The first online social network was called Six Degrees, founded by Andrew Weinrich, but it failed due to the technology and infrastructure back in 1997 (Heidemann et al., 2012).
Smartphone Sixty Seconds® – Degrees of Separation • Use your mobile phone to log in to LinkedIn and look at the Vice Chancellor of your
university. • How many degrees of separation are there between you and the VC? • Who in the class has fewest degrees of separation between themselves and the VC?
2.6 WE’RE ALL DIGITAL NOW As digital consumers our lives have become surrounded by online tools, technology and systems – from the moment we wake until the day is over. Can you imagine a world without Wi-Fi?
Governments and businesses are harnessing digital technology too. The European Union publishes an annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) and keeps a scorecard of where European countries feature in terms of available connectivity, digital skills, use of internet by citizens, integration of digital technology by busi- nesses and digital public services (European Commission, 2017).
And now the digital genie is out of the bottle it’s difficult to give up our online lives. As digital consumers, even if we adopt greater liquid consumption we’re unlikely to give up second screening and showrooming.
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FURTHER EXERCISES 1. Working in small groups, identify all online and offline steps in the customer
journey for (a) a food delivery app that you access via your mobile phone or (b) a local coffee shop. Analyse where there are any possible difficulties and make recommendations to address these issues.
2. Imagine you are responsible for introducing a new technology into university. This could be a new payment system or a new library access system or something else. Considering the users, identify three objections you are likely to encoun- ter. Write robust responses to all the objections that could be used across social media. Prepare a promotional one-page website to explain the new system.
3. Working in small groups, prepare a plan to complain about poor service from a well-known brand. What steps are needed to gain attention from the brand? Be aware that any comments that are untrue or malicious could result in legal action.
SUMMARY This chapter has explored:
• Digital consumers and the concepts of hedonism and utilitarian consumption.
• How the technology acceptance model can be applied to the introduction of new apps, devices and systems.
• How changing digital behaviour from consumer power to prosumers, second screening to liquid consumption, affects marketing.
• The key factors in constructing a customer journey have been addressed, with many examples of the different terminology.
PART 2 DIGITAL MARKETING
3 The Digital Marketing Toolbox 51 4 Content Marketing 95 5 Online Communities 125 6 Mobile Marketing 151 7 Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality 181
3 THE DIGITAL
LEARNING OUTCOMES When you have read this chapter, you will be able to:
Understand the different components in the digital marketing toolbox
Apply the honeycomb model
Analyse website usability
Evaluate online PR
Create an SEO plan for video
PROFESSIONAL SKILLS When you have worked through this chapter, you should be able to:
• Construct successful emails for campaigns
• Use an email management tool
• Analyse a website’s usability and recommend improvements
• Create an SEO plan for video
3.1 INTRODUCTION In this digital environment, before getting out of bed and brushing their teeth, Millennials are connected. They know the latest news, they know where their friends are, they know what’s happening in their world. How much do they know about the methods organisations can employ to harness this digital power for both positive and negative purposes?
This chapter aims to enlighten you about the possibilities of what’s out there. At the end of the chapter you may decide to switch off your mobile phone, pay by cash and live completely off grid. But I doubt it.
In part, the digital marketing toolbox could be described as an online version of Pandora’s box. The Greek myth claimed that once the box was opened evil escaped into the world, but before all dark deeds left the box the lid was firmly shut, and inside the box a good force remained; hope for the future. Online evil includes spam (see Ethical Insights, p. 60), fake news, the abuse of social media profile data, cyber bullying and trolling (see Key Terms, p. 82). The key is to be aware of all the pos- sibilities and to do more good in marketing, as we will discover here.
3.2 THE EVOLUTION OF DIGITAL MARKETING Originally, digital marketing was called e-marketing, the ‘e’ being short for ‘electronic’ marketing and it was also known as internet marketing. Originally conceived by Sir Tim Berners-Lee as a way of connecting computers to share data, the internet has created its own ecosystem. We have expanded beyond internet marketing to a much wider array of connected devices, hence the term digital marketing.
As digital marketing has evolved, it is still used for sharing data, but it has also provided a rich set of tools, commonly referred to as the digital marketing toolbox. This toolbox works for both individuals and organisations of all sizes. Whether you are studying or working, the digital marketing toolbox allows you to discover, share, manage and create information. This is a journey from information discovery to crea- tion, or a digital information hierarchy.
How does the digital information hierarchy work for you? You might have an assign- ment to develop a social media account and search online to assess whether Twitter is better than Weibo or LinkedIn for this project. Browsing the internet, you find many articles online that extol the virtues of different social media networks (infor- mation discovery). Your friends have the same assignment and some are stuck, not knowing where to start, so you send them some links to useful articles (informa- tion sharing). As you start to discover more relevant articles and as your friends start sharing more content you need a way to store all the information easily. In a browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox) you create a bookmark folder and name it ‘social media #1’. Then you add all the weblinks as individual bookmarks to this folder and also save your documents in the cloud (information management). This allows you to easily return to each web page, months later, without remembering the name of the individual web page, and to retrieve your content regardless of which computer you are using or where.
THE DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLBOX 53
Once you have gathered your data and made your decision, you can create a social media account online and populate it with regular posts about how to set up a social media account (information creation).
Digital marketing makes this information hierarchy much easier, but it hasn’t happened overnight. To understand how digital marketing has evolved, I have adapted a timeline based on a version created by internet education researchers Hooley, Marriott and Wellens (2012), in Table 3.1. Their timeline did not include all the tools in the digital toolbox, so I have added these and removed some of those less relevant to marketing. This timeline is a helpful way to understand the evolution of different tools and you will see that some of these were created in your lifetime.
Table 3.1 Development of the digital marketing toolbox
Year Digital tools Action Impact on marketing
1971 Email First email sent New skills needed to craft online communications
1989 Websites Demonstration of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee
Not widely understood initially
1990 Websites Public release of the World Wide Web
Companies initially created ‘online brochures’ known as brochureware for company websites
1990 Search engines