Digital marketing and social media: why bother?

Reference: Tiago, M.T.P.M.B., Veríssimo, J.M.C. (2014). Digital marketing and social media: why bother? Journal of Business horizons, 57,703-708


Nowadays, we notice a difference in how consumer behavior was in the past, and what it consists of now, where people are more demanding and specific on their product or service needs. That is why marketers should follow the consumer behavior and keep up with the changes that are happening. It is not a question of the people connecting to the internet or not, it is more today a question of where are they connecting to? What are they looking for? And what interests them? However in this article the firm’s describe “their efforts in the digital marketing strategies”. It is up to the companies now to follow what interests their customer and try to adapt marketing strategies online to be able to answer to their needs.

A study was made on Portuguese companies, since internet adoption in Portugal has increased and people are now more connected to the virtual world via smartphones and mobile phones. The question asked in this article is to know “what are the main reasons for which companies are present in a digital form these days?” Many reasons behind that and the most important ones to mention are external competition, internal efficiency for the firm itself, and a facilitator for top-down directives. Not only it is important to be present online and virtually, but also it provides the company with additional benefits such as “customer support, easier market research, brand building, relationship building, and buzz marketing”. However, how do marketers measure their digital marketing effectiveness and evaluate what to do and what not to do? A cluster analysis was done in order to better answer the question out of which a digital engagement matrix was created to see the relationship between perceived benefits and digital marketing usage. Four profiles were suggested. “Engagement, Qualification, Discovery, and Dead-road.”

  •  “Engagement” is a mixture high investments in digital media usage as well as high perceived benefits and is referred to as interactive.
  •  “Qualification” also involves high investments in digital media, but has low expectations regarding its benefits and is referred to as “digital”. Moreover, –
  • “discovery” has weak digital marketing usage and low benefit perception. And finally,
  • “dead-road” reflects the “inefficiency of an unbalanced approach, high perceived benefits but low commitment to digital marketing”.

It is up to marketers to decide in which quadrant they want to be present in depending on how much they would like to invest and how much they perceive their benefits will be on the long term, keeping in mind the importance of the efforts which should “lead to increased engagement, stronger relationships with customers, and subsequent customer engagement”.