Mark S. Pendolino
|INTERACTIVE MEDIA aND MARKETING|
Interactivity Helps Define Marketing Objectives
"Interactivity" and "Marketing" have some synonymous links. Both are extremely broad terms that are hard to define in any one arena, but to understand the aspects of interactivity in marketing, it is best to get an understanding of some of the terminology being heavily used in order to see the connections.
The McGraw Hill Online Learning Center describes Interactive Marketing as: " A dynamic collaborative process of creating, purchasing, and improving products and services that builds close relationships between a business and its customers, using a variety of services on the Internet, intranets, and extranets."
"Integrated Marketing Communication"
About.com's marketing page defines Integrated Marketing Communication as: "A management concept that is designed to make all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing work together as a unified force, rather than permitting each to work in isolation."
Marketingterms.com defines Viral Marketing as: "Marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message."
It also offers the following supplemental information:
Viral marketing depends on a high pass-along rate from person to person. If a large percentage of recipients forward something to a large number of friends, the overall growth snowballs very quickly. If the pass-along numbers get too low, the overall growth quickly fizzles.
At the height of B2C it seemed as if every startup had a viral component to its strategy, or at least claimed to have one. However, relatively few marketing viruses achieve success on a scale similar to Hotmail, widely cited as the first example of viral marketing.
Marketers love to use their own terms (as with any organization). What many may think of as "Interactive Media," the marketing and advertising industry describes as "Rich Media." Perhaps because it includes some forms of advertising, such as Float Overs - advertisements on the Web that are contained in their own window and literally "float" across the page, that are not necessarily interactive. For the sake of this study, Rich Media is the common term used to describe interactive media.
Marketingterms.com also offers a comprehensive definition of Rich Media, calling it a: "New media that offers an enhanced experience relative to older, mainstream formats."
Rich media is not easily defined by its members; new formats are regularly being introduced and old formats become part of the mainstream (or disappear altogether).
Standard graphic format such as JPEG and GIF would not be considered rich media. Some popular formats commonly considered rich media include Macromedia Flash & Shockwave, along with various audio and video formats.
Tied in Together
All of the above terms help to define how interactivity is viewed by marketers and how it helps to increase their chances of generating brand awareness, trust and, ultimately, sales. This is the impetus for the rise of online sales, something of a resurgence that we take a look at next.