Sustainable digital marketing in Bangladesh

Today’s world is the miracle of modern science and technology where every­thing is almost achievable which was literally impossible just a few years ago but it has become now a miracle of science; a common and an easy one to perform within the twinkling of an eye. Here, the newly emerging concept of “digital marketing” is a 21st-century approach that has taken the world beyond the traditional concept of marketing philosophy and so, innovative thinking, creative idea and global attitude is absolutely desirable.
In simplistic terms, digital marketing means a unique and an innovative notion about the marketing ideologies through the digital channels to promoting the products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media that goes even the way beyond messaging. But the principles of the digital marketing differ from the traditional one as it involves the use of channels and methods that enable an organisation to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what is working or not – typically in real time.
At times, the core idea of marketing was simply selling and buying efforts but, with the passage of time these ideas have been changed now and different creative concepts and branches of marketing have already been emerged that compel the organizations to do their business in a different way. Because of the digital technology, the marketing ideology is shifting towards digital marketing. Moreover, it has been called internet marketing, e-marketing and web marketing and these alternative terms have varied through time. But, digital marketing is considered more targeted, measurable and interactive.
Though the concept of digital marketing is a new one in Bangladesh, nevertheless it is grabbing people’s attention day by day. So, Bangladesh in respect of digital marketing is a newcomer in the global marketing attitude as the term digital comes to the light in the 2014 and the year 2015 has become the talk of the day. Though the growth rate of internet is a phenomenon for the last couple of years in Bangladesh, the real taste of digitalization is signified with the approach of 3G technology and now we are waiting for the 4G one to have the better experience. Digital advertising starts its journey on the year 1990 in Bangladesh and is capable of capturing the market with this short span of time and promotes the brand globally. Therefore, digital marketing is undoubtedly one of the key buzzwords in the today’s business world. Unlike traditional forms of marketing, it involves strategies designed to engage consumers and drive brand conversation on various digital channels, ranging from email to mobile applications.
The history of internet accessibility in Bangladesh is not up to the mark in comparison with the advanced world and so, the people of Bangladesh had to remain in the darkness for a long time because of the non-availability of the service in this part of the globe. When the question is in digital marketing, it will be beyond our imagination to go ahead with the advanced world without being the availability of the internet use from the one corner of the country to the rest of the corner. So, the internet is conside­red as the heart of digital marketing. Experts say “Software is eating the world…every business is now becoming a tech business.” Though it may not be true quite yet, but we should positively wake up to the reality that technology has fundamentally changed how we communicate, and it’s still at an early stage. According to the Internet Live Stats estimated for July 1, 2016, the total population of Bangladesh is 162,910,864 whereas number of internet users is 21,439,070 and the percentage of penetration is 13.2pc. So, the thinking of digital Bangladesh is still a long way to go if the users of internet will not be accelerated and if it will not be reachable to the common
But, in term of economic growth in the third world countries like Bangladesh, technological develop­ment and innovative ideas are correlated to each other as technology simulates the growth and the development in emerging markets’ profundity in true sense and here, faster technology is deeply felt to keep peace with the advanced world. Still, traditional media strongly prevails among older demographics and on the contrary, Digital Media is more popular among younger generations. According to a recent study of World Bank, 77pc of Facebook users are aged between 18 and 34. Bangladesh has a median age of 25.4, and the 8th largest population in the world. In fact, Bangladesh has a lower median age than most Asian countries and youth comprise of one third of the country’s entire population, while 70pc of the population is under the age of 35, making media consumption increasingly skewed towards digital.
In this connection, without innovative technologies and smart applications, most business processes are unable to touch the perfection and so, corporations incur huge losses to carryout. Therefore, getting momentum behind the movement isn’t an easy one, but companies are still succeeding. To make a successful digital marketing we, the investors and the marketing strategy developers in Bangladesh must have to analyze the six digital marketing principles such as: ownership, collaboration, experien­ces, agility, measurement and definitely the ultimate feedback.
