Digital Marketing VS Internet Marketing – What is the latest trend?

What is the difference between digital marketing and internet marketing, what is the latest trend in the industry and how do big companies allocate their digital marketing budgets?

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a broad term that describes a set of marketing processes that encapsulates all available digital channels to promote a product or service or build a digital brand.

Digital marketing has come to succeed traditional marketing and the transition from paper and newspaper ads to Facebook and PPC campaigns.

The channels that make up digital marketing include: Web sites, Social media platforms, Banner placement, email marketing, mobile marketing, SEO, pay per click campaigns, Web TV, SMS, billboards and anything else with a digital foundation.

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing components

Internet marketing is a subset of digital marketing. It is in fact the most important component since the majority of digital marketing activities fall within the boundaries of Internet marketing.

We will see below how digital marketing budgets are spent and their relationship with Internet marketing.

The major channels of Internet Marketing are:

Web site – Either a personal website or a corporate website or even a personal blog hosted on a shared platform (like WordPress or Tumblr).

For many campaigns a website is the starting point and the destination i.e. you run a digital marketing campaign to promote a website (starting point) with the purpose of getting more visitors (destination).

Search Marketing (SEM) – Search Marketing is the basis of Internet Marketing and consists of two important activities, SEO and PSA. There is a lot of confusion about these terms that’s why I wrote separate posts explaining the difference:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) VS Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEO VS Pay Per Click (PPC)?

In a nutshell:

SEO has to do with optimization techniques for the purpose of achieving higher rankings in Search engines. It has two major components: On Page SEO and Off Page SEO.

Paid Search Advertising (PSA) is about getting visitors by placing ads on search engines. The most popular approach is the Pay Per Click (PPC) and the most well-known tool is Google Adwords which lets you advertise on the Google and partner network.

So, search marketing has to do with promotion methods related to Search Engines.

Social Media MarketingSocial media marketing is another component of Internet marketing and one that is gaining a lot of attention the last couple of years.

Millions of users spend a considerable amount of their on-line time on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and on other SM platforms. This fact alerted digital marketers to take SM seriously and make it a part of the digital marketing campaigns.

Content Marketing – In the past when we talked about SEO we essentially meant link building but this trend has changed since 2011 and content marketing has become the new SEO.

This simply means that good content has become again the foundation of SEO and it is through content that you will build a better Internet presence and not through cheap link building techniques.

Email Marketing – Email is not dead but on the contrary it is one of the most important tools in every digital marketing campaign. Despite the influence of social media, email is still the most efficient way to convert visitors or readers into customers.

In terms of marketing, email marketing is the process of gathering email addresses from people interested in your products or services for the purpose of sending them newsletters or offers.

Mobile Marketing – More and more users use their mobile phones to search the web, engage on social media, or find products or services to buy.

In fact it is estimated that 30% of the traffic coming to a website is from mobile (this holds true for my websites as well, check your Google analytics reports and you will be surprised).

Mobile marketing is about creating content or ads that is viewable and suitable for a mobile device. For example: websites should have mobile friendly versions and an advertisement shown on a mobile device may take into account the location of the device and show the nearest shops that sell the particular product.

Banner Advertising – You can find banners in almost all web properties i.e. websites, mobile websites, mobile apps, search engines, newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.

Digital marketers try to promote their products or services through different types of banners (static, text, animated, images, videos, clever banners) in different platforms.

What’s the latest trend? Where does the money go?

Perhaps the best way to understand what is the latest trend in the digital marketing industry is to find out how big companies allocate their marketing budgets.

This is exactly what Gartner did in a latest report with title Digital Marketing Spending Report, 2016-17.

The findings of this report are very interesting and they show without a doubt that the majority of digital marketing budgets is spend on Internet marketing components.

In particular the most important findings are:

  • Marketing budgets represent 12% of total company revenues and this is expected to grow even further
  • Digital marketing represents 14% of overall marketing spend
  • 50% of digital marketing activities are outsourced (if you are thinking to outsource, make sure that you do it correctly without spending a fortune)
  • The most important digital marketing activities are: Web presence (website), digital commerce and digital advertising
  • Top digital marketing investments will be made on ecommerce, social media marketing, content creation and mobile marketing.


It is important to understand that Internet Marketing is a subset of digital marketing and not something different. When we talk about digital marketing in essence we mean Internet marketing plus SMS, WebTV and digital advertising.

It is clear that companies are starting to appreciate the importance of social media as a marketing tool and there is also a clear turn to content and mobile marketing.

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