The not-so-secret sauce of Digital Marketing

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What is (traditional) Marketing?

What do marketers really do?

Do they collect a bunch of leads and try and close sales within a targeted time-frame? That is Sales. Marketing – whether traditional or digital – is something more.

At the heart of marketing is the concept of value proposition. It is the set of unique attributes, benefits, and emotions you offer your customers through your marketing offering. The job of marketers is to define and target the right customers segments who would understand their value proposition and be willing to pay the right price for the value offered through their marketing mix – the product, price, promotion, and placement (channel).

Buyer Behavior

But customers don’t just immediately buy into your value proposition – they take time! Marketers need to understand this consumer behavior – or what customers do on their way to making a purchase. It is what marketers call “The Buyer’s Journey” – the three stages in a customer’s decision-making process:

  • Awareness: When consumers become aware of their needs and recognize you as a vendor, among others, capable of meeting their needs or solving their problems
  • Consideration: During this phase, consumers refine their needs through their education and are better equipped to compare you to your competition
  • Decision: The customer is ready to give a vendor their business because they are convinced that his or her value proposition is truly superior

The following graphic illustration of the Buyer’s Journey is taken from the sales blog, from this article by Lauren Hintz


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The Digital Marketer’s Job

The real job of a contemporary marketer is to empower, inform, and educate customers throughout their buyer journeys so that they are convinced of the superiority of the marketer’s value proposition. Authenticity is one of the key factors of market success for brands as customers are better informed than ever before.

Knowing the three stages in the buyer’s journey, marketers must set clear objectives for each stage and influence customers’ behavior in ways that is beneficial to their brands

  • In the awareness stage, try to earn high brand awareness/recall or traffic. With a thorough understanding of the needs of the customers, communicate precisely what customers need to know in the awareness stage
  • In the consideration stage, try to earn high brand engagement or leads. Consumers are now aware of your market offering, so do more to help them be more engaged with you in their decision making process – get them to download brochures, see demo videos, trial an app or software, attend a sales event, or trial a promotional offering
  • In the decision stage, focus on highly engaged customers to earn high sales potential.

This movement from awareness to engagement to sales is at the heart of digital marketing. Engagement or two-way interaction as a strategy is not available with traditional advertising.

Aware customers are more likely to engage with your brand communication, and engaged customers are more likely to buy from you. Importantly, it gets cheaper to engage aware customers and to sell to engaged customers as you can focus your marketing spending on more efficient and effective marketing activities like e-mail and re-marketing. This is the secret sauce of digital marketing known to all successful marketers big and small.

The downward/inward movement with progressive cost reduction and increasing marketing efficiency is called the marketing funnel. The following graphic illustration is taken from the Blog


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Tools, Metrics, and Tactics

A host of digital tools and platforms, metrics, and tactics are available to marketers to create and measure the marketing funnel

Marketers must smartly measure awareness and engagement through metrics such as cost per lead, cost per action, cost per acquisition, click-through-rates, likes, shares etc to be able to identify the movement from awareness to engagement to sales. They must also design intelligent engagement strategies to increase pipeline velocity – the speed with which customers move through their marketing funnel

Tools and platforms available to create and measure the marketing funnel:

  • Awareness / Traffic: Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing
  • Consideration / Leads: Lead Magnets, Landing Pages, Conversion Optimization, Analytics
  • Decision / Sales: Marketing Automation, Re-marketing, Email Marketing

The following graphic illustration of tools that complement the marketing funnel is taken from Inbound Marketing Agency, Australia.

Use this knowledge of marketing fundamentals, consumer behavior, the marketer’s task-list, and the tools, metrics, and technology to create your own fabulous digital marketing sauce!


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14 thoughts on “The not-so-secret sauce of Digital Marketing

  1. […] my LinkedIn article “The not-so-secret sauce of great Digital Marketing” (and blog post here), a LinkedIn user wrote to me: “your article was a great read, but it’s embarrassing […]


  2. […] my Linkedin Pulse article here and my blog post here, I explained that the theoretical foundations or the basic systemic model of digital marketing are […]


  3. That’s Wow. It’s Very Effective post and informative post.


  4. Very well written post, thanks for busting the myths associated with digital marketing. I totally agree that in present trends, customer engagement is one of the essential factors that must be addressed first to leverage the marketing efforts. Thanks for the article.


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  7. Neha kakkar

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  8. Gasan

    Thank you. This article is informative and helpful. .


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  10. thanks for busting the myths associated with digital marketing.good article loved it


  11. ThePakVoice

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