EYES WIDE OPEN: THE FUTURE OF INTERACTIVE MARKETING

By January 15, 2014 April 3rd, 2014 Experiential Marketing, Interactive Marketing

Predictions for the experiential marketing industry

Interactive marketing has proven itself to be one of the most fruitful and disruptive marketing approaches of the past few decades. An engaging way to connect with consumers, interactive marketing principles have managed to turn established media models on their head, giving power to the people and forcing corporate accountability.

More than a passing fad, interactive marketing accounts for nearly 35 percent of the $200 billion spent annually on advertising (Source: Forrester’s Interactive Marketing 2011 to 2016 Summary). What’s more, customizing the interactive experience has become a major focus for many companies over the past few years, thanks in part to the rise of social media and the demand for experiential programs.

So, what can we expect to see next?

The future of interactive marketing hinges on relationships – online, offline, personal and professional. Here’s how we see the industry evolving over the next few years.

Shifting Priorities

Traditional media and advertising used to focus entirely on a hard sale. The approach was simple: push the product in order to convince your customer of its value. Try to take this iron-fisted approach today and you might as well sign your company’s death certificate. Consumers are smarter than that now. They know how to research products, compare options, share opinions and dispel false advertisements.

Right now, companies are still trying to sell their products using experiential and interactive marketing methods. Online campaigns and digital outreach, while based on an interactive foundation and open premise, are still based on a sales pitch in many cases. The future of interactive marketing relies entirely on relationship building rather than media or platform manipulation. Remember: interactive marketing isn’t just a synonym for online marketing – while they both rely heavily on the Internet, interactive marketing is dependant on two-sided, mutually-beneficial relationships.

Not surprisingly, social media will play an instrumental role in the progression of interactive marketing. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube are powerful communication tools. Companies that use these tools to make their consumers’ experiences more personal and sharable will ultimately win.

Big Picture Thinking

Interactive marketing’s ability to change the ways in which we communication and make purchase decisions is just beginning to become apparent. It goes without saying that this impact will only become more and more apparent and important over the coming months. Big picture campaigns will go beyond consumer pain points and touch on deeper cultural, economic, and social issues. When executed properly, interactive marketing and experiential outreach has the ability to do more than sell products and improve ROI – it can change accepted beliefs, bridge boundaries, and alter lives.

The future of interactive marketing is in the overall experience. Brands that are able to make their message in an interactive manner will ultimately engage more consumers, creating a more memorable product.

Make Use of Media

The rise of interactivity has given consumers more control over how they interact and consume media. Whether it’s skipping commercials or blocking ads, customers can simply opt out of your marketing message on traditional channels. But that’s not to say that media is dead. The future of interactive marketing is rooted in videos, graphics, audio – multimedia is what gives your marketing legs. Incorporating interactivity into your events will help extend the shelf life of your message and drive engagement days and even weeks after your event has wrapped.

As technologies improve and marketing campaigns become increasingly holistic, it’s safe to say that multimedia will become a foundational element of interactive marketing.

More Metrics, Improved Results

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of interactive marketing is the ability to closely track, monitor and report on campaign performance. With the amplification of digital elements, marketers now have the ability to capture a great deal more data that can be used to determine engagement levels and improve future outreach programs.

Interaction Will Influence Future Business Decisions

Interactive marketing shouldn’t just impact a customer – when done properly, it should also impact the company. This is because interactive marketing enables organizations to find the sweet spot between the needs of the user and the goals of the organization. Feedback and interaction enables engaged brands to make strategic decisions that benefit their users and ultimately improve the company’s bottom line.

As such, the future of interactive marketing isn’t necessarily about promoting an existing product. Eventually, it will be about sourcing ideas for future products.

Describing interactive marketing as a disruptive approach isn’t an overstatement – it’s the fundamental truth. Keep your business on the cutting edge of interactivity and creativity with professional experiential marketing support and planning. Contact Midfield today to learn more about our unique service offerings and event planning expertise.

Paul Allison

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