A proverb goes on that “A man without an aim is like a boat without a rudder” and here, this philosophy is similar to the business methodology. Without definite objectives, a business organisation can never be a successful one. Demonstrating objectives and achieving goal is one of the fundamental tools of digital marketing approach and so, return against investment is an integral part of business methodology- this is likely to be financial or could include for example: customers’ awareness about their brand and products, the reason why they will visit their website and finally how easily will they be able to make a purchase or register once on their site. Therefore, objectives of the digital marketing need to be SMART- it denotes Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Therefore, if we imagine Bangladesh is dominating in the arena of digital marketing, it will be the digital thinkers’ key responsibility to execute the SMART methodology to sustain self-existence in the global market as one of the leading competitors.
In true sense, digital marketing is one kind of modern architecture as an object can take several different shapes and be adorned with a variety of different elements, but it’s up to the marketing architect to understand what will be acceptable to the common people and meet social expectations. True digital marketing is based on an agile framework that integrates three basic elements that might be more internally focused: people, process and technology. Without a unique digital marketing strategy, our new client acquisitions, brand visibility and revenue generating opportunities will likely be damaged. As strategies are changing on a continual basis, it is impossible to sit back and think relax. A successful digital marketing strategy can help us to reach our marketing objectives- the ultimate destination we desire. So, we need to develop the key components of a digital strategy such as website design; email strategy and mobile-based solutions; lucrative content and related videos; search engine optimization (SEO); social networking and online security; pay-per-click (PPC) and lead management; both the customer and the supplier interaction; and sales tools and analytical strategy.
With the great touch of technology, each and every activity of our daily life either in personal or in professional aspects has seen a massive change and the role of digital media is simply spectacular. If there are no advantages of digital marketing, there will be no interest among the businessmen and so, they do prefer to continue the traditional one and will be lagging behind. So, it is time to seize the advantages of digital marketing as follow:
• No geographical barriers and so making it accessible from one country to another via Internet;
• Compelling and relevant content will grab the attention of potential customers and increase brand visibility;
• Much cheaper than traditional advertising and promotional activities;
• Possible to deliver value-added customer service and respond effectively to feedback;
• Easy campaign methodology;
• Social content can indirectly boost links to website content by appearing in universal search results, improving search traffic and online sales;
• Quick planning and proper execution;
• Loyalty and advocacy from the customers will be increased and so on.
But, here in Bangladesh, we should not forget the disadvantages of digital marketing coming from the online cybercrime. Slow internet connections can hamper the process because too complex or too large websites will take too long for users to check them or download them and they will get bored eventually. Online payment factor can be a barrier to someone as they still don’t trust in the electronic methods of paying. Lack of trust of the users as sometime constant virtual promotions appears to be frauds and for that reason, the image and the reputation of the companies will be deteriorating. As cash on delivery system doesn’t guarantee the 100pc purchase of the product, and so, in the case of thousands of users those dedicate themselves to daily mock big companies by ordering on
the internet using false identities and so on.
Now, it is time to conclude the debate how significant Bangladesh is in the era of digital marketing or not in the prospect of digital thinking. Though the answer will be a difficult one to judge, nevertheless, there is no denying the fact that over recent years marketing has swung towards the digital realm in spite of having a lot of criticism or favoritism against or for regarding the fact. Though we are late in the process of digitalization, we, the people of Bangladesh are still optimistic as so many unbelievable digital tasks have been done in the recent few years within the limited resources, are undoubtedly a praiseworthy effort to be acknowledged.
Truly, it is imperative to all of us to continue our emphatic journey towards digital Bangladesh in every sphere of our life. To make our dream comes true, the government should take some positive initiatives such as reducing internet data cost rate to an easy access for everyone; keep close monitoring on the digital marketing business fellow so that the common customers will not be cheated.

The writer is Senior Assistant Secretary, BKMEA. E-mail:

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