Understanding the Digital Marketing Environment
Understanding the digital marketing environment components is essential to achieving success when it comes to digital marketing strategies. Having in-depth knowledge and understanding of the digital marketing environment’s components makes for a successful marketer because these influencing factors shape the digital marketing environment and affect how different firms operate in a different context, both on and offline. When a marketer can comprehend and break-down the components of the digital environment, they can have more control over the outcome of a campaign anin the sense that they can tailor their campaigns to target their customers based on the factors that directly affect their decisions. Further, marketers can utilize their understanding to create relevant strategies and even optimize and improve current methods.
While the marketing industry is currently shifting towards adapting traditional methods into digital ones, not all organizations and companies have adapted to digital strategies along with it. As a result, marketers must take this into consideration while creating a digital marketing strategy and analyzing the marketing environment of an organization.
So, what are the main components of the digital marketing environment?
The Digital Marketing Components
The two major elements of the digital marketing environment are micro-environment and macro-environment.
The first component of the digital marketing environment is the micro-environment. The micro-environment is referred to as the “operating environment” and focuses on customers’ needs and wants. The customers, competitors, suppliers, and intermediaries’ needs and wants are essential to focus on due to their role in shaping the immediate trading environment. The behaviors of these groups of people shape the online marketplace. Understanding their needs and wants allows marketers to create and adapt their digital strategies to meet their needs and wants.
Next, we have the macro-environment. The macro-environment is often referred to as “the remote environment” and is made up of external forces that can influence digital marketing and successfully affect success. These forces include political interventions, economic conditions, social change, technological developments & innovations, legal legislation, and environmental forces that are beyond the control of the organization itself. Another significant influence on opinions is the ever-evolving social media networks, which enhance digital channels by allowing these forces to communicate information that shapes the opinions of many globally.
The digital marketing environment has a profound impact on many things, including performance. For example, this year (2020), companies were forced to shift their primary functionalities to an online environment both internally and externally due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes their marketing communications. The forces affected by the epidemic include social change, technological developments, and economic conditions. These forces required companies to implement new means of communication by shifting towards utilizing more innovative technologies and practices, such as allowing their employees to work from home to continue running their business smoothly. Other changes include developing new means of communicating with customers, offering additional customer service options, new ways to obtain products and services, and even customer meetings. These factors have contributed to the shift in consumer behavior towards a more digital environment. The businesses lack of ability to generate business via face-to-face interactions, and even traditional methods such as billboards, signs, and more, became obsolete when consumers were required to work from home and conform to the stay at home order. This evolution required businesses to implement new means of marketing to not sink during a sink or swim period of time. Now, businesses attract customers utilizing social media platforms and digital marketing methods.
How do digital marketers analyze demand?
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, digital marketing services and digital marketers have become a higher demand for businesses to remain successful. However, a digital marketer is only as successful as their ability to analyze demand across digital channels and their current standings. Digital marketers need to understand the needs of a target segment and have the ability to evaluate the demand for the current online channels. Acquiring leads and nurturing consumers through the sales funnel to enhance their chances of making a purchase is a significant part of why companies market their digitally. Thus, marketers must understand the current social media trends and the many options available to consumers, and how they are using these channels to determine efficiency before conducting a demand analysis.
Digital marketers should have a basic understanding of current trends on the internet and its use as they relate to the company’s services and products that they are marketing. It is also essential for marketers to understand how these factors affect customer decisions; this process is known as a demand analysis.
Marketers conduct a demand analysis for digital marketing services by monitoring factors that allow them to set realistic objectives for their target markets. They do this by assessing the volume and share of customers who have access to a channel, use the channel, allow the channel to affect their purchase decisions by utilizing price comparison sites and blogs, are influenced by the channel or another channel, and actually make a purchase through the channel.
After obtaining this information through the demand analysis, marketers can use this data to enhance their marketing initiatives. For example, if an analysis shows that the customers who are most likely to purchase a mountain bike are utilizing Facebook to conduct research, evaluate prices, and make a purchase, the marketer would likely focus their marketing tactics towards promoting the products on Facebook. Like all marketing initiatives, the goal is to reach the right consumers, with the right message, at the right time, on the right platform. If the research shows that Facebook is the right place to reach the right consumers with the right message regarding mountain bikes, then it’s a no-brainer for the marketer to utilize this platform.
Digital marketers must conduct a full assessment of the forces associated with macro-environments and the factors that contribute to micro-environments to understand how they shape the online marketing environment and further identify which forces and factors of these components have implications for the digital marketing strategy being created. This is essential to the success of any campaign or strategy because of the impact the digital marketing environment has on the campaign. By conducting a demand analysis of the digital environment, marketers obtain a deep understanding of the characteristics, needs and wants, and requirements of the target market and their inclination to digitally engage based on specific channels. Once the marketer develops a sound foundation using this information, they can consider how to best achieve the marketing goals and best utilize digital communications.