Old forms of communication have faded out. Mass media is dead and to be honest, the consumer no longer believe your advertisements. In fact, 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertisements anymore. Social media is the new channel where people recommend and review products, share first hand experiences and look for most solutions.
And these are the conversations that are driving sales for businesses.
We are living in times when not only has the consumer gained greater control over the dialogue but he also dictates his relationship with your brand. We are in the age of interactive marketing.
Never heard of it?
Interactive Marketing – When Consumers Are At the Core of All Marketing Efforts
You may argue that consumers have always been at the core of marketing. After all, a customer service call is aimed at addressing a customer’s concern, and is an age old example of interactive marketing. True! However, the web is far more a responsive medium and has reshaped “interactive” a great deal.
A customer service call made at 11.30 p.m. might not be received right. Moreover, made to someone who has absolutely no problems with your product will only add to your costs. New age interactive marketing is aimed at addressing all such drawbacks.
To be done right, interactive marketing must:
- Take consumer behavior – motivation, interests, and actions – into account
- Leverage cross-channel communication
- Deliver the right message, at the right time, using the right channel of engagement
How to Do Interactive Marketing the Right Way
It all starts with actively understanding your consumers. You need to analyze everything that your consumer is doing, across all channels (online as well as offline). Identify where your consumers are spending most of their time, what they are talking about, what products they are really interested in, and what is putting them off. And then, use all this information to shape your marketing strategy.
Leverage Live Video Streaming
If a live video of a giraffe giving birth can attract more than 200 viewers, maybe it’s time for encashing into live streaming! Tons of brands are using live video streaming to interact in fresh new ways with the digitally empowered consumer. Benefit cosmetics, for example, goes live on Facebook with Tipsy Tricks with several thousand viewers tuning in for makeup advice. The host, Stephanie, answers all viewer queries, as she enjoys her glass of wine during the tutorial.
If you are an eCommerce business, live video streaming could be the cool new way of interacting with your audience. Ever thought about streaming a fashion show live for your new collection and asking for viewer feedback on your products during the live event?
Make Customers Your Marketers
It is no secret that loyal customers are your brand advocates and influencers who can bring in more people to buy from you. Word-of-mouth marketing has been a popular, age-old contributor to larger wallet shares and higher conversions for many brands. Participation has always won more traction. Ever invited a viewer from the crowd to sing along your marketing jingle? Instantly makes him feel connected, right!
The World Wide Web and social channels are just a fresh new face to making customers a part of your marketing efforts. Consider user-generated content – ASOS’s #AsSeenOnMe campaign is an interesting example that has directly impacted the brand’s ROI from their website. Their idea is simple – Invite customers to share their photos wearing ASOS outfits. Other viewers who check out these photos can opt to buy the outfits they like using a call-to-action.
Planning to launch your new range t-shirts that have a catch-phrase printed on them? Involve your users in ‘brainstorming’ your catchphrases. Better yet, give them a chance to design their own t-shirt. For a small prize (a free goodie or a little cash) you can win a lot of eyeballs and engagement on social media.
Personalize the Shopping Experience
If you are wondering what’s in the name, you need to know this now – Coke’s #ShareACoke campaign sold over 150 million personalised bottles, and over 998 million impressions on Twitter. Coke was able to achieve this by smartly using common first names on their bottles. Consumers rushed to buy bottles personalized with their names, clicked selfies, tweeted, hashtagged, and created waves of conversation on social media. It was a win-win campaign for both the brand and the consumer.
Here is another interesting example where clever segmentation allowed advanced personalization. Boca Java, a Florida-based coffee retailer, offered a 17% discount on their three-pack coffee to three segments. These segments were created based on the number of coffee bags previously purchased: two bags, three bags, and four bags. Emails were sent out to all three segments and they found that the two-bag segment was the most likely to avail the offer. With this information, Boca Java was able to upsell to this specific segment. You can read the entire case here. This is a relevant case for interactive marketing as well, because it takes into account the data – motivations and intent of the right segment of audience.
When it comes to email marketing, just using the first name, is not enough. Your emails, or any other communication channel, has to be behavior-based. And, this infographic by SmartInsights tells you why. If you are an eCommerce store, your web push and email marketing needs to be fueled by behavioural automation.
If a user “y” viewed a product on your website and added it cart, but left without making a purchase, you could trigger a personalized browser notification after one day of him not completing the purchase.
Awok created one-to-one push campaigns to promote offers on the products that users had previously shown an intent to buy. By running personalized push notifications AWOK achieved an average CTR of 8.08%, so could you!
Over to You
Did you find our example and practical tips useful? How are you using interactive marketing to increase customer engagement and conversions for your business? Do send in your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org