THE BLOG
07/07/2014 02:53 pm ET | Updated Sep 01, 2014

Riding the Waves of Digital Marketing: The Future Is NOW

While it is generally accepted that the future of business lies with E-Commerce and being able to integrate your physical business into an online reality, businesses will also need to shift their marketing endeavours to the online world. Some of the smarter retailers are already ensuring that digital marketing is an important part of their marketing mix. It is important to understand that digital marketing represents the fastest growing new channels of targeted communication, interaction, engagement and delivery for an organization's branding, communications and products and services.

According to Radha R, Executive Vice President at Mindtree, millennials buy differently than their predecessors, and they're also very good at tuning out the "noise" of traditional promotions. But they value word of mouth from close friends highly, which makes a strong, genuine social media presence critical for retailers. "Likes" and "retweets" and "shares" and "pins" are the new branding currency for retailers that will bring new younger customers into the fold. The question is, once a new customer is brought in, how do you ensure a continued and lifelong engagement? The key there is to create and maintain a relationship that is genuinely personal and individualized, and one of the best ways to ensure that is to use data to tell you what a customer's preferences are, and what kinds of offers are likely to attract them.

The point that Radha raised here is very important, young people or individuals born during the technological revolution or information age are becoming more and more sophisticated daily. These individuals do not respond to traditional marketing, they grew up in an era when advertising was everywhere and have become experts at blocking information they consider unnecessary. These people will not listen to you with your traditional advertising, so how do you get them to listen. Just get involve in conversation they are already having, and the way this is done is through digital marketing. Anyone who wants to be in business tomorrow and ignore the Generation Y, will be in big trouble.

No successful business in today's rapid changing economy can compete successfully without having a well thought out digital marketing strategy. Some of the components of a proper digital marketing strategy include a website; companies need to constantly find ways to keep driving traffic to their website. A blog, a company's blog is very crucial; it is a medium where a company can share interesting information with their customers without directly selling to them. Social Media, email marketing, text marketing and Search engine optimization (SEO) are all very important if a company is to really take their digital marketing to the next level.

One entrepreneur once asked me, "do I really need another form of marketing", and my answer to him was "most definitely", consumers, especially the millennials has already shut off traditional forms of marketing. New ways need to be developed, one of the most underrated and underused digital marketing trend is that of Content marketing. I truly believe that Content marketing can really propel your business forward. Creating useful, insightful and interesting bits of information for your customers without selling directly to them is important. This makes your customers more intelligent and when they feel that way they reward you with their loyalty overtime. While content marketing has been around a very long time, its value is becoming appreciated more and more daily. This is just one of the many aspects of where marketing is going and why traditional marketing is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Digital marketing, as with e-commerce and everything online is the present and the future, and failure to adapt could have serious repercussions for companies. Every company should have a digital marketing strategy. Even small businesses are not excused, while companies with huge marketing budget can get a bit sophisticated with their digital marketing. It doesn't cost much for a small business with limited resources to have a content strategy that involves blogging, social media and other mediums that are very cost effective and has been providing an equal advantage for everyone. There are many resources available online for entrepreneurs, no one should be left behind in this revolution that is taking place, your success may depend on this.