If statistics are to be believed, and we have little reason not to, eighty nine percent of the Kenyan population use the internet. That statistic is even more impressive considering that this group was less that ten percent as recently as 2010. It is clear that internet usage is rising very fast, even to the point of it becoming a basic need to many.

There’s no way businesses can be left behind in this digital revolution. Online marketing is now a very trustworthy way to reach target audiences. Businesses leverage digital channels such as Google search, social media, email, and their websites to connect with their current and prospective customers.

Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means that you need to meet them where they are already spending time: on the internet. To stay competitive in today’s electronically savvy world, you must create and maintain a solid online presence. This requires much more than launching a website and profiles on social media platforms—because competition in the online world is fierce.

Digital marketing can work for any business in any industry. Regardless of what your company sells, digital marketing still involves building out buyer personas to identify your audience’s needs and creating valuable online content. However, that’s not to say that all businesses should implement a digital marketing strategy in the same way.

If your company is B2B (Business to Business), your digital marketing efforts are likely to be centered around online lead generation, with the end goal being for someone to speak to a salesperson. For that reason, the role of your marketing strategy is to attract and convert the highest quality leads for your salespeople via your website and supporting digital channels.

Beyond your website, you’ll probably choose to focus your efforts on business-focused channels like LinkedIn where your demographic is spending their time online.

If your company is B2C (Business to Consumer), depending on the price point of your products, it’s likely that the goal of your digital marketing efforts is to attract people to your website and have them become customers without ever needing to speak to a salesperson.

For that reason, you’re probably less likely to focus on ‘leads’ in their traditional sense, and more likely to focus on building an accelerated buyer’s journey, from the moment someone lands on your website, to the moment that they make a purchase. This will often mean your product features in your content higher up in the marketing funnel than it might for a B2B business, and you might need to use stronger calls-to-action (CTAs).

Unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. If you’ve ever put an advert in a newspaper, you’ll know how difficult it is to estimate how many people actually flipped to that page and paid attention to your ad. There’s no surefire way to know if that ad was responsible for any sales at all.

On the other hand, with digital marketing, you can measure the ROI of pretty much any aspect of your marketing efforts.

This intelligence helps you to prioritize which marketing channels to spend more or less time on, based on the number of people those channels are driving to your website. For example, if only 10% of your traffic is coming from organic search, you know that you probably need to spend some time on SEO to increase that percentage.

With offline marketing, it’s very difficult to tell how people are interacting with your brand before they have an interaction with a salesperson or make a purchase. With digital marketing, you can identify trends and patterns in people’s behavior before they’ve reached the final stage in their buyer’s journey, meaning you can make more informed decisions about how to attract them to your website right at the top of the marketing funnel.

There’s the option to select your method of marketing as per your budget and reach a wider audience at a lesser cost. Even a decade back getting your product marketed especially for a small business was a task in itself. Most of the expensive models were just out of their reach and they had to resort to small level methods where the guarantee of success was close to negligible.

The digital modes of marketing are customizable and hence much cheaper. If you are trying to make a foray into an already established market you can still make your presence felt by targeting a small base of customers.

The importance of digital marketing works not only in favor of marketers. It provides something innovative to the consumers too.

For any business to survive the one thing that they really need to work upon is establishing a flawless reputation. Digital marketing offers businesses multiple ways to establish personal rapport with their customer base.

The future of digital marketing seems very bright at the moment. However, while brands were earlier competing with each other’s marketing strategy now the focus has shifted to a fight against the entire internet. This is the time when brands will have to use different modes and ways to actually delve and make an impact on the customers. Surviving in such cut throat competition is only possible if you can devise and implement a marketing strategy which portrays your uniqueness and gives the customers a reason to opt for you.