The secret of digital marketing: pretend it’s a pizza

By Christian Farioli

You really need to understand what Digital Marketing is, if it’s not so clear for you. Many people and companies are talking about it because it’s “cool”, but they really don’t know what Digital Marketing is. So often people get confused.

First of all, digital marketing is like pizza!

What?! Are you joking?! Yes, I’m joking, but I always use pizza to explain things in my classrooms, so if you will participate in some of my Digital Marketing training courses with the International School of Communication, you will see pizza over and over and over again!

Because I’m Italian, I’m going to tell you my family secret: how to make the best pizza in the world! You’re going to be the first non-Italians to know the secret. There are some secret ingredients nobody knows about:  Flour, salt, yeast, tomato, mozzarella, olive oil and water. Unbelievable right? Why are you laughing? This is my family secret. I’m joking again.

Speaking seriously, I choose pizza because I find a lot of similarities between pizza and Google. What? That’s crazy. Let’s see….

Pizza is made with apparently simple ingredients: It’s very cheap to produce, some of the ingredients are free, such as the water and salt, and it’s impossible to make it 100% perfect. No matter how many times you go to the same pizzeria, you order 10 pizzas and every pizza looks a little different.

Like pizza, Google is a set of very different tools. One of the tools you use on a daily basis is Google Search. It’s very cheap to use. Most of Google tools are free, so even cheaper than pizza but it’s impossible to make it perfect.

So, pizza and Google are very similar for these reasons:

  • very simple ingredients
  • very cheap to produce (almost free)
  • impossible to make it 100% perfect!
  • always changing

So, once again, what is Digital Marketing?

I will give you three definition: the first comes from Google, the second from an important Institute but… the best is the last one!

  1. “Digital marketing is the process of building and maintaining customer relationships through online activities to facilitate the exchange of ideas, products, and services that satisfy the goals of both parties.”  (Google)
  2. “Digital marketing is the use of digital channels to promote or market products and services to consumers and business.”  (Digital Marketing Institute)
  3. “Digital marketing is getting customers using only the computer and Internet.”  (Christian Farioli)

My definition is exactly like pizza: simple, free and always changing. In the future it will be different, but today this is the meaning of digital marketing.

A good digital marketing strategy is in fact the key to be successful, to be always present in the life of your customers, to have new leads constantly, and to increase your profits.

For this reason I create my W.AL.T.$ System, a future-proof digital marketing strategy definition with 5 fixed points that you can mix like pizza ingredients. So, here are the 5 ingredients: W – Windows; A – Analytics; L – Loyalty; T – Traffic and S – Sales System.

My method also involves what I call the 3 principles of digital marketing that are Initiate, Iterate and Integrate.

An all in digital marketing strategy turns around the 3 principles and the W.A.L.T.$ System that I have explained. We start with the principles, then with the system, and then with the framework which means planning the visual scheme, digital channels, implementing strategic choices based on the targeted audience, choosing the right channels for the topics and utilising the right tools.

The point is mixing strategy, mixing and making sure, boosting the right post, boosting the right engagement and creating the right comments. Always remembering to utilise one strategy to leverage the other ones.

Find out more

This article draws on content from the ISOC Digital Marketing Programme (5 days)

About the author

Christian Farioli is a digital marketing pioneer who has formerly worked with Oracle in Italy, Spain and Ireland and as Sales and Marketing Director with Al Habtoor, Dubai. He now owns several businesses and specialises in digital marketing consulting, business development and training.

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