Interactive marketing is a powerful change in marketing techniques for small businesses.
Interactive marketing and interactive technologies have been with us in the past decade. But not all marketers are aware of interactive marketing as it continues to grow in popularity with modern marketers.
Content marketing keeps dominating the digital marketing landscape in 2020. However, its formats will change. To engage tech-savvy online visitors, your content marketing efforts need to go far beyond generic blog articles and keyword-rich product page descriptions.
This is where Interactive marketing and interactive technologies come into play.
They’ve already shaken the world of marketing to its core. Interactive marketing is such a popular term that it almost seems silly to be concerned about defining it. But that’s not the case. Part of the problem with implementing interactive marketing has been the unclear definition.
Like many buzzwords, meanings and definitions are all over the place. Just talk about inbound marketing. If you ask ten people what interactive marketing is, you will get ten different answers.
For this post, interactive marketing is defined as any method that allows the prospect or customer to provide immediate feedback to the marketer. This feedback can come in many forms, including orders, requests for information, customer service, answers to surveys, as well as purchases.
Interactive marketing relies on the Internet as a link between customers and marketers. When you research a purchase where do you go?
It gives the potential customer a high degree of freedom and choice that has ever been possible and seeks to create the ultimate form of partnership between product sellers and product buyers.
Interactive marketing overcomes many of the weaknesses of traditional advertising. It will include a broad range of media from relatively simple services such as 800 numbers, online order forms, do complex media such as interactive television and virtual reality.
Most of this might seem painfully obvious. But the only more considerable pain has been the losses racked up why so many ill-conceived Ventures. This post will address some of those issues and how to develop the strategies and programs that will use interactive media to move product, Build your customer bases and relationships, grow your business, and make money.
How interactive marketing differs from traditional marketing
The table below shows the contrast between traditional and interactive marketing. Look at each of these characteristics below.
Monologue vs. dialogue
Traditional advertising is a one-way process, where the seller of a product or service transmits a message to potential buyers. This is a monologue, which means one direction. Interactive marketing is a dialogue.
It is not advertising speaking to consumers but rather advertisers and consumers speaking together, having a conversation. Either the seller or buyer can initiate the contact, which can also stop at any time by either party.
Rigid versus flexible scenario
Traditional forms of media are built around a linear process, with a prescribed beginning, middle, and end. A television commercial always starts the same way. While the viewer can change the channel or mute the sound, he or she cannot manipulate anything about the message or the way it is presented. Interactive marketing is different.
It offers A/B or a variety of navigation paths. For example, anytime the prospect decides to purchase the product or service, he or she can switch to the purchase mode, without viewing the remainder of the message. Likewise, the prospect may choose to view an in-depth listing of product specifications or choose the quick view.
Passive activity versus participatory activity
Much of the current advertising is limited that those who are engaged in other activities such as researching on the internet, watching television, reading industrial trade magazines, reading the morning paper.
This can be referred to as interruptive selling because its purpose is to interrupt the prospect’s attention from what he or she has currently focused on long enough to percent a promotional message.
Just think about the last time maybe you received a phone call that you weren’t expecting or got something in your email inbox that you didn’t want.
By contrast, interactive marketing brings the prospect in as a critical part of the promotional equation. It starts with the decision to better target advertising at those who will be most receptive and continue with techniques to draw the prospect in and receive immediate feedback from him or her through dialogue. Today the dialog maybe an automated workflow with email messages, direct selling, or artificial intelligence (AI).
Human management vs. heuristic management
Human beings put art and marketing and are the most important elements in a successful outcome. But humans also share one harmful trait. We tend to make the same mistake over and over. We do this because we are cybernetic creatures and, as such, fall into repetitive habit patterns.
These habits can benefit us or have the opposite effect. Depending on how we approach the process, we can be a program for either failure or success.
Heuristic systems, by contrast, are designed to learn from their mistakes as well as mistakes from others. We can see this in early-stage artificial intelligence, which is still in its infancy in a lot of industries.
Like Six Sigma techniques, a gradual improvement is a certainty because of heuristic systems may make a mistake, but if it is programmed correctly, it will make each mistake only once.
But don’t humans learn from their mistakes and therefore aren’t they heuristic systems? The answer is both yes and no. Most of us try to learn from our mistakes, but we also bring our prejudice, preconceptions, and neuroses into the decision-making process.
It is human nature, and we don’t turn off our human nature when we wear our marketing hats. This is the reason you see people making the same mistake time and again.
Slow feedback versus instant feedback
No matter how well-intentioned, traditional marking systems often suffer from information bottlenecks. It’s just not an efficient system. The response and transaction data needed to make quality decisions take time to move its way through channels.
The information must be captured, compiled, and send from point A to point B before it can be correctly used to impact the process.
Interactive Marketing Systems usually capture such data instantaneously. The modern marketer receives the information almost in real-time after transactions are completed. Updates and data are possible moments by moment, and orders are directly tied to him into her.
For example, an order from an e-commerce website can immediately drop an item from inventory when it sells out. The visitor will see no out of stock message because they will only see items that are available for immediate shipment.
Advertiser driven vs. consumer-driven
Timing has always been a critical element in advertising receptivity. Marketing isn’t only a process of creating demand. It is also a process of putting the appropriate message in front of the prospect at the moment when such demand exists.
“The new marketing miracle is selling the right thing, to the right person, at the right time.” Digital marketing can help us do this.
As marketers, we often have no control over when a prospect will need a particular product or service. We must be there when the demand exists, whether it occurs at 1:30 p.m. or 1:30 a.m., and whether it’s on a Monday or a Saturday. This 24-hour online access to products and services promotional channels is one of the most important benefits of digital marketing.
