Interactive Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

According to recent research from Forrester, advertisers will spend $77 billion on interactive marketing by 2016, with social media growing to 35 percent of all advertising. If you’re already using interactive services, that statistic is no surprise. But if you’re among those who are not, consider this your wake-up call: Without interactive tools in your marketing mix, your business is headed for a downhill slope.

Defining the Terms
“Interactive Marketing” – a.k.a. digital, new media, technology marketing – refers to promoting products and/or services via emerging technology and encompasses everything from a company’s website and banner ads, to search engine optimization and marketing, social media, videos, QR codes and mobile applications. Interactive Marketing has grown in popularity and increases as consumer electronic technology evolves, e.g., smartphones and tablets have created more opportunities for marketing.

“Traditional Marketing” encompasses everything that has been used for years via print and broadcast, including business cards, newspaper ads, promotional flyers, brochures, posters, television and radio. It utilizes technology that has been around for decades and is becoming less popular due to the changes in how consumers obtain their information.

A Fundamental Shift
In the last few years, people have changed the way they learn, compare and ultimately “buy” information, products and services. As a result, there has been a fundamental shift in the way they are reached through marketing. Audiences have become less interested in traditional interruption-based marketing (“push” marketing) that appears where the marketer decides and have grown more open to permission-based interactive marketing (“pull” marketing) that allows them to choose the information they want, when they want it.

Why It's Important
Simply put, your business depends on using interactive marketing tools. Where traditional marketing methods were sufficient in the past, they are no longer enough. Consider a basic website. In the past, many businesses got along fine without one, but now websites have become a necessity to thrive in today’s marketplace. Furthermore, just having a website is no longer sufficient. Now it’s imperative that your website utilizes keywords and links so that it ranks highly in the search engines and your business can be found. A whole new strategy is required – search engine optimization – to ensure traffic. And that’s only one example of how emerging technology has required a change in marketing methods.

The Benefits
There are many reasons interactive marketing continues to rise in popularity: measurable returns, flexibility, quick feedback, cost-effectiveness and increased reach. Nevertheless, traditional methods can still play an important role in your marketing mix, but it’s becoming more important to integrate the interactive with the traditional. For example, a print ad might include your site’s URL, which links to videos and all your social media, which then leads customers to your downloadable brochure and a QR code that links back to your website. Utilize email, too, to make connections whenever possible. Always consider your customers and choose the best ways to communicate with them. The professionals at McDaniels Marketing can help to integrate your marketing seamlessly in ways that reach your target audience effectively and deliver maximum marketing results. Contact Randy McDaniels, Melissa Smallenberger, or Angela Atherton today or call (309) 346-4230.

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