This is the second article in this series, in the first part I talked about the power of the internet as the fourth marketing channel that is now available to businesses to reach out to their target customers.
As stated in the article, in the past, we only had 3 major forms of marketing communications popularly known as mass media. They were;
- Print – newspapers, magazines, billboards, handbills or flyers etc.
But today, the internet has been added to the list as the fourth marketing channel and it has created a whole new form of marketing communications called social media. The internet as the fourth marketing channel just like its predecessors is also powered by information.
The Information Age
Welcome to the 21st century where information is the new currency. We now live in the age of Information Technology (IT) without which the internet as a marketing channel would never have been invented.
With the launch of Information Technology came the digitization of information. What does this mean? This means that information changed from matter –anything that had weight and occupied space to bits and bytes that could be stored electronically in digital forms.
This enabled more and more information to be created and also made the sharing of information easier and faster. Since information were created, stored and distributed electronically in digital forms, information which used to be a scarce resource suddenly became abundant.
Unlike other resources available to humans, the value of information is further increased the more it is shared. Meaning that the very essence of information is to be shared, the more it is shared the more its value increases.
For example, that I am giving away valuable information to you through these weekly articles doesn’t reduce the value or worth of the information itself, rather it increases it. In practical terms, it means that the more people who get to read these articles get to adopt online marketing as a strategy for growing their businesses.
And the more people who do, the demand for more information on online marketing increases. And you know what the economic law says; when demand increases, price (value, worth) also increases. This is how powerful information is, it is the only resource available to mankind that increases as it is being shared. You can never use up information!
So what has Information got to do with Digital Marketing?
Simple; the internet is the storehouse of global information. The internet is the information highway of the whole world. This is why it is called the world wide web, it is a web of global information.
People go online to search for information on anything that is of interest to them. The whole concept of the internet revolves around the dissemination of information. It is a technology that was invented to help people share information by connecting with one another.
Think about it, when you send or receive emails, what is the content of those emails? information right?
Ok. Let’s go deeper.
What about when you update your facebook and twitter status, what are you sharing? information right?
Now the very obvious one, when you visit Google, what are you looking for? information right?
There you are, at the core of all that you do online whether it is sending and receiving email, chatting through yahoo messenger, Skype or on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and even watching videos on YouTube, everything involves information.
All your activities on the internet involves two major things; you are either giving (sharing, sending or creating) or getting (receiving, downloading or consuming) information.
Information is the foundation of on which your digital marketing strategy will be built. When people go online, they are not going to get to you by tuning to a TV channel, or radio station or seeing your ad in a paper. No. They are going to find you by searching for information online.
So what happens when they come searching for information about the products/services your company offers but you are nowhere to be found online?
What happens when they come searching for information about your industry, and you are nowhere to be found online?
What happens when a foreign company comes searching for a local business to partner with, and you are nowhere to be found online?
The answer to all these questions is simple; lose of a customer, sale, partner or business opportunity. Not being found online is the biggest mistake any company or business can make in this information age!