From Traditional to Digital Marketing: Training and Education


As I express in my book “Neuro e-Marketing”. Scientific Keys” 1, marketing, a field of knowledge that aims to generate, communicate and deliver significant "value" to consumers, has been developing and is in constant evolution and construction to adapt to the changes of the different historical stages and the technological demands.

And, one of those great historical changes is that of “The Digital Age”.

The Digital Age, the internet, AI and converging disruptive technologies

"The Digital Age", also known as the "Information or Computing" era because it is linked to the new and revolutionary Information and Communication technologies, coincides with a dynamic of very particular and intense economic phenomena, geopolitical changes deep, internet and disruptive technological innovations, which have profoundly impacted how we search for information, work, produce, communicate, share, do business, market products/services and buy in a globalized world without borders.

In the history of economics, business and marketing, there is nothing that has had a greater transformational impact than the computer revolution, the increase in computational power, the internet, artificial intelligence AI (Chatbots, Machine learning, Deep learning, Virtual Assistants, Search Engines, Media Buying, Content Creation, ROI Computation, Targeting Personalization, Cloud Technology) devices such as personal computers, tablets, mobile phones, smartphones and other smart devices such as glasses and watches with multiple functions. As well as social networks, text messages, in addition to "disruptive and emerging technologies", derived from the increase in computational power, such as the Big Data, blockchain, the sensors (Infinite Data), augmented reality, virtual reality, internet of things (IoT), 3-D printing, smart speakers, wearables (wearables), robots and drones.

Technologies are that elevate businesses and reduce or eliminate others. So Netflix killed off Blockbuster, Amazon cut traditional bookstore business, and Spotify caused Apple's music revenue from Itunes to decline from its peak in 2000.

The growing importance of the internet and social media for marketing

As “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” puts it, the Internet, which has its origins in the World Wide Web, which emerged in 1989 and became accessible to the public in 1991, expanded rapidly, and by 1996, many companies They had web pages and displayed their ads on them, which users could access first with the “Mosaic” browser and then with “Netscape Navigator” and “Internet Explorer”.

However, despite the great expansion at that time, the culture of "mass Internet" was only possible in the last years of the 2000s and in the 21st century.

According to data from the Digital Report 2021 of We Are Social and Hootsuite 2 for January of this year the number of Internet users worldwide is 4,660 million people, who-on average-spend 7 hours a day using this medium, in addition to that, more than 53% of the world population (4,200 million)  uses social networks. Figures that increase without stopping.

On the other hand, said report indicates that people, on average worldwide, spend about two hours and 25 minutes on social networks, so these follow an ascending line as channels of communication, influence and recommendations regarding consumption. Thus, 45% of users between 16 and 64 years of age look for information about brands on social networks, while 40% uses them for work purposes. And, 77% of internet users between 16 and 64 years old, claim to have bought something online every month.

Likewise, the 2021 Digital Report highlights the growing popularity of messaging platforms, of chats, which are used by a 91% of internet users, which, comparatively, places them above social networks, which reach an 88%. And it is also very important to consider that groups of people over 50 years of age, silvers sufers they are “the fastest growing segment on platforms like Facebook.”

In our country, according to data on online consumption habits from the "Annual Study of the IAB Spain e-commerce 2020", 3 Of the total Spanish population between 16 and 70 years old (33.6 million), 93% are Internet users, that is, 31.2 million, and of these, 72% (22.5 million) use the Internet as a channel Shopping. While, for the age range between 35 and 44 years, the percentage that uses the Internet is 77%.

In addition, in said study, it is highlighted that 87% of Internet users are users of social networks, and that 59% of users on social networks, declare that before making a purchase they investigate these.

The Internet is thus, as Harvard professor John Deighton described it in 2000, "a total multidimensional environment for marketing." To which my person would add: “Ideal to do it”

The professional and business need to train and update for success

Based on what we have expressed previously and that the pandemic has accelerated and intensified a change that already came before, specified in the acronym VUCA, which refers to variable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments, it is a truism that professionals and companies must digitally transform at a forced marches if they want to be competitively successful and obtain the desired profitability and growth, without having to find themselves in the trance of being irrelevant in the market or, what is worse, disappear from it.

