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Digital marketing tactics offer businesses the best of both worlds in the marketing sense. Because they are highly trackable, they offer invaluable and fairly accurate insights into response rates and user behavior. Furthermore, the superior targeting abilities they provide typically result in less waste, making campaigns cost efficient. Though digital marketing has been on the large- and small-business radar for some time, it’s now become extremely popular among both groups. In fact, the CMO Council reports that nearly 30 percent of marketers shifted their dollar away from traditional advertising to invest more in digital marketing efforts in 2015.

In spite of its ever-increasing popularity, the term “digital marketing” is often misunderstood by many businesses.

The term actually encompasses many different types of marketing channels, all of which vary significantly in capability and intent — including mobile and Internet marketing, Digital marketing as a broad term includes Internet marketing, and specific tactics we’re all familiar with like search engine marketing, social media, online banner advertising and email marketing. However, it also includes digital communications that don’t take place over the Internet, like digital signage — and some forms of television and radio advertising.

Distinguishing between Internet and mobile marketing is important to ensuring the tool you select is designed to deliver the best potential outcome for your specific marketing objective.

For example, a complex marketing message that involves significant consumer education will likely fare better in a medium that’s conducive to longer copy versus mediums based on brevity, such as a billboard. Similarly, mobile and Internet marketing tactics aren’t designed to deliver the same kind of consumer engagement or audience response.

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Need help choosing one channel over the other? Here’s a look at some of the ways Internet marketing and mobile marketing differ”

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing, a subset of digital marketing, includes many tactics like: websites (including e-commerce sites, and personal and professional blogs), search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO), which involves optimizing a website for the best possible rank in search engine results based on various relevant keywords and site architecture.

Social media marketing, including images, videos, sweepstakes and updates you may share with social media followers, paid social media campaigns aimed at getting more followers, and boosting exposure for your posts are also part of Internet marketing.

Content marketing like “guest posts” you may publish on other websites, blog posts, “how to’s” or infographics on your own site, or a third-party site is another form of Internet marketing. Native content advertising campaigns, which are essentially paid placements in online publications that appear as a reported story, are increasingly common forms of content marketing as well. Email marketing is also part of the larger umbrella of Internet advertising, as is banner advertising and “pay per click” campaigns.

The Advantages of Internet Marketing 

Internet marketing is important to businesses for a simple reason: The Internet has become the primary tool consumers use to find information, connect with others, compare prices and to make purchases. In addition to a captive audience, online user behavior is about two-way information exchange, and sharing. The potential reach of Internet marketing isn’t limited to the audience you target. If your content is shared by social media users, or even quoted, such as often the case with content marketing, your potential audience reach can increase exponentially.

Internet marketing also provides invaluable consumer insight in real time, which allows businesses to test almost anything: price, message, image, and medium, with relatively low risk, and investment.

Mobile Marketing:

Just as the name suggests, mobile marketing is any type of effort aimed at connecting with consumers via mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and wearables like smartwatches. Mobile marketing may also include a website that is responsive or specifically designed for the mobile user. Other popular options include native mobile apps and/or advertising within mobile apps and on third-party mobile websites and push notifications.

Additionally, mobile marketing also offers businesses the ability to target campaigns to the most appropriate audience segment, based on past purchase behavior and predictive analytics. Some mobile channels like SMS , which are delivered directly to a consumer’s text message inbox, are extremely cost efficient as they require no overhead costs for design or imagery.

The Advantages of Mobile Marketing 

Because some mobile marketing tactics, such as mobile display and SMS, don’t require extensive creative to get started, they allow a lot flexibility for testing. Businesses can also experiment with various offers and promotions with little risk, including deploying limited time campaigns to boost sales during slower periods of the day, or at the end of the month when inventory for a specific item needs to be quickly reduced.

Mobile marketing tactics also provide geolocation insights. With this data, businesses can structure mobile campaigns to connect with customers at the exact right moment in time, including when they’re physically near a business, and when they’re searching for a business or product on a mobile device.

Why Distinguish Internet Marketing from Mobile Marketing?

Essentially, knowing the difference between the two helps you generate better results for your campaigns. Each digital marketing platform is best suited for different marketing needs. None of the tactics are designed to deliver the same result. Based on your business objective, for example, you may find that online display campaigns generate a lackluster response, but a mobile banner campaign placed on a popular mobile app may garner audience attention. Similarly, you may find that direct response campaigns may be more suited to Internet marketing tactics like customized landing pages that involve rich imagery and compelling copy, but won’t communicate well in a mobile marketing tactic, which may be suited for brand awareness.

There are a number of different marketing channels available today, which makes it worth your time and effort to test your way to success. Experiment, track and measure which tactics deliver the best response based on your specific goals. And by understanding the differences between these channels and what the offer, you can make an informed decision about the best places to invest your marketing budget.

Kristen Gramigna, Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm, has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in marketing, direct sales, and sales management.