The difference in marketing today as opposed to 10 or 20 years ago is almost as big as the difference between life in the early 1900s and today. In other words, it’s huge.

Digital marketing has forever and completely changed the way brands interact with consumers and, with social media, smartphones and tablets leading the way, there are tools available to business owners and brands today that 20 years ago would have seemed impossible.

Of course this isn’t news to anyone in the marketing industry or, for that matter, the general public. Sure, “Generation X” might be unaware of the difference but, for the majority of the population, the changes have been breathtaking in their swiftness.

Today billions of people log on to the Internet at least once a day. In Asia for example, over 45% of the population is online. Connecting with those billions of prospective customers, something that was a pipe dream only a few years ago, is now done on a daily basis by businesses big and small around the world.

If one of those business owners happens to you, and you’re wondering how you can leverage digital marketing to build your brand and sell more products and services, here are a few suggestions.

The first is to simply know what data is available to you and use what’s most relevant to your business. With review websites, buying statistics, email transactions and customer service surveys, among many other tools, available, there is no lack of information to be found and taken advantage of in order to reach your market.

It goes without saying that building a trustworthy relationship with your clients, now more than ever, is vital to your success. Many of the biggest and best companies in the world have teams of people devoted to the retention of customers rather than their acquisition. While marketing has certainly changed, the fact that it’s much more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep current ones still remains the same.

Finally, having several channels and personalizing them to the different segments of your market can help to create an affinity for your brand and increase sales conversions greatly. Personalized web content is incredibly important to the success of today’s businesses, as more and more consumers expect brands to cater to them on a more personal level.

It’s definitely a new world as far as marketing is concerned and, in order to keep up with fast changing trends, business owners need simply connect, research and put today’s plethora of data to work for them.