Interactive Marketing, Revisited

Like their audiences, marketers themselves are fans of the new and improved. In recent years, cross-channel pragmatism has often given way to online mania as advertisers pour money into search, e-mail and video marketing campaigns. NJ Web Design is an excellent resource for this.

Any marketing professional who prowls the Net for information has seen this pattern – an indictment of traditional marketing followed by a plea to embrace interactive channels and practices. In smug articles, print ads give way to podcasts, and hoary 30-second television spots succumb to splashy Internet video advertising.

But is there really such an important distinction between traditional and interactive marketing channels? It depends how you define interaction. I like to think all effective marketing builds on a series of successful interactions. After all, regardless of what channels you’re using, your marketing message is unavoidably interacting with a number of internal and external factors.

Savvy marketers design successful interactions between people, products, brands, services and ideas. And marketers can work to identify interactions that create more successful campaigns. As you plan, consider some of the interactions that can mean the difference between success and failure. Consider how your current campaign interacts with:

Other campaigns – every marketing message exists in the context of other campaigns, past and present and future. Does your campaign build on previous campaigns, or set the stage for later ones? Does it build on the buzz established by events, other products or other companies?

Available technology – Effective interactive marketing means understanding the channels that are available and choosing the best technology to deliver your message with maximum effectiveness. Emerging channels are exciting, but few of us have unlimited technical support at our command to support and execute our marketing ideas.

Internal stakeholders – At some point, all veteran marketers have had to face the campaign killers within. It could be your management, staff, or co-workers. It could be budget or resource constraints. One of the first interactions you might design is within your own organization to obtain the buy-in or resources needed to move forward.

Current environment – Working in real estate, I learned never to serve up corporate communications without checking the current environment. Were rates headed up, or down? Had some guru made a bold forecast for the coming year? Was an annual or quarterly report on tap? What about recent activities in the courts or legislature? Your communications interact with hundreds of other messages to which your audience is exposed each day.

Competitors – What’s your positioning regarding your competition? Are you creating a series of interactions that will encourage prospects to become customers, repeat customers and referrers? What’s your competitor’s positioning regarding your customers?

A lot to think about before your interaction with customers ever begins? Perhaps, but thinking through different types of interactions at the outset could help you generate ideas and make better decisions that ultimately improve results.