What is Interactive Marketing: The Pros and Cons
As our world grows more technologically advanced, we’ve begun to rely on call and response. As a business owner, there are many tools on the market that allow us to understand, engage with and respond to our customers. As a result of this, interactive marketing is one of the ways through which business owners like yourself can become more in touch with clients. Interactive marketing relies on the actions of the consumer and involves tactics that directly respond to their wants and needs.
Essentially, it involves asking questions, getting answers and modifying your business tactics as a result. Curious about how you can implement this into your business? Read on!
What is interactive marketing?
Interactive marketing works by collecting and analyzing the behaviour of visitors to your website. This can take many forms, but one of the most common is search engine marketing. Essentially this means that when a customer types a question or query into a search engine, the advertisements they are shown are directly based on this query. For example, if someone types “good winter boots” into Google, chances are they’ll be shown advertisements on various pages based on these search terms. In a nutshell, this intuitive form of marketing connects products, services and customers.
In another regard, your official company website is an excellent way to explore the world of interactive marketing. Your website is one of the foremost tools that will allow for customer engagement. It is likely that prospective customers will end up on your page because they're interested in your goods or services, and thus, will browse your products and offerings as well as potentially interacting with online forms or forums and researching your company history. The way that customers interact with your website will offer you a wealth of information and insight into their behaviour. You’ll be able to see the products, services as well as the pages that are the most browsed, bought and thus, useful.
Examples of interactive marketing
One of the most popular examples of a website which implements these tactics is Amazon. Amazon collects user data and shows meaningful information to their customers. If you’ve used Amazon before, you’ve likely noticed the “suggested reading” section, which will alert you to selections based on your previous activity on the website. This type of marketing tactic really drives home the personal shopping experience, engaging the needs of the customer so that they feel compelled to stay on the website longer.
As is likely obvious, the longer a customer stays on a website, the more likely they are to continue to purchase items. Further, Amazon remembers customer preferences, sending e-mails with highlights to new or similar items based on browsing history. The combination of all these tactics works to improve their conversion rate, which is what any online business is hoping for, right?
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The benefits of using interactive marketing
As you’ve likely guessed, interactive marketing boasts many benefits that will have a direct and effective impact on your business. These benefits are as follows:
Increased sales: Increasing their conversion rate is what most businesses strive for, and with good reason. Well, luckily for you, this is what interactive marketing does. It works to increase the odds of your ability to deliver what the customer is looking for as well as offering items that are related to past and current searches.
Lower costs than traditional marketing efforts: Firstly, online advertising of any type costs significantly less than traditional marketing efforts including television, print as well as radio and can often produce a much greater return rate.
Customer satisfaction: As we now know, interactive marketing is based around fulfilling the customer's needs. More often than not, you’ll be able to match your consumer with the right product or service, and thus, offering more satisfaction with the least amount of effort. Further, a happy customer is more likely to be loyal as opposed to one who is unable to find what they’re looking for.
Disadvantages of interactive marketing
As with any marketing strategy, interactive marketing requires careful planning and implementation. Although a system will ultimately record and decipher many factors for you, you will still require the tools to understand what these measures mean.
Comfortability factor: For some consumers, ads that are targeted towards their wants and needs may come across as creepy or unnerving. Delivering recommendations means tracking what your customers do, and for some this is uncomfortable. Targeting ads in their direction may cause them to pull away from your company slightly. But of course, many technologically aware customers will be used to it.
Customer differences: Interactive marketing works on customer probabilities. However, just because many people bought both items A and B, does not mean that this will happen every single time. Unfortunately, this could go wrong in some cases while working to highlight that you don’t know your customer as well as you think.
Implementing interactive marketing in your business isn’t just about a simple click of the mouse. It’s really about taking the time to understand your marketplace as well as the wants and needs of your customers.