Delayed gratification vs. instant gratification
Remember the days of ordering by telephone or mail or being told to wait for 6 to 8 weeks for delivery or something that you wanted. Today we’re talking about delivery within an hour. Those days are gone, and the internet has allowed the customer to go from product interest to product order in a matter of seconds.
Consumers will no longer wait weeks for delivery, and the new question will do you want it today or within an hour.
The benefits and challenges of interactive marketing
Digital marketing offers probably the most opportunity for modern marketers today. There are many benefits to be gained in e-marketing and interactive marketing.
- A deeper and more personal relationship with your customer.
- Faster and more accurate product feedback. You should look for ways to use the internet and other electronic media to allow users to help design your products and services. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin are great platforms for this. This instant feedback tends to be honest and sincere and can be enormously helpful and making sure that what you create is exactly what your customers want.
- Strong return on your marketing investment. Interactive marketing programs tend to be expensive to set up very cost-effective to operate. If you do it right, your cost per lead and cost for sale will go down. Furthermore, you can experience substantial increases in volume at a lower incremental cost. Whether you’re are a startup funded by a venture capital firm or a small business, an aggressive digital marketing program can give you a large boost in your company’s valuation.
- Broader market reach. Perhaps the most significant impact of the Internet is the way it can allow any company, located anywhere, to engage in commerce with any other company or individual on the planet. The model is long no longer to build retail outlets in hundreds of cities. Today’s e-model is to create a robust electronic present that will give you exposure to tens of millions of people in months.
- The ability to service less-profitable tiers of customers and prospects. You can use interactive technologies to fill the needs of customers and prospects that are not profitable enough to warrant attention from your expensive field or inside sales resources.
- Greater operational efficiencies. Electronic transactions have several advantages over traditional paper-based transactions. First, they happened much faster. Second, they tend to be more accurate since the customer often enters his or her information that is not subject to interpretation. Third, they are far less expensive. These efficiencies give you the ability to either achieve higher product margins or more significant volumes by passing the savings on to your customers.
Problems with interactive marketing and the number of specific pitfalls to avoid
Despite all the hype, there are plenty of problems with interactive marketing and the number of specific pitfalls to avoid. Why you’re always subject to the law of unintended consequences, it is wise to build your programs to avoid these problems:
- Interactive marketing may not provide a good return on investment. Many online marketing programs and websites are losing money or providing only minimal profits. For example, initial costs for small business websites can start from $5,000 and go up to tens of thousands of dollars, and larger businesses spend much more. Without a well-designed plan for generating results, these Investments can be hard to recoup.
- It can separate you from your customers and prospects. Technology’s dark secret is that it is too often used in a way that builds a barrier between a company and its customers. Interactive marketing is meant to enhance the user experience, not to be a barrier. To prevent this is very important for you to design your systems to allow people to transition quickly from the electronic experience to dialog with customer support or your internal sales staff.
- It can subject you to the whims of marketing technology. Marketing technology is fickled and can wreak havoc on your best-laid plans. Websites go down, email bounces back, ISPs have outages, spam filters are better, or you get stuck with a nasty computer virus. Even the biggest and better financed operations, such as Google and Amazon, have occasional glitches. No matter how well you plan, you can expect your share.
- Interactive marketing can divert your focus from other vital areas. The adoption curve for technologies is such that there is a danger of pushing too many resources toward interactive channels to quickly. There is always an opportunity cost in shifting resources. How many cases it will be well worth it-but many times it will not be. There’s no specific advice I can provide without knowing your specific circumstances. But in general, it is better to be on the bleeding edge and not the bleeding edge of new technology. Finding that point is the trick.
Wrap up about interactive marketing
I witnessed and worked in this dynamic marketing environment for the past 30 years. During that period, we have moved from the mass-marketing era to the target marketing era to 1:1 interactive marketing.
New sales and marketing technologies and economic drivers have provided a shift in marketing strategies. Not only in the methods of marketing but also in the way we think about the subject.
One of the most noticeable impacts of marketing technology is the way it has empowered consumers. Individually and collectively, they are becoming smarter unless bring them to allow themselves to act as so many sheep waiting to be shared by skill for the marketer who loses his coat.
The reason the Internet has taken control over the information flow out of the hands of the people selling products and put it in the hands of the people buying products. You can’t beat the system because if you refuse to make your information available, your competitor certainly will, and you will lose customers to them as a result.
I hope that you will find this post a great help in your quest to become a successful interactive marketing practitioner. It is a collection of ideas, strategies, and techniques honed from years of experience in both the client and agency side.
Have something to say about your thoughts on interactive marketing?
What is interactive marketing?
Interactive marketing is a one-to-one marketing practice that centers on individual customer and prospects’ actions. Interactive marketing involves marketing programs that are triggered by customers’ behaviors and preferences; for this reason, it is a significant shift from traditional campaign-based marketing efforts.
Why is interactive marketing important?
With interactive marketing, organizations increase their chances of meeting customer needs because they already show an interest in the product, and marketers can respond to their actions. Interactive marketing reduces risk and increases sales because it is rooted in customer behaviors and desires.
What are the interactive marketing services?
Interactive marketing, sometimes called trigger-based or event-driven marketing, is a marketing strategy that uses two-way communication channels to allow consumers to connect with a company directly. However, this exchange can take place in person; in the last decade, it has increasingly taken place almost exclusively online through email, social media, and blogs.
What is interactive marketing advantages?
The benefits of interactive marketing can be significant. Increase sales: Interactive marketing increases the odds that you’ll deliver what the consumer needs, thereby leading to a sale, as well as increase sales by recommending related items that result in the buyer tacking on other items that fit with their purchase.