First search tool for the web (Archie) was created
Opportunity to sell computers becomes a realistic proposition
1993 Search engines
First web crawler (Wanderer) was created
Businesses start to list product offers online
1993 Search engines
First graphical browser (Mosaic)
1994 Search engines
Netscape browser launched
1994 Search engines
Development of first popular search engines (Alta Vista, Lycos, Excite and Yahoo!)
1995 Search engines
Internet Explorer launched
1996 Email Hotmail launched free email service
Direct mail (postal letters) starts to decline
1997 Search engines
Google released Search functionality improves and search engine optimisation (SEO) becomes a marketing role
1997 Blogs First blog launched (attributed to Jorn Barger’s Robot Wisdom website)
As websites were cumbersome to change, blogs became an alternative communications tool
1997 Social networks
The first mainstream social networking site, SixDegrees. com, was launched
Businesses use data for online research and opportunities to market to specific groups online
2002 Social networks
LinkedIn launched Recruitment agencies realised the potential of a large professional database; local job ads start to decline
Year Digital tools Action Impact on marketing
2003 Social networks
Myspace launched Opportunities to promote products to specific groups online
2004 Search engines
Mozilla Firefox web browser released
Firefox offers ad-free browsing, so marketers start to think more creatively about online advertising
2004 Social networks
Facebook launched Companies create Facebook profiles to connect direct with customers online
2005 Social media advertising
Facebook launches first social media advertisement
New skills needed to create short-form ad copy
2006 Social networks
Twitter launched Disintermediation develops as individuals become their own PR consultants
2008 Search engines
Google Chrome browser launched
Google starts to become the default browser and SEO becomes more challenging
Table 3.1 (Continued)
The impact of digital facilities has changed the way many organisations execute their marketing campaigns. Newspaper and magazine advertising is at an all-time low and letter writing has declined, although parcel delivery has increased. Business-to-business exhibitions have reduced, with many taking place every two years, instead of annually, as buyers can more easily search online for new ideas, products and suppliers.
First, we need to understand the contents of the digital marketing toolbox. Extracting the tools from the timeline, I have created a visual representation of the toolbox, as shown in Figure 3.1. There are seven digital marketing tools in order of when they were launched to the world, starting with email and concluding with social media advertising. The rest of this chapter will look at each of these elements, so that you can better understand each of the toolbox components, create a digital marketing plan and evaluate the different tools to use in your own projects.
Figure 3.1 Digital marketing toolbox
THE DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLBOX 55
3.3 EMAIL Since its launch, email has become a powerful marketing tool. The technology research firm The Radicati Group claim that ‘there are over 3.7 billion email users worldwide, and this figure is expected to grow to over 4.1 billion by year-end 2021’ and they also state that the ‘total worldwide email traffic, including both business and consumer emails, is estimated to be over 269 billion emails per day by year-end 2017, growing to over 319.6 billion emails per day by the end of 2021’ (The Radicati Group, 2017).
We all receive email daily, hourly and sometimes it feels like every minute! Students receive emails from their university about module content, hand-in dates, events tak- ing place, as well as reminders to return library books.
Thinking about why organisations use email, the purpose may be to: promote a brand; nurture leads for the future; generate sales; or encourage engagement (such as liking a page, leaving a review). This means that within a marketing strategy, email market- ing can have specific, measurable and timed objectives for individual campaigns, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of email as a marketing tool?
3.3.1 ADVANTAGES OF EMAIL MARKETING Aside from the purpose of email, it is an important marketing tool that provides advantages to organisations as a method of communicating with customers. The Direct Marketing Association explained the benefit of email (DMA, 2017):
Email remains the bedrock of digital marketing. It’s favoured by consumers and 95% of marketers agree that it continues to retain a very important place within marketing.
Reasons why email marketing is popular with marketers include:
• The email or content is delivered direct to the consumer’s mobile or desktop and – unless it’s spam – it is not intercepted by a third party, as a letter sent to someone in an office might be removed in the post room.
• The email process provides key metrics, so that you can see: who opened the email; how many times they looked at the message; if they clicked on any links; and whether they shared the email; if the email generated the required conver- sion (such as a visit to the website, a sale, or the user sharing more details such as an email address or company information). These metrics mean that every single email campaign can be compared to understand what worked.
• Email is easy to share, as consumers can click on the forward button and send immediately to a friend or colleague. How would I share a letter? I’d either pass to a friend, or scan and email – that’s a lot of effort. Email takes the effort away and simplifies sharing.
• Email can be tested so you can try to see whether image A or image B, or subject line A or B, works more successfully. Email management tools can be automated so that they send 10% of an email with subject line A and 10% with subject line B. Then whichever is most successful – you decide what success looks like and this could be number of opens, number of clickthroughs – is sent to the remaining 80% of your list.
Figure 3.2 shows an example of an email that is optimised for both desktop and mobile, which means it is easy to read, regardless of device. It contains several calls to action with detailed information as well as images.
Calls to action
Figure 3.2 Example of email marketing