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Mis à jour le 04/05/2023

Discover the Basics of Digital Marketing

In the previous chapter, we defined marketing and explored how it is used in different organizations. Now let's look at digital marketing. After all, that's why you're taking this course, right? 😉

Based on what you've just learned, how would you define digital marketing?

To put it simply, if your marketing activity is on a screen, then it can be called digital. In other words, digital marketing consists of all marketing seen on:

  • Computers

  • Tablets

  • Smartphones

  • Connected devices (e.g., IoT (Internet of Things)

  • TV

Understand the Terminology

Do digital marketing, internet marketing, and online marketing all mean the same thing? 

The answer is almost, but not entirely.

In theory, there's a subtle distinction. While digital marketing refers to all marketing activity using one or more digital channels (i.e., via a screen), internet marketing and online marketing are limited to marketing that relies on the internet. However, not all screens connect to the web, which is the nuance.

But in practice, many marketers use all three terms interchangeably.

While I would typically suggest you use the precise terminology, it's often easier to adapt your language to those you are working with.

Explore Digital Marketing Channels

Digital marketing is a subset of the marketing profession and covers various techniques - often called channels.

Here are some of the best known:

  • Online advertising

  • Community management and e-reputation

  • Traffic management and web analytics

  • Content marketing and copywriting

  • Social media management 

  • Branding

  • Organic and paid search

  • Email marketing

  • Affiliate marketing

  • Mobile marketing

  • Influencer marketing

  • etc.

By the time you finish this course, you'll know the primary ones. As you get more training and experience in digital marketing, you'll learn more about these channels. You may even choose to specialize in one of them. But one thing at a time.

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar business, an online store - or both; whether you have a budget or not, there is a digital solution to grow your business. The list is long, and each of these channels or specializations could be the subject of a separate course. You don't need to master them all right now but know that they exist.

The toolbox is so full that you have to know which tools to select (or ingredients if you'd rather think in terms of a recipe). 😉

Master the Jargon (and Acronyms) of the Trade

Each profession has its own vocabulary, and that's the first thing to master when you're new. It can sometimes feel like it only exists to put off newcomers. Don't be discouraged!

If you decide to work in digital marketing, you'll be showered in jargon. There are acronyms galore, and they're always in English, so they shouldn't be intimidating.

What follows is your jargon survival kit. It will help you understand and participate in a marketing meeting and learn and grow with confidence.  

Keep in mind that these acronyms represent essential concepts. The good news is that you don't need to memorize them just yet. Take them in, so they are no longer a mystery.

Throughout the course, I'll come back to these terms in context. That way, they'll start to make sense and will be much easier to remember. 😌


Full name 




The relationship between one business and another.



The relationship between a business and the consumer.


Search engine marketing (Search engine optimization + search engine advertising)

Marketing on search engines (search engine optimization refers to natural search results + paid advertising on search engines). 


Social media marketing

Marketing on social networks.


Cost per thousand

The cost per thousand impressions/display of an advertisement (the M stands for mille, the Latin word for 1000).



The cost for each click from an advertisement to the advertiser's site.


Cost per acquisition

The cost of acquiring a prospect.


Conversion rate

Conversion rate =

(The number of purchases ÷ the number of impressions) × 100, to express it as a percentage.


Customer relationship management

The ongoing communication between the customer and the company (things like email marketing and other personalized communications).


(Customer) Lifetime value

How much revenue the company will earn from each customer for the length of the relationship. 


Key performance indicators

The most important metrics you'll use to measure performance.


Return on investment

The ratio of net profit to the investment cost.

Follow Digital Trends and Opportunities

How do you explain the rise of digital and online marketing?

As of July 2020, there are 7.8 billion people on the planet and over 4.6 billion connected to the internet. This number is increasing at a frenetic pace. The Internet Live Stats site monitors the number of people connected to the internet in real-time. Check it out here. 🌐

This statistic means that you can potentially communicate (and trade) with almost 60% of the world's population, as long as you have an internet connection. Think about it: 9 out of 10 French, German, British, and Americans are just a click away.

For a marketer, the internet is a gigantic pool that continues to grow and develop.

Of the 4.6 billion internet users, 82% use a social network (3.8 billion people). Facebook alone has 2.6 billion users; that's a huge number of possible friends or potential customers, depending on how you view it. 😏

Eighty percent of social networking is done on a smartphone, which is why it's becoming the marketer's favorite screen.

While spending on some offline media is down (-0.7% for television and -4.1% for the press in 2019), advertising money spent online is experiencing double-digit growth year after year (+17% in 2018, +12% in 2019).

To put it simply, advertisers tend to invest more and more in formats such as banners or sponsored links; and less on TV spots or print advertising. And all this is to the delight of our friends over at Google and Facebook.

Digital and online marketing are evolving so quickly that this course could be a real nightmare to keep up to date! 🤔

In this chapter, you learned that digital technology has profoundly changed customer relations and, as a result, the job of a marketer.

Let's Recap!

Digital marketing is no longer a secret. You now know how to:

  • List the subtle differences between the concepts of digital marketing (screens), and internet marketing or online marketing (which both relate to marketing on the internet).

  • Identify the different specializations and channels that create digital marketing. These include influencer marketing, social media management, copywriting, community management, organic or paid search engine optimization, online advertising, affiliate marketing, email marketing, or even traffic management.

  • Use stats about internet access to quantify digital marketing opportunities. 

Now that you understand what digital marketing is, you can determine how useful it is for your organization.

As you'll see in the next chapter, almost every company has a good reason to get started. 😉

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