Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Staggeringly Effective Advertising

From The Hindu Business Line Interactive media is staggeringly effective.

Interactive is no longer just the Internet; if you broaden the category and think about any twoway interaction with the consumer, you are not talking just about the Internet but also about mobile phones, gaming, ITV, kiosks and a whole swathe of interactive media."

Interactive marketing or digital branding is the newest mantra of marketers worldwide, as consumers get increasingly Net savvy. In fact, marketing gurus feel brands can create a deeper involvement with their target audiences, considering the long number of hours they spend online.

Take it one step further, considering how often they have four square inches of advertising space with them. A much more personal interaction.

The big variable that is removed with this type of marketing is WHEN. NO longer do I have to wait for the consumer to see my ad, or go to my site. After permission is granted, the brand can reach this consumer anytime and anywhere.

Does interactive marketing work the same way as other media, or is it different?

It's much different. I gave you permission to market to me.

What is fundamentally different about it is that it is a consumer-controlled set of media. In other words, if you don't choose to go to the Web site, you will never see the Web site as opposed to more intrusive forms of advertising like in a newspaper or television, where you have no choice.

How do I get people to my site?

Interactive grew up a different way, in a way that made brands convey a value to consumers to be attractive enough so that the consumers would decide to interact with them.

If it's Pepsi, which is a large client of ours, it meant having original music from Shakira or Britney Spears on the Web site, so that people would say, `I want to interact with Pepsi as I am interested in the music that Pepsi brings to me.' This is a different model than just pushing the messages at people.

It's called pull marketing and it's going to shake up the advertising world. Pull, means I, the consumer, am trying to pull info from you. I want something, and in return I will let you market to me.

What initiates the "pull" in pull marketing? For starters it can be sending an SMS or clicking on a barcode.

What is the percentage share of interactive branding vis-à-vis total spending?

In the US, it's approaching five per cent. But the gap between the percentage allocated to interactive and the percentage of time that interactive represents in a consumer's life is about 15. In other words, it consumes about 20 per cent of the total media but only 5 per cent of the marketing investment. And that number is growing quickly

Also, what has not been accounted for properly is the value of interactivity. Thirty seconds of television or 10 seconds of print exposure, the quality of exposure is not necessarily the same as someone who has decided to interact with you for five minutes. It's a deeper involvement that you have online than you have anywhere else.

Bingo. Five minutes of interactivity with a consumer is better than buying every keyword a search engine can sell you.

The question is, how does a brand get permission. What kind of marketing campaign will get me to "pull" info and start this relationship.

It won't be the best algorithm, or a banner ad, it will involve the brands own physical product. The consumer will have the company's product in hand and will be be essentially dialing customer service through it. Interacting with the consumer through your own product. That is very powerful stuff

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