As stated by Raja Rajamannar in his work Quantum Marketing (2021) 4, adaptation to the new situation on the planet requires updating in cutting-edge knowledge and training in the use of new technological tools, methodologies, models and communication channels, in order to be able to re-imagine strategies and re-do day to day day with renewed and agile forms of management.

Darwin wrote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor is it the most intelligent. It is the one that has the greatest ability to adapt to change.

In my new book “The Intelligent Company. Neural Networks Model” (2021), 5 based on the 2020 World Economic Forum survey, 6 about the "Future of works (Future of Jobs)” in the period from 2020 to 2025, I mean that the basic skills that will be required of employees will change between a 40% and 50%, and also that they will require new training, while almost all of business leaders, a 94%, agree that these workers should acquire them”

As is clear from a relevant study by McKinsey Quarterly, carried out in 2020, called The Skilfful Corporation 7 in conjunction with other studies and sources of this prestigious company, which I quote in my book (ibid.) 8,  there is a great need to develop the skills of employees to be able to cover the current needs of companies and grow, including analytical, digital and transversal, with a significant gap between what employees have and what would be needed. Without, on the other hand, at the moment, there are effective programs for the development of said capacities.

In this regard, Neuroscience Business School, the business school to which I belong, offers various master's programs for business management updated in key aspects, and specifically those that refer to digital marketing, the subject of this article, include cutting-edge concepts and tools. like those derived from Neuromarketing, Behavioral Economics and Sensory & Experiential Science, Come in other disciplines. Well, science, as a support, is part of the paradigms of the new marketing

It is of great value to point out that a company of the size, category and prestige of Nielsen, http://www.nielsen.com/us/en.html, which for a long time has been focused on traditional research methods, has made significant investments in the field of neuromarketing to apply it to both online and offline channels.

This company, which acquired the Neuro Focus company, uses tools that include the EEG, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the eye tracking, biometric tests, including facial coding, since in his opinion traditional methods "omit, at least, the 50% of what is happening". Likewise, today, there is a wide range of companies worldwide dedicated to neuroscientific research for commercial purposes. Among these, some very well known. For example, and just to name a few that come to mind: Imotions, https://imotions.com/, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, http://www.nielsen.com/us/en.html, Neuro-Insight, https://www.neuro-insight.com/ and Neuro Sense, http://www.neurosense.com/ .

From traditional marketing to digital marketing

Kotler, Kartayaja and Setiawan (2017) 9 they hold that "Digital marketing is not meant to replace traditional marketing," plus the two "must co-exist with interchangeable roles along the customer journey." In addition, they complete their point of view, stating that "the approach of traditional marketing is to initiate interaction with the client", fundamentally to generate "awareness and interest", while, "the most important role of digital marketing is that of drive action and advocacy”

In today's marketing, and despite its evolution, many of the classic concepts are still valid, although their application must be adapted to new realities. It would be absurd and ineffective to do without them.

Tool Adaptation: The 4 Ps of the Marketing Mix and the 4 Cs

The "4 P's" were created by Jerome E. McCarthy in the 1960s. They are called that, because all these variables begin with the letter P. Thus, “product”, “price”, “promotion” and “place” (place).

It should be used by every marketer in a similar way to how chefs combine ingredients in their kitchens to make tasty dishes that customers love.

The “4 Ps” have evolved into the “4 Cs” to adapt to a more participatory and co-creative consumer. These "4 C's" were created in 1990 by Professor Robert Lauterborn of the University of North Carolina, and they are: Consumer, Cost, Convenience and Communication.

  • Consumer, who must be "listened to" and "facilitated to participate" to satisfy him with personalized products and services.
  • Cost, which not only includes the price that the consumer has to pay, but also the efforts and energy that must be spent to acquire and pay for them. 
  • Convenience, which refers to the facilities to acquire products or services, such as a wide assortment, convenient hours, facilities in payment systems, fast delivery and simple and uncomplicated return processes.
  • And, communication, which describes the facilities that must be provided to the client to be able to communicate with the company through different channels and in real time during all moments and points of contact.

