Digital Transformation in Modern Marketing Management

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Marketing Management is an ever-evolving field that plays a critical role in the success of any company. At MANCOSA we can see that this is a powerful time to make your name in the world of marketing.

In this article we are going to look closely at digital transformation in marketing management, debunking this buzz-phrase. We’ll ask what exactly digital transformation means, and whether businesses should abandon traditional marketing in favour of digital strategies.

We will explain the difference between these two related marketing disciplines and suggest innovative ways that they can be combined to create a powerful marketing impact. So, if you have been considering a career in marketing, and wondering if a degree in marketing management is right for you, read on to discover the current disruptions that are making an impact.

What is digital transformation in marketing management?

In order to understand digital transformation in marketing management, let’s first take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Digital transformation is the process of improving business performance by incorporating digital technology in conjunction with processes and people across all areas of a business to create a fundamental change in its operations and customer experience. This definition may seem vague, and that’s because it looks different for every industry and each business. Digital transformation has become a buzz-phrase that elicits mixed reactions, but this shift is inevitable for those who want to remain relevant and competitive in the current changing climate.

Digital transformation isn’t new, it has been on the agenda for years, but the pace of change has increased recently. The Covid pandemic has been a powerful catalyst, creating an urgent need for businesses to adapt and pivot quickly through challenges such as supply chain disruption and changing customer expectations.

What are the 4 main areas of digital transformation?

There are four main areas of digital transformation that a business may focus on:

  1. Process Transformation: Implementing new technology to create efficient processes to leverage existing skills and strengths within the business. It may include reducing unnecessary red-tape, shifting to cloud-based solutions and allowing increased collaboration between departments.
  2. Business Model Transformation: Incorporating technology to shift to an innovatively customer-centric business model where customer experience and revenue are the top priorities.
  3. Domain Transformation: Using technology to diversify into new areas of business online – for example, Amazon adding its streaming platform (Amazon Prime).
  4. Cultural/Organisational Transformation: Bringing each staff member together with systems that work seamlessly together, alongside a shared mindset and mission.

A digital transformation strategy that can achieve change across these four main areas will be the most successful.

What is digital transformation in the marketing landscape?

Digital transformation offers many exciting opportunities across all areas of marketing. It can improve customer acquisition and retention through seamless eCommerce operations and increasingly personalised experiences at every stage of the consumer cycle.

Through digital transformation, marketing efforts can be agile enough to respond to changing customer behaviours and expectations in real-time, responding to world events and competitors’ actions. It also means that experimentation and research can be conducted swiftly with minimal financial investment.

The difference between traditional and digital marketing

Despite the growing importance of digital marketing, traditional marketing remains an essential component of most marketing strategies. The two approaches are very different but can work together to create a seamless customer experience.

Traditional marketing is an approach to reach an audience offline. It includes everything from radio to newspapers, business cards, billboards, television advertisements, direct mail and print ads. Digital marketing is an approach to reach an audience online. It includes paid and organic adverts on social media, email marketing, content marketing, PPC advertising, banner ads, influencer marketing, and search engine optimisation.

Benefits of traditional marketing:

  • Has existed for many years and is therefore backed by research
  • It is part of many people’s everyday lives
  • Effective at reaching a local audience
  • A physical piece of traditional marketing can be long-lasting
  • Great for targeting consumers who are not active online

Disadvantages of traditional marketing:

  • There is little or no interaction with consumers who see the advertisements
  • It can be considered unreliable, and results are difficult to measure accurately
  • It is impossible to edit a physical advert once printed
  • It can be considered unreliable, and results are difficult to measure accurately
  • It tends to be more expensive than digital advertising

Benefits of digital marketing:

  • Is rapidly growing in reach due to the societal trend of spending increasing hours online
  • It may be more cost-effective than traditional marketing
  • It offers a solution to target audiences globally
  • It allows consumers to engage in inbound marketing
  • It is agile and can be tweaked and improved quickly
  • It provides instant, personalised interaction with customers
  • Businesses can see real-time results of all parts of each campaign
  • It enables customers to conduct research and complete transactions seamlessly

Disadvantages of digital marketing:

  • It is dependant on technology, which has limitations that are often outside of the business control
  • Social media own the audience on each platform and controls what is shown
  • There have been some high-profile security breaches, which may have legal consequences for businesses who use them
  • Updates to social media platforms require downtime to train developers and marketers to keep up to date

Effective marketing management balances the pros and cons of each approach to decide on the most effective combined marketing strategy for their business.

