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Digital evolution of marketing

Imagine, you are traveling in a car and your friend is driving. How are you supposed to spend maximum time of the journey? Let me guess, you will be talking to your friend, having a glance outside or using your phone. What would you be doing in your cell phone? Playing online games having the advertisement? Using YouTube and going through a 5 second compulsory advertisement? Scrolling Facebook, Instagram or any app seeing the sponsored posts? Surfing websites with lots of paid adds or using any communication app with brand promotions. I don’t say that you won’t look outside and see billboards or any outdoor advertisement or outdoor advertisements are useless but there is a difference between both mediums of marketing and that is budget and conversions. You will spend a handsome amount to hang your brand’s billboard on any road while spending a low budget and sponsoring your post in digital channels you can grab the business and profit. That is digital marketing. That is the revolution which has changed the concepts of marketing and opened the doors of opportunities for small businesses to grow and big businesses to promote their brand across the globe with low budget as compare to the outdoor marketing. Either you use personal computer, laptop, tablet or cellphone; if you are an internet user then for sure you are a potential customer of countless companies searching for you online.

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Pakistan is the region of genius people who aren’t only creative but are naturally aware of selling even “Manjan” if there is nothing to sell. Jokes apart, digital marketing has really taken as a blessing by a huge group of people in Pakistan who belongs to a job class but always desired to become entrepreneur. You might have seen people in your circle who are selling the things online. You might have been in the Facebook groups where from a cake to a tiger is sold and purchased. Just write buy and sell on Facebook search and see a pretty long list of the groups where you will find a crowd of people doing their own business without having any store, warehouse or even factory. Without any such huge investment people are running their businesses and earning their butter bread with Nutella. Still I consider Pakistan a big market with few digital marketers who should really be called digital marketers. Why? Let’s discuss in next paragraph.

The most hilarious situation is when a social media marketer calls himself a digital marketer and confines the entire ocean to a river. Social media, due to having the major part of the audience participating actively, is the integral part of the digital marketing and yes a rewarding medium of advertisement but yet there are many other mediums having maximum impressions that are converted into conversions and give benefits to the marketers working tirelessly for the fruits of their hard work. We have a very few quality institutes where the digital marketing is taught. Google offers many free/paid courses of digital marketing where they give you a clear cut picture of what real digital marketing is. This is the reason digital marketing is not that much mature in Pakistan and many brands are still facing issues in competing on digital forums yet they are not so disappointed as social media marketing rewards them well but there are many other mediums where they are losing their potential customers or lack of good digital media planning due to which they aren’t getting what they deserve. Reason is simple, social media marketers are being asked to run the digital campaigns which is not a wise thing to do. It’s as same as when a physician is asked to do a surgery which is not possible.

 

Here we need to understand the culture of Pakistan as well. There are 3.5 million users of Facebook and majority in Pakistan uses social forums more and use it for the purposes can more appropriately be done on the forums specially designed for them. For instance, still we prefer Facebook paid advertisement or YouTube advertisement to the Google search & websites and buy more from the said social apps. Here social media marketer takes advantage and utilize the social forums according to his capability and sell the product/services. In the case of a digital marketer who designs a campaign and divide the budget among all digital channels, opt for a strategy according to the product or service nature, determine the target audience, bring innovative and appealing ideas to attract the audience, follow the latest trend of the quality content either image or video and market an ordinary name to a prominent brand.

We need to understand the latest revolution called disruption in digital marketing. You don’t go out to find a taxi but call Careem or Uber. You don’t go down to purchase any food; you open Food Panda for exciting deals. You don’t need to go to market to purchase anything, there are countless online stores having amazing discounts and facility of home delivery with money back guarantee. This is the latest trend of purchasing. This is the latest trend of buying. This is the latest trend of marketing called Digital Marketing.

We are living in digital era and no organization can survive without walking along with the speed of innovations happening in the digital world. Time has gone when the traditional ways of marketing could be the only option for a businessman. Even if you have a chain of stores across the country, you still remind the people on digital channels that you exist. Digital marketing is no more an option for a business but a survival of fittest to grab the bread from a customer before it goes to its competitor. Digital marketing is a life line that will rule in coming decades.

(The writer is a Google Squared and himself a professional Digital Marketer; He is Head of Digital Marketing and Media Planning at KASBIT)

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