right manner.
  • Compensate the channel partners in a timely fashion, as the working capital is mostly a challenge in their business.
  • Invest in the process and systems such as Point of Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to streamline the process.
  • If one has different channels, don’t treat them in silos. Treat them as an integrated whole and devise the channel strategy.
  • Rely on Data Analytics to see where things are going correctly and where improvement is needed.


Disintermediation is a phenomenon where the producer can consider going directly to the consumer. However, the producer should consider whether it is giving the consumer the same experience, and if possible, pass on the benefits without giving rise to any channel conflicts.

Marketing vs Sales

Often, sales and marketing are interchanged in an organization. Some think they do not need marketing, and as written by Peter Drucker, “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous”. The feeling has been mutual. However, both sales and marketing are required, and these should work in tandem. Marketing is “Systematic planning, implementation, and control of business activities, bringing together the buyers and sellers”, whereas, sales is the “Transaction between two parties where the buyer receives a good or service in exchange for money”.

There are certain differences to be considered between sales and marketing:

  • Marketing takes a long-term approach to build relationships with customers whereas, sales tries to match customer’s current demand.
  • Marketing as a process involves analysis, creation, testing, and improvement. The sales process involves establishing contact, persuasion, and closure.
  • The priority of marketing is to establish long-term customer value, whereas the priority of sales is to generate current revenues. There should be a balance between sales and marketing, keeping long-term sustainability, as well as the current survival and growth in mind. Thus, sales and marketing need to create a healthy partnership where ideas are exchanged. There is a smooth process and one can leverage the success of the other.


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OnlinEmage is one of the Global Digital Marketing Agency. At OnlinEmage, we believe in ideas shaping businesses into brands.
OUR LOCATIONSWhere to find us?
GET IN TOUCHOnlinEmage Social links
Taking seamless key performance indicators offline to maximise the long tail.
OnlinEmage is one of the Global Digital Marketing Agency. At OnlinEmage, we believe in ideas shaping businesses into brands.
OUR LOCATIONSWhere to find us?
GET IN TOUCHOnlinEmage Social links
Taking seamless key performance indicators offline to maximise the long tail.

Copyright by OnlinEmage. All rights reserved.

Copyright by OnlinEmage. All rights reserved.


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