Let’s start with some examples:
Not using the intended recipient’s name
Bragging about your client list without bothering to tell THIS client how you can help them
Text-heavy email with no personalisation and a difficult to find Call to Action
These are all great examples of what Interactive Marketing is NOT.
So What IS Interactive Marketing?As the name suggests, Interactive Marketing is both ONE-TO-ONE and TWO-WAY.
Unlike traditional advertising or marketing which tends to be top-down and one-way, Interactive Marketing initiatives are triggered by individual customers’ (and prospects’) behaviors, preferences and actions. It is a customer-centric strategy aimed at meeting customers’ expectations and demands in a way that suits them best and is, therefore, most effective for the brand.
Every time a customer engages with a brand (e.g. on social media) to provide feedback, express their opinions or preferences, or even to provide demographic data, marketers can use this information to guide their marketing and branding efforts. Interactive Marketing is also known as event-based marketing or trigger-based marketing since relies on two-way dialogue. It is for this reason that it represents a major paradigm shift from a typical marketing campaign that is usually focused only on increasing sales or profits.
Types of Interactive Marketing
Interactive marketing can take many forms, but the goal is always the same: to provide dynamic, engaging and relevant content for customers that encourages them to participate in brand conversations.
These include, among others:
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and targeted ads
- Email marketing
- Interactive multimedia storytelling with video, infographics, and animation
- Personalized content and tailored offers/special deals
- Two-way interactive tools like games and puzzles
The point is to provide customers with avenues for active engagement which can create powerful experiences associated with that brand. Ultimately, the biggest benefit of Interactive Marketing is that it can lead to greater customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and ‘advocacy’.
The Internet & Digital/Interactive Marketing Landscape in India
According to the Digital 2019 reports from Hootsuite and We Are Social, there were 4.39 billion internet users in January 2019, an increase of 366 million (9%) over the previous year.
Compared to global Internet penetration of 57%, the same statistic for India stands at only 41%. However, this seemingly low number still represents about 560 million total users – a massive number by any standards as well as the world’s second-largest internet user base.
The figure for mobile penetration is equally impressive: 87% – a statistic that translates to 515 million mobile Internet users. This figure is expected to grow further to 666 million by 2023. Online videos, games, mobile banking, apps and streaming content are among the most popular types of content consumed by the average Indian Internet native.
Indians are also highly active on social media and messaging applications. As the number of Indian users on these platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, etc) continue to grow, they present massive opportunities for Digital Marketing in general and Interactive Marketing in particular.
India: 4 Growing Trends in Interactive Marketing
As Internet penetration increases and social media adoption grows, a number of profitable avenues are opening up within Interactive Marketing. Here are 4 growing trends that are sure to become even more popular in the coming years:
1. Live and personalized video marketing will become more common
Videos have been around for years but they have recently started gaining more consumer eyeballs thanks to digital platforms and social media. Unlike passive, one-way broadcasts, the live video provides marketers the opportunity to interact with prospects and consumers in real-time. Brands can promote events, give new customers a virtual tour of their facilities and engage with audiences through real-time Q&A sessions.
Personalizing takes live video several steps further. Gamified, interactive videos are an effective way to capture and retain consumers’ attention because they can turn passive viewers into active ones. In the coming years, brands will send customers personalized videos to thank them (instead of generic form emails), to promote new content, to respond to consumers’ comments on social media and even to nurture current relationships. In India, the future possibilities for engagement and brand promotion through video are endless.
2. Interactive chatbots will become more intelligent
Today’s chatbots are already more intelligent than the chatbots of even a few years ago thanks to advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI). As Chatbot programming improves and makes them ‘smarter’, they will be able to respond to a wider and greater number of queries in more meaningful ways. Ultimately, they may resolve issues without requiring any human intervention whatsoever.
Over time, as more brands capitalize on Chatbots’ low-cost/high-efficiency benefits, they will become more ubiquitous and need-to-have Marketing tools.
3. Voice-activated technology will continue its forward momentum
Smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are already household names in many countries, and India is catching up. The brains behind these devices, the ‘virtual assistants’ like Siri, Alexa and Google are changing the way people perform a range of tasks – from interacting with news and buying groceries to listening to online music and even checking the weather before traveling.
In fact, it is expected that by 2020, 50% of all worldwide searches will be voice searches, and by 2022, voice-driven commerce will reach $40 billion in sales.
More and more Indian brands will look for ways to use voice-activated technology in their Interactive Marketing campaigns. They will optimize their content so virtual assistants can find them and push them to the top of customers’ voiced search results.
4. Augmented Reality (AR) will enter the mainstream
The world of online gaming already uses AR in creative, highly-immersive ways (think Pokémon GO).
However, AR’s potential extends far beyond gaming. It can incorporate interesting elements such as 360- emotionally connect that improve brand engagement and top-of-the-mind recall. Many global brands are already recognizing this, including Ikea, Coca-Cola, Amazon, and Starbucks. Many of these brands already have a presence in India so Indian consumer’s degree video, click-and-drag functionality and stunning visual content to create strong are likely to experience plenty of AR-related Interactive Marketing campaigns in the coming years.
5. Focus on Messenger and in-app advertising will continue to increase
India offers a huge market for advertising through Messenger and other apps.
In early 2019, a report by AppAnnie had predicted that during the year, the number of apps with in-app advertising would grow by 60% percent as advertisers increased their conversion ratios with these ‘captive’ users. Over the coming years, more and more advertisers will start using messenger apps to target and engage with this massive Indian audience.
Interactive Marketing is the way of the future for both Indian brands and consumers. As the country becomes more digitally mature, Interactive Marketers will find ever-newer ways to engage consumers, build relationships and promote brand loyalty.
Ream More: Step By Step Guide To Online Marketing
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