Digital Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide
Digital marketing. Just another one of those new, fancy buzzwords you should use to sound smart in meetings or is it the real deal?

Maybe a better question is: What is it?

This digital marketing guide will show you what’s what.

First popularized as a term in the early 2000’s, digital marketing has actually been around much longer.

Like, WAY longer. About 100 years longer, to be exact.

Here’s a pic of the first digital marketer in history:

gulielmo marconi
(Image source: Wikipedia)

His name: Guglielmo Marconi.

What? Marconi?

Yup. In 1896 he was the first human to demonstrate a, “public transmission of wireless signals.”

This dude invented the radio.

Shortly after his little demonstration in England, morse signals were transmitted across open water.

And, while it would take another 10 years for the radio to reach the general public, it sure didn’t take the creators long to realize they could use it to sell stuff.

The first live broadcast was from an opera performance at the Met and guess what people did after it?

They bought show tickets!

Digital marketing strategy was born.

I bet you’re surprised. I didn’t mention smartphones, apps, Facebook ads or blogs at all.

That’s because digital marketing has nothing to do with the internet.

Definition
As usual, Wikipedia does a crappy job at explaining: Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the targeted, measurable and interactive marketing of products or services using…

Ugh!

I want an easy definition that I can remember! Here’s one: Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices.

That’s the reason it has been around for decades (because electronics have) and why it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with content marketing, Google ads, social media or retargeting.

Digital marketing can be done both online and offline.

And, both kinds matter for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.

Why digital marketing matters
Remember billboards?

I do.

As a young kid in California, my experiences from the back seat of our car mostly alternated between: “Mom, when are we there?” and “Uh, look, McDonalds, can we go?”, whenever one of those 10 foot billboards popped up on the side of the road.

Growing up with Indian parents, the answer to both of those would, most times, be the same: “Not yet.”

Sometimes, big brands would even start a billboard war, like this one between Audi and BMW, which got quite a few laughs:

Digital Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide
Digital marketing. Just another one of those new, fancy buzzwords you should use to sound smart in meetings or is it the real deal?

Maybe a better question is: What is it?

This digital marketing guide will show you what’s what.

First popularized as a term in the early 2000’s, digital marketing has actually been around much longer.

Like, WAY longer. About 100 years longer, to be exact.

Here’s a pic of the first digital marketer in history:

gulielmo marconi
(Image source: Wikipedia)

His name: Guglielmo Marconi.

What? Marconi?

Yup. In 1896 he was the first human to demonstrate a, “public transmission of wireless signals.”

This dude invented the radio.

Shortly after his little demonstration in England, morse signals were transmitted across open water.

And, while it would take another 10 years for the radio to reach the general public, it sure didn’t take the creators long to realize they could use it to sell stuff.

The first live broadcast was from an opera performance at the Met and guess what people did after it?

They bought show tickets!

Digital marketing strategy was born.

I bet you’re surprised. I didn’t mention smartphones, apps, Facebook ads or blogs at all.

That’s because digital marketing has nothing to do with the internet.

Definition
As usual, Wikipedia does a crappy job at explaining: Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the targeted, measurable and interactive marketing of products or services using…

Ugh!

I want an easy definition that I can remember! Here’s one: Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices.

That’s the reason it has been around for decades (because electronics have) and why it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with content marketing, Google ads, social media or retargeting.

Digital marketing can be done both online and offline.

And, both kinds matter for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.

Why digital marketing matters
Remember billboards?

I do.

As a young kid in California, my experiences from the back seat of our car mostly alternated between: “Mom, when are we there?” and “Uh, look, McDonalds, can we go?”, whenever one of those 10 foot billboards popped up on the side of the road.

Growing up with Indian parents, the answer to both of those would, most times, be the same: “Not yet.”

Sometimes, big brands would even start a billboard war, like this one between Audi and BMW, which got quite a few laughs:

owned
(Image source: BMW blog)

In 2015, a ton of my clients still spent hundreds of millions of dollars on billboard advertising.

Unfortunately or fortunately, it’s dead.

The reason why billboards, like the ones above, die, is perfectly illustrated in a single picture of a Volvo.

Because, frankly, the future of driving will look like this:

Heck, in a world where 9% of all drivers are on the phone one way or the other (texting or calling), at any given moment during daylight hours, how can we think billboards have a future?

If not even the driver is looking at the road any more, who’s supposed to see those advertisements?

And, that’s not even considering self-driving cars, on which both Apple and Google are working (you know it’s going to happen).

Elon Musk suggests that they’ll be here around 2020. That’s in only a few years.

That means you don’t have much time to figure out this digital marketing stuff before you can power down your old school printing press and close up shop.

The share of people spending more time using electronic devices is only going up from here.

With Americans spending 11+ hours on electronic devices, every single day, there’s not much left. That is, until we spend ALL of our time in the digital world.

And, while yes, online marketing is the reason that 25 year olds can now sit in their living room and earn 2 million dollars a year playing video games, offline marketing still has its place.

Let’s take a helicopter and circle around to get an overview.