What is Digital Marketing?

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

A simple guide to getting successful digital marketing right


Table of Contents

  • Digital Marketing Today

  • Search Engine Optimization

  • Search Engine Marketing

  • Web Optimization

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Paid Media Advertising

  • Database Marketing

  • Analytics Marketing


Digital Marketing Today

To truly understand Japan digital marketing services, you’ll have to understand how complex digital marketing can be both while understanding how complex Japan can be.


As a digital marketing agency in Tokyo specifically working with Japanese firms we've seen several cases where this is a giant disconnect. To find the answer, first let’s start with digital marketing.


If you want someone to do digital marketing for you and you ask them to do digital marketing, today it is the equivalent of walking into an ice cream shop with over 30 flavors and asking the desk attendee for “ice cream”.


“What kind of ice cream?” They may say.


And you respond looking quite out of tune reality when you say,


“Just ice cream- why what’s the difference?.”


There’s a giant difference between chocolate and vanilla ice cream similar to how there is an ocean of difference between email marketing and paid digital advertising - yet they’re both considered digital marketing as the previous is still ice cream.


As a matter of fact, below cover the key services that we offer at AdVertize when it comes to digital marketing and this is just the beginning of the many ways we can explore this topic.


  1. Search Engine Optimization

  2. Search Engine Marketing

  3. Web Optimization

  4. Social Media Marketing

  5. Paid Media Advertising

  6. Database Marketing

  7. Analytics Marketing


And the list goes on..(Web Marketing vs Online Marketing, etc).


So, how do we move forward?


And what is one to do when they know they need digital but they just don’t know what flavor to choose?


The easiest answer to this question is in our article on marketing planning for Japan where we discuss the various ways to layout different planning objectives.


But for now, let's start by describing the different types of digital marketing based on your customers journey, as opposed to using industry jargon.


Let’s assume our customer has realized that their shoes are worn out and they are in need of a new pair, what is the first thing that they might do?


Well, they go online and search.


Search (SEO)

Yes, search online- but how can you ensure that above all of these other amazing brands, yours is the one they find? This is what we in the industry call Search Engine Marketing.



As our digital marketing agency in Tokyo knows, It’s a full-time specialty of working with Google and understanding both the Google algorithm along with modern consumer search behavior to derive strategies and practices so that your site “ranks” based on popular search terms that our consumer might be searching for.


In Japan Digital Marketing Services, we cover how some digital marketing agencies are SEO agencies only, others provide SEO in their services, and some don’t do it at all - why?


Because SEO is a full time job that requires deep engineering and someone or a team of people who have years of experience knowing that it takes to rank #1 on Google search - and also to know what it takes to stay there.


But, what if you don’t have the time it takes to optimize an entire website to beat other competitive brands in your industry?


Well, if this is the case, you simply pay for it.


Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Yes, you’ve seen the many ads at the top of a search engine, these are paid ads based on searchable keywords. However, paying for an ad at the top of Google so that your consumer can see it is not as easy as you may think, actually it’s not easy at all.



To do this correctly you need years of experience in both keyword research, ad bidding management platforms, and also website optimization- again, another full time job, or even a full service SEM agency practice, or just a digital marketing agency in Tokyo like ours.

As explained in Japan Digital Marketing Services, When running these campaigns you’re given several options - would you like your consumer searching for shoes to see your ad, click on it, or track the actual conversion? Each one of these requires mastery in technique regarding copywriting while also understanding user intent so that you don’t waste your time or money on these ads.


Now, you may be saying, why would a platform ask me to do something (like pay for ads) without safely ensuring I don’t overspend or screw up?


Well, that’s actually the point. There are of course spending limits and other safeguards, but none of them actually ensure you get results without a SEM team or speciality behind your campaign to get the most out of it.


Okay, so let’s assume you’ve hired a SEO marketing agency in Tokyo, the right SEM partner, and everything is according to plan - your customer can find you in search and as a worse case scenario, at least see you in Google ads.


All is good now, right? No, not even.


You've found a way to get them into your store, now you have to do something about it.


Web Optimization

Let me ask you a question- is Starbucks a random set of tables set up around a coffee brewer? Or is Costco just a bunch of inventory without any signs or call to actions on where to check out?



No and neither should your website.


Whether you're selling acquiring leads, web optimization today is one of the most important service offerings and types of digital marketing surging in the market.


Japan Digital Marketing Services isn't just about connect with consumers but also giving them an experience. Web optimization is the process of tightly refining each page of your website and each stage customer journey around the users behavior in order to drive them to an action which leads to purchase.


The thing about web optimization is also that it’s even more detailed than that. Web Optimization is also an integral part of a 360 strategy.


For example, our digital marketing agency in Tokyo always explains to clients that understanding site load time for search engine ranking, add to cart drop offs for SEM, color palette optimization for social campaigns (discussed later) and so much more.


Today, your site is no longer “just a website” it is a living organism inviting your customer to partake in an experience that leads them to a business action and if you’re not making the correct changes “daily” then you’re losing out on the digital marketing experience and any potential for scalability.


But, what if you have the ultimate site experience, are ranking properly, and getting the right people to you’re site- it’s just not enough of them.


Where on earth do you go to tell millions of people about who you are why they should participate in what you’re doing?


Social Media

As discussed in Japan digital marketing services, many of our articles, social media is no longer an organic platform for spreading word of mouth. Yes it still has that potential, but let’s be honest, unless your brand is the second coming those things are hard to come by these days.