The added "PES"

The following “Ps” are being applied to the status quo off/online

  • "Participation", which is related to taking the client into account so that they "co-create" and collaborate by contributing ideas, comments, reviews and ratings.
  • “Customization”, which refers to tailoring products and services based on what the customer wants.  
  • "Prediction", which consists of making forecasts about future consumer behavior and impacting them effectively, based on patterns and trends extracted from large amounts of data captured by technologies that use very sophisticated algorithms, which, in addition, do with great speed (even in real time) and with high degrees of veracity (Big data).

in a technology Bigdata built on the basis of powerful algorithms and Artificial Intelligence is sustained Google adwords to make very accurate predictions about consumer behavior, so that their clients benefit and obtain profitability as in the automated purchases of audiences and spaces, as well as in creating campaigns segmented by keywords / categories, in addition to placing sponsored advertising in the support networks linked to AdSense. What allows to measure the ROI on solid bases.

It is estimated that more than 65% of digital advertising in 2019 was bought and served by an algorithm in programmatic environments

  • People: Focus on people, because without considering people as such, business achievement is not possible. For what is required to have: knowing how to give a good deal, motivate (which includes giving fair pay) and training in updated skills.
  • Physical Evidences. Both physical and digital evidence. Thus, tangible signs that guide about the suitability of the company, its products and services. Physical, such as employee uniforms, facilities, catalogs, logos, delivery cars, venue décor, and restroom cleanliness. Digital, such as a good page design, quick navigation, easy-to-see and use menus, appropriate colors, easy-to-read text, and brief but effective information on what may be of interest to the user so that they do not waste time on the page. navigation.
  • “Processes”, which both online and offline must facilitate all the stages and each one of the moments that lead to capturing, converting and retaining customers; which, if well executed, generate very solid competitive advantages.

The integrated processes of the back office and from front office.

The back office It is the part that is behind our web page and that the client does not see, which is specified in activities such as the registration and processing of orders, the control of stocks, the dispatch of merchandise, the fulfillment of guarantees, the reception and the answering of emails, which influences the concept that the client can have about the quality of the service and their subsequent loyalty.

The front office, is the part that the customer can see, the showcase of the company, the brand, the products and the services. It covers elements such as the fact that the company's website is comfortable and friendly in its use (usability).

Today's Marketing Professionals

They no longer have the luxury of being “just” marketers as they must have a good understanding of data collection, management, storage, interpretation and exploitation, digital technologies, communication and relationships, sales, business management and finance.

Neuroscience Business School is the key to achieving it!


  1. Gago, MA (2017). Neuro e-marketing. Scientific Keys: Attract, seduce, convince and sell on/off line. Amazon
  2. https://wearesocial.com/es/blog/2021/01/digital-report-2021-el-informe-sobre-las-tendencias-digitales-redes-sociales-y-mobile
  3. file:///C:/Users/neuro/AppData/Local/Temp/estudio_ecommerce_iab_spain_julio2020_vreducida-1.pdf
  4. Rajamannar, R. (2021) Quantum Marketing: Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow's Consumers. HarperCollins Leadership. USES.
  5. Gago, MA (2021). The Smart Company. Neural Networks Model. Business Relaunch in Turbulent and Disruptive Times. Amazon
  6. https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs-report-2020
  7. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-accelerate/our-insights/five-fifty-the-skillful-corporation
  8. Gago, MA (2017). Neuro e-marketing. Scientific Keys: Attract, seduce, convince and sell on/off line. Amazon.
  9.  Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H., & Setiawan, I. (2017). Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital. John Wile & Sons, Inc., Hobohen, New Jersey. USES.

Written by: Miguel Angel Gago , Professor at Neuroscience Business School

Related programs:

Master in Neuromarketing

MBA in Digital Marketing

MBA in International Marketing

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