What Is Digital Marketing and How It Has Shaped Businesses in light of Covid-19

Posted on: 02nd July, 2020

We have seen digital marketers drive more businesses through popular social media and search engines. So, what exactly is Digital Marketing, and why is it even more important for businesses today?

In this Lecturer Series, we have invited Sean Yong, Associate Lecturer (Digital Marketing) at PSB Academy and seasoned digital marketer, to share with us how digital marketing is shaping the “new normal” in business organisations.

What is Digital Marketing?

The core of every business is about engaging its target audience. Digital Marketing is essentially marketing that leverages digital channels to reach out to a target audience at different touch points. With Covid-19 compelling us to stay at home and watch the world through their screens, digital marketing has suddenly become the main bridge that connects businesses to their target consumers.

Marketing, in general, has always been about building connections with your target audience – in the right place, at the right time, and with the right message. It’s not simply about showing an advertisement to your target audienceIt’s fundamentally about driving a desire in them to buy your product and persuading them to make that purchase by digitally engaging with them over a period of time,” Sean explained.

Why Is Digital Marketing Necessary in Today’s Day and Age?

As technology integrates into our daily lives, businesses can no longer use the traditional marketing approach. The increase in mobile usage has also spurred further change in consumer behaviour, making it necessary to have a mixed strategy of traditional and digital marketing to attract target audiences.

Mobile-first digital marketing strategy is one of the latest trends as we see more Singaporeans prefer using mobile device for their online activities. With 8.56 million mobile connections, which is about 1.5 times the total Singapore population of 5.83 million, Singapore emerged as the world’s second-best country for mobile connectivity1.

Sean recognises the need to move towards digital marketing. “Marketers can no longer rely on the traditional marketing approach. Instead, they must look at the consumer purchasing journey and provide an omni-channel experience that involves analysing consumer behaviour from a broader perspective and studying what influences buying habits.” he said.

How has Digital Marketing Evolved in light of Covid-19?

Covid-19 has changed and made tremendous impact on consumer behaviour. With people encouraged to stay at home, significant behavioural shifts were noted in Asia, specifically an increase in online activities.

According to a research conducted by Nielsen, 37% of Singaporeans have increased their online shopping activities due to convenience and accessibility.This shift has prompted businesses to accelerate transformation, with more than 3,500 businesses3 embarking on their digital transformation. In a recent survey done by NTUC Learning Hub on the top skills employers are looking for, Digital Marketing emerged on top4.

Sean chimed in with his views on the evolution of digital marketing in the time of Covid-19. “Before the pandemic, consumers would often research online before buying in physical stores. Others may browse in the stores while searching for other options online. With Covid-19 compelling us to stay home, consumers are relying more on the Internet to search for product information. This shift in consumer behaviour has forced many companies to adopt digital marketing.”

Will Digital Marketing Stay in the Long Run?

Digital marketing will stay on as long as digital platforms continue to exist and evolve. Digital marketing we know today, may evolve to something very different a few years down the road, and this is dependent on consumer behaviour and the way they interact with the various digital devices and channels,” said Sean.

There is a demand for qualified digital marketers to help companies navigate the New Normal. With plans to create over 5,000 jobs in the digital field including digital marketing, the Singapore government is doubling efforts to help employees reskill and upskill in order to stay relevant5.

There is no better time than now to pick up digital marketing skills. From professional certificate to diploma and degree, PSB Academy offers digital marketing courses catered to different levels of learning needs.

About Sean Yong

Sean Yong is a seasoned digital marketer and lecturer with 12 years of agency and client-side experience. His experience cuts across education, financial, government, consumer, industrial, and hospitality sector. Holding a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Business Studies with Loughborough University, Sean is our PSB Academy alumnus.

Passionate about all things related to digital marketing including analytics, performance marketing, data-driven marketing, and digital experiential marketing, Sean often finds himself picking up new skills, keeping himself up to date by attending specialised courses or doing self-learning online. He also enjoys sharing his digital marketing knowledge and experiences via occasional talks, to coworkers, and giving digital marketing lectures.

1 https://wearesocial.com/sg/blog/2020/02/digital-2020-singapore
2 https://www.nielsen.com/sg/en/press-releases/2020/covid-19-new-norm-consumers-behaviour-press-release/
3 https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/m
4 https://campaign.ntuclearninghub.com/skills-report
5 https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/over-5000-jobs-in-the-pipeline-for-digital-sector-iswaran