Interactive marketing has been one of the most fruitful marketing methods of the last decade. With the advent of the Internet and its millions of users spending a lot of time online, interactive means of marketing have become more effective and efficient in terms of both cost and time spent in development. With over $200 billion spent annually on Internet advertising, interactive marketing is predicted to occupy nearly 35% of the total marketing expenditure by various organizations.
Since the start of the global recession, companies have refocused their interactive marketing campaigns into mobile, social and video domains, resulting in a 22% increase in revenue for multimedia advertising companies. With more areas of online social interaction being created, companies are hard at work creating new interactive models to be used by marketers.
Customising the interactive experience has been one of the major priorities of companies, and a lot of investment is being poured into new social media platforms specifically targeted towards tablets and smart-phones. As these platforms provide the ability to get instant feedback and can accurately gauge of the effectiveness of an interactive marketing campaign, companies are comfortable with investing in applications for mobile platforms. With smart-phone market reaching out to more than 80 million people by 2015, this investment seems to be a wise choice.
Over the past few years search engines and associated advertisement methods have gained prominence to such a level that almost 55% of Internet ad revenue is being generated through ads appended to search engine results. But with people spending more time on social networks and non search related activities like video sites through their tablets, search revenue is bound to get reduced to 44% in another four years. Marketers are aware of the fact that “customers are looking for us in other places”, a nod to the search through social media and other networks. Another contributing factor would be the presence of companies offering SEO services which provide services that reduce advertising spending by up to 15% when compared to traditional ad agency expenses.
There are other factors that will sustain search result revenue for the next four years like better user interfaces and rich advertisement methods which will entice advertisers to allocate investment earmarked for print forms of advertising. This trend will enable the revnue dollars to be maintained in the search coffers. The small and medium business segment who cannot spend millions of dollars on advertisements will keep the revenues of search based advertisement models. The SMB’s that move away from traditional yellow page advertisements to paid search advertisements will likely grow by 25% which.
Over the last few years display advertisements have suffered a loss in interest with advertisers shifting to search-based ads. But with better placement of display ads, the ability to get them to end-user customers has resulted in an increase of over 20% every year and projected to reach over 35% in the next five years. This increase is also a result of getting more players in the market due to reduced costs through bidding processes that can generate better returns. Online ad exchanges have created niche market and user inventories that have been overlooked by other earlier advertisement mediums. With the availability of auction based ad buying, there is a better value for the ad investment that companies are making. The planning and execution of creating rich media ads, content, auctioning and targeting is a very complicated sequence of events, one that has been made much simpler by data management platforms that provide better targeting of customer groups and also gets feedback from them.
Researchers in the past several years had made some predictions that have been proven true with regard to mobile media and advertisement spending. Mobile ads have the power to take information about a particular product, literally, to the customer’s hands and gives immediate results and feedback. With content managers and mobile servers providing excellent support, the process of reaching specific customer groups based on any criteria is very near. With the number of tablet computer users increasing every year, rich media content optimised for tablet users will take interactive marketing to the next level. Mobile commerce and user numbers are on a cycle of growth feeding upon each other. With organizations recording stupendous growth due to mobile commerce, the revenue is set to top $35 billion in the coming years.
The workhorse of interactive marketing, the e-mail campaign, will also see a growth that is lesser than its social media and mobile counterparts but a growth of nearly 10% nonetheless. E-mail marketing has the unique distinction of having the ability to string together multiple marketing channels. With the ability to decide the “Who”, “When”, “Where” and “What” regarding the content. E-mail marketing will see a growth pattern as the returns will be better with better targeting.
Despite popular opinion, even though social media has grown exponentially over the past few years, social media marketing will grow only moderately. Even though social media marketing presents relatively lower costs, the growth of social media marketing has been a little dampened in the last few quarters. The primary social media sites around which advertisers design their ads have limited space with regards to rich media content. With huge companies making social media management a part of their internal responsibilities, one cannot measure the investment in this sector. However there is a hidden growth in the form of intelligence gathering that will begin, and companies will integrate information about their prospective and existing customers into their CRM services.
Based on the above study, one can summarise a list of activities that an organization needs to undertake for a successful campaign. Planning out a proper marketing budget is very crucial. Organization cannot simply rely on reusing the conventional systems of last year, as interactive marketing evolves at a very rapid pace. It would be better if plans are made based on the key audiences and the route that customers take to arrive at the target. Then the marketing cost and the channel cost will give a realistic picture of the investment required. Care should also be taken to make sure that the marketing team does not just go by algorithms and numbers when creating a marketing plan. A good organic and innovative campaign is always required, and marketing managers should always take that into account.
Interactive Growth Driven Practice:
With the overload on the customer with multiple ads vying for attention, there is a high chance that people’s buying pattern will change drastically and will result in certain limitations being put up on daily deal advertisements. With the struggle to enter into the loyalty circle of the consumer, each company will pay critics to get better reviews, package and place their products in a supposedly better way. Sometimes the product may be offered as an incentive to drive more customers to switch loyalties from another brand. With such a large amount of activity happening on social media front, the day is not far off when manufacturers, both hardware and software developers, enter into a partnership with the content driven platforms to create a whole new way of delivering the advertisements about various products to the end consumer.
Prabu Mani is an electronics engineer. Since 2004, he has been writing for various content development firms in India, including Mobius Knowledge Services, Writing-Counseling.com, and Status InfoTech. Prabu also served as a business development manager for Streta Systems and Technologies as well as Sumeru Software. He also has 3+ years’ experience in providing SEO services for international clients.
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