Rethinking marketing communication in digital era13 March 2022
Dr Farzana Nahid
Dr Farzana Nahid & Nahin Sultana :
The era of blindly bombarding audiences with generic content in the traditional media is nearing an end with the widespread adoption of versatile digital marketing practices. Marketing communication aims to engage prospective consumers in comprehending how to best serve their unsatisfied needs. It is to be noted that customer behaviour evolves with the technologically advancing environment. They are now more empowered than ever before having access to a plethora of information at their fingertips. Electronic devices have become the point of interaction between product sellers and prospective buyers. Conventional marketing gives little control over target audiences and the effectiveness of marketing expenditure. The traditional media such as TV and print advertising barely produce any insightful data for analyzing and fine-tuning marketing efforts more effectively. As a result, digital marketing has become the global norm for companies to achieve desired goals.
Digital Marketing is the use of technology to keep customers informed in incoherence to their interests. However, it does not merely confine to the contents placed on websites rather extends to an interconnected network of search engines and site portals of partner companies and customers. Digital marketing can be exercised through Search Engine Optimization, Content Creation, Social Media Marketing, Digital Display Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Email Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Online Public Relations, Digital Media Planning and Buying and Web Analytics. The Digital Marketing materials can be placed on multiple channels including websites, blogs, YouTube, social media or mobile phones.
Placing large-budget marketing campaigns on mainstream mass media does not yield the modern-day customers’ need to interact with brands at personalized levels. Effective Digital Marketing can bridge the gap between what customers expect and what they are offered by the companies. The high level of customer-centricity for effective marketing endeavours comes with challenges of complexity and scalability. Marketers are required to harness skills of “design thinking approach” and “real-time customer journey analytics”. Furthermore, understanding market segmentation while clarifying intended micro-segments is crucial for granular customer-content engagement to ensure effective engagement across micro-segments.
Modern Digital Marketing approaches can customize content to individual levels and generate an abundance of data down to the level of individual reactions. For instance, customers’ response to the addition of an emoji to push notifications or reduction of a step from an order placement process can now be reflected quantitatively. Utilizing Digital Marketing data to underpin product and promotional decisions can provide companies with a competitive edge over others while fighting for the attention of the same group of the target audience. Digital Marketing is remarkably cost-effective being one of the quickest ways of spreading messages along with the privilege of real-time feedback and information from social media pages and websites.
As per Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the number of internet connections in Bangladesh at the end of June 2021 was 12.1 crore which demonstrated an increase of 72.77 lakh from the previous year. According to the Digital Report published in February 2021 by We Are Social, 45 million people in Bangladesh (27.2% of the total population) are social media users. Besides, the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh reports that there are about 700 sites and 8000 Facebook pages of e-commerce in Bangladesh as of 2021. The escalating number of internet users and online businesses across the country indicates the immense online traffic that the digital landscape will commercially attract in the near future. Observing the projections, Bangladeshi companies are pacing up with the dynamic trends in this global era of technology, data, information, and connectivity beyond borders.
The increasing number of companies taking a digital marketing approach often clutter the online media with promotions and make it challenging to stand out. A strategic understanding of how, where and why to spend the marketing budget for underlying returns is inevitable. It is not only about creating content but also optimizing data from customer interactions to leverage marketing actions on an individualistic need basis. Senior-level marketers who are reluctant to upskill themselves with the marketing innovations in the digital space struggle to keep up with competitive marketing strategies. To stay competitive, businesses need skilled marketers capable of using effective marketing processes, comprehending marketing analytics and leveraging technological advances.
Although many local companies and marketing agencies in Bangladesh are embracing digital platforms to reach their audiences, advanced dimensions of Digital Marketing being practised creatively by global brands are yet to be explored. It is high time the marketing industry of Bangladesh looks into advanced technology such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality to innovatively engage their customers.
Modern-day marketers do need modern skills to equip their understanding of creative strategic marketing with cutting-edge technology and data management to actualize their targets. Mastering the skills of digital marketing from the comfort of your home is now only a matter of time and choice. We can no longer spend time sweating on the lacking part. If we face a skill gap, we need to fill it up. There is no time to make the change, rather be the change. Organizations should train employees on a day to day basis to make them ready and updated. There are many paid as well as unpaid online digital marketing courses which provide digital certificates upon completion. Reliablesoft Academy, ClickMinded Digital Marketing Course, Udemy Digital Marketing Course, Simplilearn Digital Marketing Specialist and Udacity Digital Marketing Course are some of the well-reputed paid digital marketing courses whereas Google Digital Marketing Courses, SEMRUSH Academy and HubSpot Online Marketing Courses are some of the free digital marketing courses available online. Some Web Analytics tools are Google Analytics, Spring Metrics, Woopra, Clicky, Mint and Chartbeat that help to measure digital marketing performances.
Needless to say that Digital Marketing does enable more controlled Marketing. The data generated through Digital Marketing not only influences better promotions but also is crucial for product development and public relations to ensure a comprehensive 360-degree impact on customers. It's time that Bangladeshi companies do get a global look while competing because it is no longer about how much they are spending on Marketing, rather how wisely they are spending so it can be cost effective and efficient enough to get the grip to convey the right message in the right time on the right platform. Let us spread the world that we Bangladeshis are ready while being trendy.
(Dr Farzana Nahid is Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing & International Business, NSU and Nahin Sultana, Research Assistant, NSU)