A couple of weeks ago our e-marketing class was asked to develop a digital marketing strategy for a company. Although I might have seen this as just another assignment to get through the semester and get my DP to write exams, I was completely blind to the relevance of the whole experience. At the beginning of the semester we were told that in a few short years, e-marketing will soon become a discipline of its own and when we were asked to create that digital marketing strategy, I finally saw why. Digital marketing is an indispensable part of most brands’ marketing mix today. This is reflected in South African digital marketing expenditure, which according to PwC’s research, will reach R3.7bn in 2017. PwC also predicts that search marketing will remain the primary digital advertising format going into 2017(Sandmann, 2014).
The importance of developing an effective e-marketing strategy is indicated by Michael Porter (2001) who has said: “The key question is not whether to deploy Internet technology – companies have no choice if they want to stay competitive – but how to deploy it.” For me as a student however, I see it as an opportunity for growth. I think one of the major benefits of the internet has been its ability to connect people globally. This global system of communication has connected people and its impact and influence is undeniable. Facilitating communications, decreasing the distances around the globe, are benefits that one cannot deny. With the new move, the human mind is more connected to its surroundings and what lays beyond. I must admit, doing e-marketing and starting a blog has definitely made me more aware of the other benefits of the internet, and as someone about to enter industry, it is invaluable knowledge that will take me far. It has equipped me with the skills needed to keep pace in a fast moving digital world. My blog has allowed me to engage with my readers and debate on important issues regarding the internet and its advantages or disadvantages. Doing e-Marketing taught me about how companies and marketers can leverage the benefits of the internet to allow them to create more brand awareness and reach a wider target market. Things like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) could certainly be used to a marketer’s advantage by generating more website visits.
There is more to the internet than social media, Wikipedia and streaming websites and this was certainly entrenched on me. One of the major setbacks I felt though was the lack of insight and structure on the tutorials offered. Where I would normally attend a tut and engage with the tutor and exchange information with my fellow classmates, it paved the way for some serious tensions and conflicts regarding peer reviews, which can be quite awkward. The tutorials can try to be more practical and relevant to the theory learnt in class.
e-Marketing as a whole has definitely paved the way for much greater insights into the unlimited possibilities that the internet provides. I for one thoroughly enjoyed and I intend to educate myself beyond the course in order to take advantage of the benefits provided by this platform.