What Is Digital Marketing?

“So, what is digital marketing?” I get this question a lot when people learn what I do.

I used to be surprised by this question. Did people really not know?

So I focused on the digital part. I’d answer, “Email, blog posts, websites, social media, SEO.”

And they’d nod like that made sense.

But what I’ve come to understand is that there’s a different question most people need answered first: what is marketing?

Email, blog posts, websites, social media, SEO. These things are NOT marketing.

So, what is marketing?

If all of that isn’t marketing, what is?

Quite simply, marketing is Developing a Reliable System to Bring in and Convert Leads

How do you do that? 

There’s no silver bullet or magic formula (although you’ll find tons of gurus who will promise to sell you one.)

The truth, however, is that you need to follow this process:


You research. You plan. You implement. You measure how it went.

Then you start it all over again, working to improve on what you just did.

It’s not something you create once and sit back and relax. It is an ongoing process.

Why? Because even if things are humming along just fine…

…something always changes eventually.

Case in point? Covid. That was a huge change that left businesses scrambling. But it doesn’t have to be some world-altering event that (hopefully) only comes along once a century.

The change can be the economy. It can be Facebook tweaking their algorithms. Competitors entering the field. The culture shifting. 

It can have many different causes.

And if you’re not paying attention, you may not notice the change — or understand what is causing it — until it’s too late.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t see marketing as a process — and instead see it as a “to do” list — you are unlikely  to see consistent results.

Because you’re constantly in that implement stage and never taking the time to:

  • See if a tactic makes sense for your target market in the first place
  • Determine why something is or isn’t working
  • Plan to move people down your funnel

There are always new things to try, new rules to follow, and new gurus with the “answers”. 

But the truth is — like most good things in life — marketing requires persistence. There’s no quick way to build a reliable system to bring in and convert leads. However, if you stick to that plan above of “Plan, Implement,  Measure, Repeat”, you will find that marketing works.

Over time, you’ll not only get more leads — you’ll convert more of the leads you get because you’ll be reaching the right people. And, perhaps best of all, you’ll get more bang for your marketing buck.