Digital Marketing Characteristics

Digital Marketing Characteristics

Digital marketing uses internet-connected devices to engage consumers with online advertising, primarily through pull or push methods.


Discuss pull versus push digital marketing tactics


Key Points

  • Digital marketing consists of pull or push online communication tactics. These tactics can also be referred to as inbound or outbound marketing as well.
  • Pull digital marketing is characterized by consumers actively seeking marketing content.
  • Push digital marketing occurs when marketers send messages without the consent of the recipients.
  • Examples of pull digital marketing include search engines, email newsletters, text messaging, while push digital marketing consists of opt-in subscription services.

Key Terms

  • display advertising: online advertising that typically contains text (i.e., copy), logos, photographs or other images, location maps, and similar items.

Digital Marketing Characteristics

Digital marketing is defined as the use of internet-connected devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and game consoles to engage consumers with online advertising. One of the key principles of digital marketing is creating an easy, seamless, and convenient user experience for target audiences. Moreover, eliminating the amount of consumer effort needed to act on digital content helps establish an ongoing, automated relationship between brands and their audience.


Blog website: Digital marketers often incorporate blogs and other social media elements in their corporate websites to encourage web traffic.

Pull Digital Marketing

Pull digital marketing is characterized by consumers actively seeking marketing content. Consumers might use tactics including search engines, email newsletters, text messaging, or web feeds to search for brand information. Push technologies deliver content as it becomes available and are better targeted to consumer demographics. However, microtargeting tends to produce smaller audiences, and results in higher creation and distribution costs.

Websites, blogs, and streaming media (audio and video) are examples of pull digital marketing. In each of these channels, users must navigate to the website to view the content. It is up to marketers to create digital content – text, images, videos, and audio – that is relevant and captivating enough to attract web visitors, increase page views, and improve search engine rankings.

Building online communities on related social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube is another pull tactic used by brands to increase the number of interactions with prospects and customers. Companies frequently use their corporate websites and blogs to build authority and credibility in their field, as well as improve their search engine optimization. Major search engines such as Google often index sites based on the quality and relevancy of their content. Thus, the higher a brand is ranked in Google, the more likely web users will find their website.

Push Digital Marketing

Push digital marketing occurs when marketers send messages with or without the consent of the recipients. These digital marketing tactics include display advertising on websites and blogs. Email, text messaging, and web feeds are also considered push digital marketing when the recipient has not agreed to receiving the marketing message. This practice is also known as spamming. The opposite of spamming is permission marketing, which uses technologies with the prior permission of the recipient. Marketers obtain consumer permission to send communications via subscriptions or written consent.

Subscriptions provide the opportunity to push content to fans and followers, prompting them to visit the brand’s video channel, social media page, or corporate website. Text and video press releases can also be distributed easily through online distribution services. Journalists, bloggers, and other content producers visit these sites for news stories. Brands can gain web traffic from media publications and blogs that use their press releases as information sources.

Other Types of Digital Marketing

A company may not exclusively use pull or push digital marketing strategies, or they might not use these strategies at all. There are other marketing strategies that may involve a variation of push or pull marketing. For instance, multi-channel communications use push and pull message technologies simultaneously.