Portada de Estrategias de Marketing DigitalLet’s face it: online marketing has come of age. Both because chronologically it deserves it in its own right and because of the current prominence of the different online strategies within the marketing mix of any company. When we refer to online marketing today, we can no longer do so as a prospective exercise, something that will come in an indeterminate future and for which we should perpetually prepare ourselves. Just in case you’re wondering when that future will arrive, know that it’s already here.

So enough is enough! Online marketing has come not only to stay but to take over, with the drive and strength of youth, from traditional marketing. Please, no more “new media”, “new technologies”, “new tools” or “new strategies”. We can place the origin of the Internet in the early 1970s, the origin of the Web ecosystem twenty years later, and the social networking revolution in the middle of the last decade. To continue to refer to all this as something “new” for which we must “prepare” is nothing more than looking for an easy excuse for not facing this digital revolution without delay with the firm determination to assume the leading role of a leader instead of the passive role of a mere spectator or, even worse, that of the collateral victim of those who feel they have already missed the train.

Fortunately, if you are reading these lines, it is because, faced with this dilemma, you have already made your choice. So I am grateful and privileged to be able to accompany you in the following pages in this panoramic tour of digital marketing. I can’t guarantee that with this book alone you can go from being a victim or passive bystander to leading the next wave of online marketing. But if you believe that the current marketing scenario requires a reaction on your part, if you believe that your business desperately needs to make the most of online marketing opportunities, this book aims to be the catalyst that accelerates that reaction and helps you move forward more quickly in your professional or business evolution.
How the digital marketing landscape has evolved

As of the writing of this book, several of the world’s most valuable companies by market capitalization have one thing in common: they are all related to so-called Information Technology (remember, no more “new” Information Technology). Apple, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Alibaba rub shoulders in this select group of the ten most valuable companies with former manufacturing, fuel and financial giants such as ExxonMobil, Johnson & Johnson, Berkshire Hathaway and Wells Fargo.

What all these companies have in common is that they probably handle more information than any other private or public entity in the world. And today, information is power. Whoever has the data and is able to extract the knowledge they hide not only dominates the markets but, as we have seen with the election of Trump in the United States of America and the Cambridge Analytica data leakage case, can dominate public opinion, the direction of the vote of millions of citizens and decisively influence who holds a position of such high responsibility as the American presidency.

What we can conclude from all this is that the Internet is, today, the MEDIA with capital letters. What happens in reality only counts if it is collected, shared, liked online. As individuals, but also as users, consumers and citizens, we are witnessing a progressive virtualization of everything that happens around us. To a large extent, we have stopped paying attention to what is close to us in order to connect with what is far away from us. Paradoxically, social networks distance us from the people we are closest to and keep us connected to those farther away with whom, in the absence of these social media, we would probably have stopped relating or never would have come to do so.

As consumers, today we use the Internet to buy products that are difficult to find in our immediate environment (in that long queue of an almost infinite supply of products of all kinds lies a large part of Amazon’s business, for example) but also to shop at our usual supermarket. When even fruit, meat and fish can be ordered online, it is clear that the habit of buying online, which began timidly some 20 years ago with the first hotel reservations or airline tickets purchased online, has deeply penetrated all age segments and for all types of products and services.

Even when we don’t buy online, the many resources we find on the Web help us to document our purchasing decision. We consult comparisons, reviews, watch official videos or videos uploaded to platforms such as YouTube, where other users open the box of the product we are considering buying and show us what it contains and how to use it. Before booking a room in a hotel or a table in a restaurant, we look for opinions from other users. We read news about companies, about trends, about what is or is not in fashion… All this conditions our purchasing decisions and influences our behavior as consumers also for purchases we make outside the Internet.

This growing prominence of the Web as a medium capable of focusing the attention of users for more hours a day than any other (more than television, radio or the press) defines it as the ideal environment for companies to develop their marketing strategies. But it is the open and universally accessible nature of the Internet that, paradoxically, constitutes both its main opportunity and threat.

Indeed, the Internet democratizes and puts within reach of any company the possibility of connecting with its potential audience and publicizing its products or services. At least in theory, the hardware store on the corner competes on the Web on almost equal terms with multinational chains in the sector such as Leroy Merlin.

