This post is a guest post by Nan Gibbons
Marketing is nothing without customer interaction. Interactive marketing, or one-to-one marketing, is the best way to get your customers actually involved with your brand, instead of just browsing your site.
Interactive Marketing can span many different platforms and caters to the aspects that advertising customers most enjoy— like cross-channel integration, real-time updates and personally catered ads.
Four Types of Interactive Marketing
1) Email Marketing: Contrary to popular belief, email is not dead. Sure, your Hotmail or Yahoo addresses may be a bit obscure, but with the smartphone and mobile email revolution, email marketing still stands as a viable option for spreading information, deals and updates.
2) Social Media: With 800 million members of the world’s population on Facebook, and 900 million pages or groups to interact with, it’s no secret that your customers are probably using social media to connect with not only friends, but also their favorite brands. Using Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and other social media sites to promote your brand and post updates will draw customers in to see what you’ve been up to. You can also use social media to learn about your customer’s preferences, so you can be more personal in your advertising.
3) Online Coupons: Going along with social media, online coupons are a great way to use email marketing or your Twitter/Facebook to send out deals and coupons that drive customer interaction. Everyone loves a good coupon, and once you start providing amazing deals and promotions, people will be back for more, which means even more interaction down the road.
4) Customer Feedback: One of the most underrated forms of marketing may be customer feedback. Surveys via email, receipt print out or questionnaire are a great way to hear directly from customers. At the same time, they are interacting with your brand and telling you exactly what they like, dislike and expect in the future. Surveys combined with coupons give customers the benefit of getting something back for interacting with your brand, which will inspire them to continue to do so in the long-term.
Three Benefits of Interactive Marketing
While this information is all well and good, what sets interactive marketing apart from standard marketing, and what are the benefits?
1) Personalized Customer Experience: Customers like to feel important. They want to know that their time and dollars are worth it. Interactive marketing makes for a positive and more personal customer experience, making them feel valued by your company.
2) Relevant Information/Offers: One of the biggest pitfalls of marketing is offering customers deals and information they don’t want or need. Interactive marketing lets you learn about a customer’s needs and preferences in order to offer them only the things they need or have an interest in.
3) Direct Engagement: Engaging directly with a brand and having a positive experience will make a customer much more likely to do so again in the future. This trend builds strong customer loyalty, which saves your business the time, money and trouble of having to reach new customers.
Do all you can to change your marketing techniques to be more interactive. Not only will your business benefit, but you’ll build a strong following of dedicated customers who will most likely tell their friends. Taking these few simple steps can ensure success down the road.