Interactive Marketing refers to the evolving trend in marketing whereby marketing has moved from a transaction-based effort to a conversation. The definition of interactive marketing comes from John Deighton at Harvard, who says interactive marketing is the ability to address the customer, remember what the customer says and address the customer again in a way that illustrates that we remember what the customer has told us (Deighton 1996). Interactive marketing is not synonymous with online marketing, although interactive marketing processes are facilitated by internet technology.
That last sentence makes a distinction between interactive marketing and online marketing. I consider that an academic distinction. While I do agree with the premise, in practice interactive marketing and online marketing are closely related and usually executed together as part of a holistic marketing strategy.
Where would you use interactive marketing?
When you ask people about trigger based marketing they generally think of reacting to some trigger in the customer relationship, such as asking for a loan payout figure for a bank loan. Customers asking for this information may be looking to refinance their loan. The request should trigger some action on your part to try to stop them from leaving.
However, with the growth of inbound marketing and lead nurture campaigns, interactive marketing is applicable to all organizations:
- Business to business and Business to consumer
- High transaction and low transactions businesses.
- Pre-sale prospect management and post-sale customer management
Interactive marketing is a type of advertising that includes several types of Internet sales strategies. These include social networking, website architecture and online stores. In today’s world of modern technology and e-commerce, many product and service providers are finding that interactive marketing online is cost-effective and provides several advantages.
A successful interactive marketing strategy converts consumers from reader to buyer. In sales and marketing terms, this is called a “sales conversion.” Unlike traditional television and radio ads, interactive marketing techniques gives the audience an opportunity to make a purchase on-the-spot. A common way to promote sales conversion in an interactive marketing scheme is to label purchasing opportunities with calls to action. Phrases such as “Buy Now,” “Add to Cart” or “Get a Quote” inspire potential customers to proceed with a purchase, as opposed to regular advertising that simply states the benefits of your services.
Common interactive marketing techniques such as electronic merchants and online stores can significantly reduce your overhead expenses in rent, payroll, shipping and printing, according to the Terry Ladouceur Internet business website. By providing shoppers the convenience of instant, electronic purchasing, you eliminate much of the need for warehouses, showrooms, sales representatives and cashiers because transactions are made online. Interactive marketing also saves on printing and postage. Instead of printing and mailing a product catalog, an online catalog can reach millions more people with no delivery cost. It can also be easily and electronically updated to save on reprinting and distributing new print catalogs.
Social networking campaigns provide instant feedback on products and services and allow sellers to identify target markets, consumer demands and provide or adjust products appropriately. By posting your ads and promotions through your profile and reading through the comments, you can discover what consumers think about your products and services. Even without direct feedback, you can gauge the effectiveness of your ads by exploring the number of times it has been read and shared.