This is the theory. The reality is that these low barriers to entry have transformed the Internet into an oversaturated medium, where there is already a word to describe the excess of advertising impacts, messages, offers and content to which any Internet user is exposed on a daily basis: “infoxication”. And in this information-saturated environment, standing out, attracting attention, being memorable or establishing a minimally loyal relationship with a customer is becoming more difficult every day. Therein lies the threat.
Large companies face this scenario with an advantage. They have the resources to attract attention by insisting on large on and offline advertising campaigns, promoting their content on social networks to increase its diffusion, data mining and the application of automated marketing tactics.

The aim of this book is that, regardless of the size of your company, you will be able to compete for your share of attention, and business, in this infoxicated environment. Lack of resources is often made up for with ingenuity. Knowing in depth the different online marketing strategies, in which scenarios one or the other should be applied, what are the keys to do it well, what results we should expect or how to measure their profitability to make better decisions is vital for our business project, our online business, to make its way in the digital market.

What you will find in this book

This book is conceived as a panoramic flight through the main strategies of digital marketing. Due to the breadth of the topics covered and the limitations imposed by their size, it is not feasible to go into each of them in depth. However, the objective is to deal with them from an eminently practical and rigorous point of view. If your purpose is to learn in depth about SEO, conversion, online advertising or content marketing, you will probably be disappointed. There are other monographic works on each of these topics that will be much more useful and precisely, one of the objectives of this book will be to collect those contrasted references, whether bibliographic or online resources, which will allow the reader to deepen on any of the topics covered.

If, on the other hand, what you are looking for is an introduction to digital marketing from a global point of view to understand what role each strategy plays within a company’s marketing mix, this book aims to meet that need. It also aims to move away from other more academic works that, while they may contribute to the evolution of digital marketing as an object of study, often frustrate the expectations of those who purchase a book in order to find a guide and support for their business, a source of inspiration from which many “Gee, I can do this in my company too!” moments arise.

We will begin by addressing how a company’s online presence is articulated: its website(s), its profiles on social networks, its apps, and we will see what objectives should be set for each of these online properties, which potential customer profile we are targeting and what the relationship between them should be.

Once we have decided on our online presence, we will look at the different traffic acquisition channels: owned media, earned media or paid media, and we will study the characteristics of the strategies we call inbound marketing and how they differ from those we call outbound strategies.

This journey will take us through a forest of acronyms from which, I promise, you will emerge unscathed: SEO, PPC, SEM, CRO, CPA, CPC, CPM, RTB, CPL? The objective will be that you will never again have to make a poker face when any of these “words” or acronyms appear in a conversation with colleagues or suppliers and you will be able to handle all these concepts with ease.

Each of these chapters will present the main characteristics of each digital marketing strategy. What it consists of, what it is used for, in what scenarios and for what type of objectives it is more or less efficient, and how to measure whether it is working correctly or not, and why. For each topic, we will include contrasted bibliographical references so that you can go deeper into the subject you wish to study. And we will also make recommendations to help you select professional profiles or providers for each of these services, as well as guidelines to help you properly monitor and evaluate their work.
Finally, we provide you with the basic outline so that you can design a coherent online marketing strategy for your company or business. A roadmap in which to set out actions, objectives and resources that will serve as a starting point to move from the virtuality of these pages to the reality of your business.

To whom it is addressed

This book was created with the aim of guiding anyone who has been curious about online marketing from a strategic point of view. If you are a traditional marketer, you will discover a number of strategies and tactics to add to your toolbox. If you are an entrepreneur, it will help you identify opportunities where your company could grow faster or reach broader markets. If you are already a professional in SEO, Web analytics, or any other digital marketing specialty, it will help you broaden your perspective and understand how your professional work is intertwined with that of other professionals to achieve a common goal: to improve business indicators.
So these are the profiles we have had in mind when writing the following pages:

  • Marketing professionals.
  • Responsible for advertising and/or promotion.
  • Website owners and managers.
  • Specialists in some branch of digital marketing.
  • Product managers.
  • Students of digital marketing training programs.
  • Advertising and marketing agencies.
  • Entrepreneurs.
  • Programmers and website developers.

The objective is doubly ambitious, both because of the breadth of the subject matter that I propose to address and because of the rapid evolution of everything related to the Internet. How do you prevent what you are about to read from falling into obsolescence by the time this book finally reaches your hands? It’s quite a challenge, but I’m willing to give it my honest best shot. As an online marketing professional with almost 20 years of experience as a consultant, teacher and author, I invite you to an exciting journey. Will you join me?