Traditionally speaking, marketing is a one-way streak. It starts with the advertisement that marketers create, then they air the ad on different media platforms and expect the result. The problem with traditional marketing is that it doesn’t start a dialogue with the target audience about the advertised product. You just send the message through advertisement and expect them to comply with it.
Traditional marketing used to work, but not anymore. Nowadays, customers in the target market want to be part of their favorite brand that they like and support. They just don’t want to follow it; they want to share their views to make the product better.
HBO channel wanted to attract the attention of the audience of Game of Thrones Series. They started a campaign by asking a question that what favorite character they want to see as a leader in the next great wars. Fans have the option to vote for their favorite characters, 1.3 million people participated in the first week and voters increased to 1.6 million in the final week.
That’s how the HBO channel successfully launched and applied the interactive marketing campaign. Today, we’ll discuss interactive marketing, here it follows;
What is Interactive Marketing?
Interactive Marketing is the process of creating two-way communication between the customers and the company, where the customers share their views, choices, and preferences about the product so that the marketer could make it better. For the marketers to make an interactive marketing strategy to work, they must have the right tools and advanced technology like 360 degrees customers’ views.
The purpose of interactive marketing is to get the views, preferences, and choices of customers, and make their marketing strategy better. Interactive marketing has made the job of marketers much simpler and easier. Instead of sending the lead, all they have to do is to follow the customers. Every time they share their feedback, you have an opportunity to do it better.
Benefits of Interactive Marketing
Some of the advantages and benefits of interactive marketing strategy are as follows;
Increased Consumer Engagement
One of the most important benefits of interactive marketing is that it provides an opportunity for sellers and marketers to receive direct feedback from the customers. For instance, a bakery offers customized cakes where customers choose the design, style, and decoration and place the order online on the bakery’s website. It would help the bakery owner to check what combination of style, color, and design is selling more among customers.
Greater Brand Awareness
When marketers/sellers engage with the customers, it means that they’re working on the customers’ feedback and making the product better. It would also attract many new customers and they’ll learn about your brand through interaction. More brand awareness means more potential customers to the company.
Increase Consumer Loyalty
When marketers and sellers respond to the compliance of the customers, then it would increase loyalty among customers. It means that they would wait for your brand’s product, and they’ll shop it when it comes to the stores.
It’s much easier to generate a lead in interactive marketing. You can start it by asking for any fun, comic, or rhetorical questions. The more interesting the question is, the more chances are that people would answer it. You can get the information without even bothering them. The technique is to ask the short and simple questions; so that the customers would be willing to answer it.
The feedback of consumers is very important. You won’t be able to improve your business and marketing strategy without it. Consequently, you’ll misunderstand the needs and wants of customers. It means that you’d produce the wrong product or the wrong advertisement. Either way, it won’t sell and attract customers.
Therefore, surveys and polls are very important, because they would help you not to misunderstand anything. When you’ll get the right feedback through interactive marketing, then you’d create the right marketing strategy.
Millions of people use the internet every day and they feel like a part of the crowd without having their individuality, because companies use the general terms for its audience and that is ‘‘consumers/customers.’’
But when you use interactive marketing, treat people like an individual and trying to understand their needs and wants. Then looking for ways to solve their issues and trying to meet their demands.
This unique personalized experience of interactive marketing helps you to connect with your audience. It’s a great opportunity for the customers to raise their voices, and they can raise their concerns through surveys, polls, quizzes, and questioners.
Increase in Sales
You can analyze the success of any marketing campaign through its sale conversion rate. Traditional marketing ads send one Way Company’s message. On the other hand, interactive marketing creates a two-way stream and it makes people decide on the spot, yes or no. If they have any questions, then they can ask the marketers on the spot and clear the air. As a result, the sale of the company increases through interactive marketing.
The drawback of Interactive Marketing
Some of the disadvantages and challenges for interactive marketing are as follows;
It is highly probable that the customer having access to the advertisement has already owned the product. Customers may still like the product, but they have it in their collection. Companies would keep on advertising because of the preferences of the customers, but they won’t buy it because they already have it.
If you start meeting the demands of customers, following their product designs of different customers. Soon after the company would lose its identity, because it’s providing what customers are demanding, the business doesn’t have anything of its own. If the company produces something offensive following the demands of customers, then it would badly damage the reputation of the brand.
Types of Interactive Marketing Strategies
Some of the different types of interactive marketing with examples. Companies use these strategies to communicate with their audience are as follow;
Contests or the competitions are prize driven strategy, it motivates people to actively participate in the competition and win the competition. Contests help the company to achieve multiple purposes like brand awareness, brand loyalty, increase sales, conversion boost, etc.
If the prize is big, then it would attract more people. However, there are different formats of competition. It could be intellectual, physical, comic, video, written choices, etc. depending upon the product’s type.
Free air tickets, meeting with your favorite celebrity, and free meals are some of the examples of contests that different businesses organize to promote their products.
Quizzes are the short form of contests. They have different kinds like contest quiz, knowledge quiz, video quiz, or shopping quiz. They’re fun and interesting, and they can easily generate the lead for your business. You should also consider quiz as an interactive marketing strategy.
HBO channel arranged a quiz by asking a question like what character of Game of Thrones series you familiarize yourself with. Many fans of the series responded to the quiz.
Interactive Polls and Surveys
Online questioners fall under the category of interactive polls and surveys. They usually comprise of interactive visuals and photographs. They also provide you a unique insight that how other people are thinking and their preferences.
We come across questioners like favorite coffee, favorite places, what looks better, etc. are some of the common examples of interactive polls and surveys.
Countdown creates suspense that a certain event is coming closer. Like Christmas, Black Friday, Easter, food festival, or the company’s anniversary. Countdowns usually follow the reverse order like 3, 2, and 1.
For instance, different retail stores and shopping malls start the hourly countdown just before the black Friday to create suspense and attract people’s attention.
Interactive videos are a great way of attracting people’s attention and increasing engagement. It’s because interactive videos are the most advanced of marketing and it sends the exact message of what you want to convey. They also increase the response rate.
According to the forecast and methodology of the Cisco Visual Networking Index, 82% of the total traffic over the internet would comprise of videos by the end of 2021.
Interactive infographics show you the statistical data and information in an interesting way. Your target audience learns and gets the message of what you want to tell them.
Games are a great way to attract and hold the attention of your audience. Make sure that you should add some fun elements in the games, so that game shouldn’t be tense. The purpose of the game should be to relax and have some fun with customers. The flip Card game is a very good example of it.
Some companies offer the free service of a calculator, where customers enter the input and the calculator would give them the required results. Return on investment (ROI) calculator would show you how much money you would make from the investment.
Interactive Marketing Best Practices
Some of the best practices of interactive marketing are as follows;
- Focus on Marketing Psychology. Marketing psychology means to understand the minds of customers, their behavior, attitude, choices, and preferences.
- Think Visually. If you use videos and photographs, then it would multiply the effectiveness of the marketing campaign.
- Personalization is the Key to Success. Giving a personal touch to your marketing campaign would be the key to success.
- Encourage Participation. Most importantly, you should admire the feedback of customers, so that they would actively participate in the discussion.
We have learned after reading the article that interactive marketing is essential to achieve success in the era of social media. There are different types of interactive marketing for different types of businesses. Make sure that you should choose the right technique and methodology for your business that matches your product.