Growth on social media is partly a paid process that requires an organic backbone in order to drive essential reach, acquire business objectives and then achieve said desired goal.


Our digital marketing agency in Tokyo specializes in Social media these days is actually very complicated as a result because it is essentially digital paid advertising and it’s not at the same time.


In reality it’s much like taking sides of a political argument in which both parties represent the same country (business objective) but have opposing views on how it can be accomplished.


For example, influencer marketing is a form of social media - is it paid advertising? No, but at the same time, influencers are paid for promoting the product and often revenue share and other strategies are put in place- so that is paid advertising, yes?


Without going into too much detail, these days your digital marketing requires a strong paid social media strategy in order to drive customers through your funnel and then into your store.


Without utilizing this channel and the many sub channels within it, you won’t be able to acquire the same customer results.


So, how do you use social media to get the big money results you’ve heard marketing experts speaking about?


Well, you pay for it.


Paid Media

If you want customers to go to your site, you’re going to have to pay for it. But the value of paying for customers these days is that everything is measurable and you pay for actions.



Smart marketers can now use a variety of tools and learn how to spend no more than 100 yen a day and then optimize the results to increase their spend across 1,2 or even dozens of different media platforms, websites, and more to get more people to your site and to drive sales.


However, the vastness and complexity of paid media should never be underestimated, which is why you'll need Japan digital marketing services.


The largest brands in the world put 75% - 100% of their budget behind this process because of its ability to reach, attract and acquire customers.


But while Paid Media in itself is digital marketing, many agencies only specialize in just this by itself or in the process of understanding it.


For example, Marketing Effectiveness is an entire digital marketing service provided by the “Top” agencies in the world to just “understand digital marketing effectiveness”


Why? Because think about the time, energy, mathematics, and creative resources that go into building a plan that gets a 3:1 return on investment for every ad created.


Is this normal?


Not at all- if it was every single person on earth would be flooding online to sell anything they can for a 3:1 ad spend and living gloriously.


But they’re not, because they can’t - and believe us, we’ve seen them try.


Our digital marketing agency in Tokyo has a motto that, Paid Media is the most important element of your entire digital marketing plan and if you want to succeed learn how to build a good paid strategy.


So, going back to our shoe example - let’s assume your site is performing, you’re ranking now, connecting personally with customers on Twitter, and running enough paid advertising to drive thousands to your site every day.


However, there is something missing, in the fact that you’re getting so many customers responding to so many different brand messages that you’re not sure how to appeal to everyone - and now it’s impact bottom line sales.


What can you do to get everything in order?


Database Marketing

Similar to CRM, Database marketing is the method of understanding the actions of each consumer and then filtering them into a series of buckets so that can be used to drive your customer closer to purchase.



Going back to our shoe example, assuming we’ve brought him/her to our site and they only seem interested in one particular product - why would we market to them the other 99?


A good marketer wouldn’t.


With database marketing, you take everything from Japan digital marketing services applies it to a strategic approach to all functions above and put in place protocols (or pixels) that allow you to track, measure, and even remark your customers individually based on their preference.


Database marketing requires digital marketing agencies to apply strategy but also technical skills. You’d be surprised at how flawed your perfect digital marketing strategy is until you get a data team to audit, breakdown, and rebuild your entire customer experience for the purpose of gaining audience feedback and then using good segmenting tools use really good data-based planning.


Does this work?


Well, as a seasoned marketer writing this piece, even I was remarked enough to the point where just a month ago I purchased a new couch I had been browsing around looking for.


So, your entire digital marketing plan is complete and firing at all cylinders. By now you’ve either realized how difficult it is to go digital and hired 3-10 different agencies or specialists to lead you to success.


However, you may be none of the above- as a matter of fact you may not believe any of this and assume that we as a digital agency are just trying to sell you on another service.


So, you’ve decided to go on your own, read every book and blog on digital marketing and spend the next decade A/B testing, or what is actually trying, failing, losing money, and trying again, digital marketing approaches.


Well, regardless of which one of these you may be, you’ll still need this final piece of digital marketing to get even the smallest approaches correct.


Measurement and Analytics.


Analytics Marketing

Now you may be wondering why your digital marketing agency in Tokyo always places this item at the very bottom of every proposal.



But what you should be doing is thanking them for only including it as an add-on as opposed to having to hire an entire analytics agency to solve your sales problem.


Because of database marketing approaches, retargeting and more, analytics is the answer to whether you win or lose in digital marketing.


Going back to the shoe example, let’s assume your customer has gone through this entire process- what worked, what didn’t? Where do you attribute success? What do you eliminate from future marketing efforts? Was it the channel that failed or just the colors you used on the channel that did not appeal to the consumer?


None of these questions can be answered without a good measurement approach, which is why you'll need Japan digital marketing services that defines what works and what does not.


Measurement approach? Aren’t all metrics the same? Yes and no.


Today metrics are like art, a collage of data that has to be put together to tell a bigger picture and if not done properly then you won’t succeed.


For example, let’s say you realize your customer visits a certain product page every day over the others and has added the product item to cart but not purchased.


A sensible business will ask, “why is this happening?”


But the with our marketing agency answers are unlimited - is it because of seasonal timing, personal financial limits, bad customer experience, competing offers...


Or is it because of a small glitch in your site that takes 5 seconds to fix but is costing you 50% of month of month sales growth because up until now you’ve failed to address it using analytics.


The list goes on and these are all examples of things our team has come across in the past, which is why we emphasize have a good analytics service, agency, or even strategy built into your overall digital marketing plan.

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