Sunday, June 21, 2009

What is Interactive Marketing

The latest craze in today's marketing feeding frenzy is interactive marketing. This new tool that has been added to the marketers' tool belt is yet another term that gets thrown around with little or no discussion of what it actually is or how it works. Wilkipedia defines interactive marketing as 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 takes marketing to a new level. We as marketers are scientist that constantly test human behavior. We want to know how people respond to certain colors, certain ad copy, banners, pop up ads, and any thing else that may get us a sell. Unfortunately, all of this testing tends to become expensive. Sometimes we have to run advertising campaigns blind and then see how the public responds. Yes, we can employ focus groups to test our theories, however, taking a small sample can be mis-leading. For example, lets say that you live near the beach and you decide to go to the ocean. One day while at the ocean you wonder if there are any fish in the ocean so you take a bucket and dip it into the ocean. When you pull your bucket out of the water you find that there are no fish in it, therefore you reason there are no fish in the ocean. We both know that this is a very WRONG conclusion. This is very similar to test groups when dealing with marketing. Sometimes we are just looking in the wrong place. Interactive marketing helps us to deal with this problem. Interactive
marketing allows us to have a dialogue with our customers. It's like mailing a letter to the fish and asking them where they live. We can even take it further and ask what they like and why they like it. Interactive marketing is a chance for marketers to get it right. We can use it to deliver more value to customers by identifying products and services that customers need and want, then deliver those products and services to them. Interactive marketing empowers the buyer. It allows the buyer to have a say in the purchases they make. No more provide it and they will buy it, rather, provide what they want and they will buy it. Well hopefully they will!!!!

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