Online marketing simply explained!

What is online marketing?

Everyone is talking about how important online marketing is these days. But what exactly does online marketing mean and what different marketing activities do it include? How can you advance your company with online marketing? And which online marketing terms should you definitely know? In this article we would like to give you a 360 ° all-round view.

The definition

Online marketing is understood to mean operational and strategic measures of a company that are carried out with the help of online media (website, social media, search, etc.) with the aim of generating sales or addresses of interested parties or simply a specific image, image or message of the To convey company. Other common synonyms are digital marketing or internet marketing .

Strategic development of marketing goals and messages

  • One of the most common approaches to strategically managing your company and deriving your marketing messages from it is the strategy pyramid: A mission is derived from a corporate vision that depicts the long-term level (mission statement). This in turn forms the basis for drafting a strategy in order to then formulate the concrete measures that are to contribute to the strategy at the lowest level. The big weakness of this approach is that it stems from the time of hierarchical management approaches in companies and more of a top ==> down idea. The idea that the vision level is the responsibility of the top digital marketing consultants, the mission level in larger corporations then the board level, the strategy was defined at the division manager level and the measures then at the department manager level, was certainly somewhat abbreviated.
  • Newer leadership models are less hierarchical and much more participatory. That means employees at all levels have the necessary freedom. The hierarchical strategy pyramid is less suitable for such environments. It is more about creating a value framework for a company that is so attractive that the employees believe in it and that it serves as a breeding ground for decentralized structures and decisions. The “why” is often at the core of such approaches. The question of why a company exists. Once this has been clarified, it often emerges naturally how a company or department does something and what is actually done. Many companies only know what they do, some then how they do it, but very few know why they do something. Finding this “why” that employees and customers believe in makes it easier, especially in marketing, to formulate your (brand) messages emotionally. One method of approaching this “why” at company or department level is this Golden Circle by Simon Sinek – as an alternative to the vision-mission-strategy model.

Concrete goals of online marketing

With online marketing measures, very different goals can be pursued:

  • Branding / brand building: Thecore of this goal is that the brand is associated with specific values ​​and messages and that it becomes a figurehead for the company and its products. This should set the products apart from those of the competition. Whether the brand building was successful can be determined, for example, from how many people search for brand terms (i.e. search terms that contain your brand name) in search engines such as Google and come to your website (brand searches). Even if people enter your website URL directly , this indicates strong branding. You can also measure how often your brand name is mentioned positively on social media, blogs or forums.
  • Engagement:Engagement describes the degree of interaction with digital content and thus includes all direct interactions that a user makes with your website or your content on social media. In order to measure engagement, i.e. to find out how strongly a user has interacted with your content, you can look at how long the user was on your site (length of stay / session duration), how many of your pages they accessed during a session, whether they were has left comments on your blog or social media post or how long he has been watching your video. A high level of commitment is of course desirable, as the user has then dealt intensively with your brand, your content and offers.
  • Leads: Generating leads is a common goal of online marketing activities. The aim is to get as much contact information as possible from potential customers. Mainly relevant in online marketing is, of course, specifying the email address. A possible lead generation is the registration for a newsletter or an eBook for download, which is only available by providing contact details.
  • Sales:Another very obvious goal is of course sales. Every company primarily wants to sell its products. The various online marketing measures, such as ads on Google (Google Ads) or ads in social media (e.g. Facebook Ads), are also suitable for this purpose. But email marketing also increases sales and is therefore a conversion driver.
  • What is performance marketing?
  • Online marketing with the objective of generating leads and sales is then referred to as performance marketingwhen the billing with the media companies that advertise for the advertiser is variable – i.e. depending on the success of the transaction.

The customer journey – from visitor to customer

Behind the objective of performance marketing lies the overriding desire to generate sales, registrations or interested parties. But not every visitor to your website automatically becomes a customer. On the contrary: your customers often have a long journey behind them. You may have found out about the products or services on various pages, compared them and their providers (dealers) and then decided on a product or service.

This way the customer is in online marketing customer journey called. This customer journey takes longer, the higher the perceived risk of a customer associated with a bad purchase. The longest B2C customer journey is planning a vacation and the associated travel bookings. From a business perspective, not every customer journey is successful and leads to a purchase. Some potential customers turn off along the way and opt for a different route. In order to better visualize the generation of customers, there is the so-called funnel . A large number of visitors or interested parties are poured into this funnel at the top (upper funnel) and a few of them then come out again as customers (lower funnel). Between the upper and lower end of the funnel, your visitors pass through various stations, which can be shown schematically in the so-called AIDA model . This model of a simplified purchase decision process was developed by Elmo Lewis in 1898 and is still used in marketing today. As you can see in the figure below, AIDA stands for the levels Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, which we briefly explain below.