How to combine traditional and digital marketing management

Despite the growing interest in digital marketing, it could be a costly mistake to abandon traditional marketing from the overall marketing strategy, especially for larger corporate brands and businesses. The fact that many businesses are doing so means less competition in the traditional spaces. Those marketing managers who realise the power of blending digital and traditional marketing will reap the rewards. Combining these two approaches is an art that could significantly impact the performance of a business.

The key is finding ways to enhance and bolster each customer touchpoint, nurturing them on every step of their decision-making journey, and repurposing advertising content across channels to reduce overall costs.

Here are two interesting ways to combine digital and traditional marketing for a greater impact.

Billboards and Geotargeting

Out-of-home marketing, such as billboards, continue to deliver as a powerful marketing medium, with a reach of 90% of the population. Billboards themselves are becoming more affordable for many businesses due to the shift towards digital boards which reduces the cost of advertising. By layering the awareness of the billboard advert with geotargeted communication to a user’s mobile device, the marketing message is strengthened.

An example of this in action would be a local restaurant advertising a meal on a billboard and then geotargeting potential customers who drive by with a coupon code to their smartphone.

Magazines and Online Ads

Successful print magazines have a loyal niche readership, and by running relevant ads within them, a business can enjoy increased trust, targeted placement and long-term reach. It also makes sense to bolster the marketing message with online marketing messages as the issue is published. This can be done on the social media platforms and website of the print magazine to increase reach.

The goal of blending traditional and digital marketing is to create a feeling of the omnipresence of a brand, with seamless marketing messages that reinforce the customer’s awareness and trust in what the business is offering.

What kind of job can you get with a marketing degree?

The new marketing climate has created new exciting roles within marketing management and beyond. It means that a marketing degree is now more valuable than ever and has become a gateway to many opportunities. Let’s look at the kind of job that you could get with a marketing degree, covering both traditional and digital marketing roles.

  • Market research analyst: researches and gathers data to help a company market its products or services
  • Marketing specialist: helps design, create, and oversee a marketing project
  • Marketing manager: responsible for managing the promotion and positioning of a brand or the products and services that a company sells
  • Advertising and promotions manager: creates interest among potential customers
  • Chief marketing officer: responsible for creating, communicating and delivering offerings that have value for customers, clients or business partners
  • Public relations manager: creates and maintains a favourable public image of the organisation by communicating programs, accomplishments and points of view
  • Search engine optimisation specialist: tests, analyses, and changes a website so it is optimised for search engines

BCom Marketing Management Degrees

MANCOSA is a world-class learning hub for executive education and postgraduate management programmes which offer outstanding marketing qualifications, from the bachelor of commerce in marketing management, to the higher certificate in digital marketing. Find out if we have the right Marketing Management course for you!

Bachelor of Commerce:
BCom Marketing Management Degree: Focuses on the strategic planning and creating of a marketing strategy. It gives students the critical skills required to implement practical marketing principles in real-world situations.

Higher Certificates:

Study Marketing Management at MANCOSA

The world of marketing is ever-evolving, with digital transformation at the forefront of many organisations’ agendas. But it is those businesses led by Marketing Managers who see the bigger picture and can blend traditional and digital marketing strategies that are succeeding right now. MANCOSA offers marketing management qualifications, courses and degrees informed by the current pace of this change. Hundreds of students trust MANCOSA each year and turn to us as their institution of choice for their high-learning needs within marketing.

Would you like to develop the critical and strategic thinking skills required to transform the performance of a business? To master the art of blending marketing tools to reimagine the experience of a customer and boost profitability? Then BCom Marketing Management could be for you!

Author: Tsepo Machela, MANCOSA Academic