Interactive marketing – what is it and why it matters?
Marketing is a constantly changing field; it plays a key role in raising brand awareness, generating new sales leads, building customer loyalty, and creating a company communications strategy both on and offline. One new trend in this field is interactive marketing, which is changing the way consumers engage with businesses.
Thanks to social media, which has created much more intimacy and connection between brands and customers, there is now a greater expectation upon how much engagement should be available. Interactive marketing is another way of developing this, and is about responding to something that a customer specifically does, rather than taking a vague and blanket approach. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘trigger-based’ or ‘event-based’ marketing. The action is led by the consumer, who starts this chain of events off.
An example of interactive marketing can be seen when you go to a fast food chain and order a hamburger. This will be followed with another question, such as “Would you like fries with that?”, It sees the purchase of one product trigger another purchase.
This can again be seen on sites such as Amazon, when you put an item in your basket and the website generates a list of other possible buys with the headline “Customers who picked this, also bought…”. This relies on collecting and digesting visitor behaviour, and using clever algorithms and technology to show meaningful information to the customer. This may also see the site recommending products that relate to something you looked at months earlier, or placed an order for previously.
Interactive marketing is much more personal and tailored than other types, and therefore can help to drive up sales results and increase conversion rates. It can additionally play a key role in improving the overall customer experience. In putting the best suggestions or opportunities to your customers at all times, you are showing them that you have been paying attention to what they’ve been doing, ordering, and what they’re interested in. It builds engagement and brand loyalty, and makes for a more pleasant experience.
Interactive marketing can be as straightforward as all other types of marketing, such as promotional merchandise. It can also lower marketing costs, because happy customers will naturally refer you and keep coming back for more. They will enjoy the personal experience. It can also increase sales, increase customer satisfaction, and build a clear sense of branding.
However, interactive marketing should come as part of a wider strategy, rather than being the only type relied on. Promotional products, for example, help to spread brand awareness with new customers that may not have heard of you before. Once they’re directed to your business or site, this is where interactive marketing can kick in. It also helps in recognising that not everyone is alike, and people need to be targeted in a number of different ways.