What is Interactive Marketing?
How does interactive marketing differ from traditional advertising and marketing? The difference is quite simple. Traditional marketing is assumptive marketing. Traditional marketing focuses on what a group of marketing executives believe or perceive the target audience to want and appreciate. Then the marketing companies will custom build a campaign based on their assumptions. They use past market trends to try to predict the future. They will measure their success by how successful the product or idea develops. This marketing technique has been used for centuries. More recently, companies have become aware that this may not be the most efficient method to reaching their true target audience.
Interactive marketing asks the consumer what they are looking for, what they value, and what they perceive about a particular product or company. Then, the marketing team remembers what they have said and regurgitates products that match what they have said. Consumers appreciate this type of marketing because it is adding value to their personal thoughts and opinions. One important aspect of marketing success is to create the feeling with the customer that their input and opinions are important. When a consumer believes that they can mold what a company offers, they feel more invested in the product or service and are thus more loyal as well.
One use of internet interactive marketing is the website’s ability to remember prior purchases made by a customer and suggesting similar products for future use. When constructing the website advertising, interactive marketing is essential to future success. By placing ads for products that the website owner already knows that the consumer is interested in, it helps to guarantee more traffic and thereby more sales.
Many successful online companies ask its users to identify personal preferences regarding a variety of products. Then this list is used to suggest products that either match or are similar to the list the customer has created. Furthermore, when a person browses through the website for merchandise, the website then records a copy. The next time that the customer visits the website, they are shown what they recently looked at the last time they visited the website. They go one step further to email customers when a product matching a previous search is listed for sale. This behavior resonates with the customer as they perceive them as caring about their likes and dislikes.
Similar to interactive advertising is experiential advertising. Wikipedia describes experiential marketing as, “the art of creating an experience where the result is an emotional connection to a person, brand, product or idea.” Making a purchase personal to the client drives sales and promotes customer retention. By empowering the customer, the marketing company creates a powerful ally to push further products to the customer.
Research and past success has shown that consumers want their opinion (good or bad) to be heard and for those opinions to shape a company. By utilizing interactive marketing and experiential marketing, a company can say to their clients: “Yes we heard you and here is what we have to offer.” In doing so, they quickly reach their target audience without much guess work and they quickly drive their sales and success upward.