03 Feb Interactive Marketing – The Consumer as Part of Your Brand
Consumer behavior is in a constant state of flux. Instead of being presented with finished products, consumers want to participate in their design. They want to enter into dialog with companies in order to play a decisive role in shaping brands and products. To enable customers to communicate in this way, companies are turning to interactive marketing. In this article, we will discuss the different forms of interactive marketing and the advantages it can have for you.
What is interactive marketing?
In contrast to traditional media, users are now taking on the role of active sender as well as receiver. The task of interactive marketing is to take advantage of this two-way communication. Customers can be involved in campaigns, give direct feedback and even play a significant role in shaping the offer. Marketing can thus become much more personal and, above all, more relevant to each individual customer. Content becomes more entertaining and manages to engage the customer.
For this more dynamic marketing process, new media in the context of Web 2.0 are also used above all. Web 2.0 refers to the changed use of the Internet, according to which users now act as prosumers – that is, as consumers and producers at the same time.
What forms of interactive marketing are there?
As you might imagine from the term Web 2.0, Interactive Marketing occurs with very different content. Users are integrated and involved to varying degrees.
Interactive storytelling initially follows the aspects of ‚traditional‘ storytelling. Here, too, a story is told around a product or a company in order to get the customer’s attention. The interactive aspect here is the inclusion of video and audio clips or other interactive components. These leave it up to the user to decide which parts they want to interact with and what information they consume.
Providing multi-layered information works in a similar way. At first glance, this only gives a rough overview of the content. The user can decide for himself how detailed he wants to be informed by different layers. For example, provide an interactive infographic that provides more information when a user clicks on a subsection. Content thus appears more exciting for potential customers and can be „discovered“.
Personalizing certain content can also be counted as Interactive Marketing. By collecting certain customer data, you learn about the wishes and needs of your customers and can fulfill them optimally in the next step.
Two-way interactions are probably what you expected at the introduction. This includes any elements that require active user participation. Social media in particular has made this area of marketing virtually unimaginable. Mutual interaction includes, for example, chats, comment columns, tools in Instagram stories and also any other feedback options.
When it comes to user-generated content, go even one step further than before. Instead of just giving consumers a choice when searching for information or asking them for feedback, they play a major role in shaping it here. For example, let your customers design new packaging for the next special edition or put together their own burgers. This makes customers feel valued and strongly involved in the development of the brand and the product.
What are the benefits of interactive marketing?
The active participation of your customers in marketing campaigns can have decisive advantages for your company. These will be explained in the following section.
Closer ties between customers and your company
Through interactive marketing, customers feel equal and are involved in the company’s decisions. Content no longer has to be consumed passively, but requires active participation that provides a positive experience. Customers are motivated to engage even further with the company and become part of a participatory culture. Customers feel part of a brand. This sense of belonging creates particularly strong customer retention and loyalty.
Developing new customer groups
In addition to customer loyalty, the acquisition of new customers is also an advantage of interactive marketing. The highly targeted interaction can lead to sharing of campaigns by consumers themselves. This allows you to reach potential customers and new target groups that you would not have reached otherwise. Interactive marketing can even achieve viral effects.
Last but not least, the aforementioned advantages naturally also result in considerable cost savings. By engaging and activating your customers, you create a sense of belonging. In many cases, consumers share these experiences with other potential customers, which can lead to an exponential increase in reach. Your investment of resources in this process is relatively small, but can have a big impact.
Additionally, through interactive marketing, you create a level of engagement and loyalty among your customers, which can be considered a significant competitive advantage. Reducing wastage or targeting communications with personalized content also ensures a reduction in costs.
Since the introduction of Web 2.0, interactive marketing is no longer a new concept. Especially in combination with social media it is used to increase customer loyalty. Communities are built that no longer just provide customers with marketing content, but with real and additional value. Customers feel a sense of belonging to your brand when needs and wishes are asked for and, in the next step, also implemented. So you too can benefit from the positive effects of interactive marketing and enter into dialog with your customers.