digital marketing vs online marketing

Digital marketing is a broad term. It represents a set of marketing processes encompassing all available digital channels that you can use to promote a product or service or that contribute to building a digital brand.

Digital marketing is the result of the transition from traditional marketing, paper and newspaper ads to Facebook and PPC campaigns.

Digital marketing channels consist of all channels with a digital basis: websites, social media platforms, banner, e-mail marketing, mobile marketing, SEO, PPC campaigns, Web TV, SMS, billboards, etc. It’s then no surprise that research by Deloitte concluded that digital marketing in the Netherlands has grown by a hefty 8.4 percent: Wow!

Online marketing or internet marketing is a sub-strand within digital marketing. That being said, it is the most important component as the majority of digital marketing activities fall within the bounds of online marketing.

The main channels for online marketing are:
Website – this includes personal and business related websites as well as blogs published on shared platforms.

For many campaigns, a website is both the starting point and the final destination. In other words, a digital campaign is set up to promote a website (starting point) with the aim of attracting more visitors to that same website (destination).

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Search Engine Marketing is the foundation of online marketing and consists of two main activities, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA).

SEO relates to techniques aimed at optimisation in order to achieve a higher ranking in the search engines organically. It has two main components: on-page (content, title and url structures, speed and reliability, internal links) and off-page (link building, social media) SEO.

SEA aims to attract visitors by placing ads within search engines. The most popular approach is Pay Per Click (PPC) and the most well-known tool is Google Adwords that allows you to advertise on the Google and affiliate partner networks.

where is the growth?

Research has shown that growth is mainly to be found in mobile, video, search and display. It can be broken down into the following:

  • Search: 544 million (+ 14.3%)
  • Display: 520 million (+ 6.8%)

The share of mobile advertising within display advertising has increased from three percent in 2012 to nine percent in 2013.
Within display advertising, video advertising and interruptive in particular show a slight growth, while text links and traditional banners are declining in popularity.
Programmatic trading, also known as automated trading or RTB, is experiencing a strong growth in terms of revenue. Spending has increased by a staggering 36 percent compared to 2012.

where does the money go?

According to Garter, the best way to understand where the money is going, and thus what the latest trend is in digital marketing, is to find out what the marketing budgets are.

Last year the majority of the digital marketing budgets were spent on internet marketing (online marketing) components.

Particularly remarkable was that:
• Marketing budgets represent 10% of a company’s total revenues and this share is expected to grow.
• Digital marketing accounts for at least a quarter of the total marketing expenditure
• 50% of digital marketing activities are outsourced

  • The most important digital marketing activities are: the website, social media and digital advertising
  • The largest digital marketing investments are being made in e-commerce, social media, content creation and mobile marketing.


It’s important to understand that online marketing or internet marketing is a component of digital marketing. And that they are rapidly coming closer together and integrating. When one channel is not properly or optimally geared to the other, your conversion will in turn be sub-optimal. Or even worse, the audience will turn against you. So it’s not surprising that companies are beginning to appreciate the importance of social media as a marketing tool and are also moving more distinctly towards content and mobile marketing.

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