Expanding Your Consumer Base Through Digital Marketing

It’s difficult to sell a product if no one knows it exists. That’s why marketing, and specifically marketing’s reach, is an important component of business. Every company will track marketing reach, since reach leads to awareness, which leads to engagement, which leads to sales conversions. And with billions of people shopping online, digital marketing has become the dominant focus of marketing departments around the world.

Since 2019, retail e-commerce sales have nearly doubled, hastened by the ongoing closures of brick-and-mortar stores, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased access to the internet. In 2023, approximately 93% of Americans had access to the internet. Unsurprisingly, marketing strategies have shifted to reflect the changing behaviors of consumers.

Starting in 2018, budgets for digital marketing have surpassed those for traditional advertising. Digital advertising has many benefits for companies: it’s faster to produce and adapt, it can be more effectively personalized for the consumer, it can target specific demographic groups, and the impact of marketing techniques can more easily be tracked and analyzed. Any company that is not investing in digital marketing will quickly fall behind competitors.

Digital marketing techniques differ from those of more traditional strategies. Because consumers behave and interact with advertising differently online than they would in person, companies need to develop unique approaches to capture their consumer’s attention. Many educational programs recognize this and offer courses on digital marketing or emphasize it over traditional marketing. Emerson College for example, offers an online master’s in marketing that centers its core curriculum around digital marketing and also offers a specialization in Social Media& Digital Public Relations. Marketing programs may also include courses in story-telling, analytics, content creation, search engine optimization, and other skills crucial to effective marketing.

Because of the analytical data gathered from digital marketing, a company can determine what demographics a marketing campaign does and doesn’t reach. A marketing team can then expand its reach to untapped populations by changing its techniques and messages. Digital marketing is more flexible than traditional, so these changes can take place quickly. A company monitors how a consumer engages with advertising, and they see if, when, and with whom the message is shared and how the next consumer interacts with the message. Companies can furthermore collect biographical information about consumers to help tailor future advertising. The amount of data gathered from digital marketing – and the speed with which data is gathered – allows a marketing team to adopt and personalize their advertising to target new and specific audiences.

The future for digital marketing and marketers is bright. With nearly a million open marketing positions in 2022, the field is only expected to grow. Salaries are competitive, with Glassdoor citing typical pay of $60,000 per year (more than 50% higher than the national average). Those with a master’s in marketing can expect to earn up to 27% more than those with a bachelor’s. Marketing careers also often offer opportunities for flexible and remote working, and there are self-employment possibilities. If you’re considering a career in digital marketing, there’s no better time to start.