How digital marketing works?

It’s easy to define digital marketing but not easy to understand how digital marketing works?

As we all know that Digital marketing is about using digital channels and digital platforms for business promotion and marketing.

If you are new to digital marketing field, here is Digital marketing tutorial

As a digital marketing professional, it’s important to know how digital marketing works.

Well, let me put things right for you,

Digital marketing doesn’t work. You need to make digital marketing work for you

Digital marketing is not a product or a service which will work for you, it’s marketing concept and as a digital marketer it’s your responsibility to make it work for you.

Here are few important points to remember

  • Digital marketing works differently for different types of businesses
  • Results of digital marketing depends on how digital marketing strategy is made and how execution is done
  • If digital marketing is not working for you, then either digital marketing is not for you or you are not doing digital marketing right

Still, let’s understand how does digital marketing work?

In simple terms, digital marketing works by integrating digital channels and digital marketing techniques like SEO, Social Media Marketing, PPC, Email marketing and many other digital marketing techniques to attract target audience and then convert them to customers.

Digital marketing works by attracting potential customers towards your website or a blog and then encouraging them to buy your products.

You can use SEO or PPC campaigns to attract target audience on  your website and capture leads or encourage them to buy from your website.

Social media can be used to engage with the target audience to build brand or create business awareness.

This is how you can use digital marketing to communicate with your digital audience and you can make digital marketing work for your business.

Let’s understand this process in detail

To understand how digital marketing works, you will have to first understand a digital marketing building blocks, digital marketing funnel and also digital marketing techniques.

In this article I will cover all important aspects of digital marketing which will help you understand working of digital marketing.

Every business requires new customers to grow their business and profit. Businesses use various marketing techniques, promotions, branding and advertising to acquire new customers, increase brand visibility and increase sales.

Here digital marketing can play vital role in growing business.

Digital marketing can be used with multiple business objectives. Every digital marketing technique or channels can be used for a specific objectives of either brand building or increasing sales.

Let’s start understanding how digital marketing works, by understanding digital marketing funnel first.



Digital marketing funnel is used to define customer journey and stages. Digital marketing funnel is virtual representation of customer journey.

Here is how digital marketing will work for you when it is properly implemented is explained in example and stages.

  • Your potential customers becomes aware of your brand or products you are selling
  • They visit your website or social media pages to know more about your products
  • They interact with your website to know more or makes an inquiry
  • Now they can take a decision to buy your product or services
  • When they buy from you, they become your customer

This is how digital marketing funnel can help you understand how you can start implementing digital marketing.

Depending on type of business, funnel stages can be more or less. In typical scenario, there are mainly 3 funnel stages – TOFU, MOFU and BOFU

Top of the Funnel – Top of the funnel defines awareness stage. It’s about how visible you are on digital platform. If you have better visibility on digital platform, your chances of attracting target audience increases.

Middle of the Funnel – Middle of the funnel is stage where your target audience is already in your funnel and they considering about buying from you. Depending on the engagement level, need, desire and competition, your potential customer may move down towards the funnel or exit the funnel.

Bottom of the Funnel – Bottom of the funnel is final stage of digital marketing funnel. If your potential customers have decided to purchase from you and if you have given them good offer or encourage them to take a decision in your favour, chances of conversion increases and sale can happen.


In digital marketing, a digital channel is a medium which is used to communicate or interact with target audience.

Examples of digital channels include:

  • Organic Search – SEO
  • Paid Search (Google search Ads)
  • Digital Advertising Channels (e.g. Display Ads)
  • Email marketing
  • Social Media (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • YouTube (Video marketing)
  • SMS and WhatsApp

It’s a common misconception that digital marketing is a single channel. Digital marketing strategy can use multiple channels together in single digital marketing campaign.

Digital marketing can also be used with offline marketing methods like events and exhibitions.

An example of an online/offline marketing integration would be promoting a trade show (offline event) using Facebook Advertising campaign (online) to promote the offline event. And during the event, collecting personal details of leads such as emails and phone numbers to follow up using email marketing and mobile marketing (online).


Do not confuse strategies and techniques with channels. Digital channel is a medium which is used to communicate or engage with audience while digital marketing strategy or techniques are ways to use digital marketing channels.

For example, content marketing may use SEO and Facebook marketing to promote content and bring targeted traffic on a blog to generate leads.

Digital marketing techniques and strategies may include:

  • Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Email Marketing
  • Digital Advertising
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Blogging
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Remarketing or Retargeting
  • Digital PR


Digital marketing plan or a strategy is document which defines digital marketing objectives, what channels will be used, what techniques will be used and how results will be measured.

Depending on your business type, business size, business objective and target audience, your digital marketing strategy may include or may not include some digital marketing techniques.

A typical digital marketing strategy involves:

  • Defining customer profiles
  • Defining marketing objectives
  • Alignment of business and marketing goals
  • Identifying target markets
  • Competition analysis and information
  • Digital marketing channels to be used
  • Budget and how to measure results
  • Role of team and team members
  • Reviewing and optimising campaign performance

For example, if you are selling consumer products online, you may not include LinkedIn or other B2B digital marketing channels.

A digital marketing strategy can help you focus on your objectives, track your goals and optimise your digital marketing results.

Digital marketing strategy is created by Digital marketing strategist who are having multiple years of experience in the digital marketing field. 

In your digital marketing strategy you must define your digital marketing objectives


Define your digital marketing objective before you start doing digital marketing.

Here is example of Digital marketing objective:

“Generate 20 or more leads every month from our website” – This is how you can define your digital marketing objective, if you are doing digital marketing for brand building then your digital marketing objective may be different.

Now you will have to work on your objective of getting 20+ leads and you will start making a plan for generating leads.

Your digital marketing objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Related) and you should measure them to further improve your results.

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