Interactive Marketing: Strategies & Examples

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Want to get consumers more engaged in your marketing messages? Try interactive marketing! In this lesson, you'll learn more about various interactive strategies and see a few brands already doing it.

Getting (Inter)Active

When HBO wanted to catch the attention of the fans of its wildly-popular series Game of Thrones, it decided the best way to do that was to get the show's viewers involved.

HBO developed an interactive website as part of a promotional campaign
interactive, marketing, game, thrones

The campaign allowed viewers to find their favorite character, examine the platforms, and cast votes for the next leader of the ''great wars to come.'' With the voting for the Game of Thrones Party stretched over five weeks, the number of participating voters grew from 1.3 million the first week to more than 1.6 million in the final tally.

HBO successfully implemented an interactive marketing strategy that effectively reached fans of the show. But what does interactive marketing mean and what types of strategies does it include?

The Trend Toward Interactive Marketing

Interactive marketing is a shift toward a more customized and responsive way to reach consumers. Instead of running a print ad that consumers can only view, interactive marketing takes it a step further by asking them to vote, log on, take a quiz, or explore virtual reality (to name a few). Interactive marketing facilitates a two-way street of communication between a brand and its audience, records their responses and preferences, and then uses that information to develop even more customized marketing campaigns.

The concept of interactive marketing has numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased consumer engagement
  • Greater brand awareness
  • Better access to leads
  • More consumer information and preferences
  • Increased sales
  • Greater consumer loyalty

So, the question is: Why NOT engage in interactive marketing? Here are some unique strategies that can be used to generate buzz, build engagement and create more sales for brands and their products and services.

Interactive Marketing Strategies

The nature of interactive marketing strategies is to be fun, entertaining and engaging. Here are some ways that savvy marketers can go about it.

Demonstrations

These aren't the old-fashioned in-store vacuum cleaner demonstrations, but hands-on, interactive content that engages consumers throughout the buying process. Education software company Rosetta Stone, which specializes in helping people learn other languages, has implemented a hands-on demo of its language products including photos and voice guidance in a quiz-type setting to help potential buyers understand its program capabilities.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is the latest buzz in technology circles and is an easy interactive approach to marketing. In virtual reality, a user puts him or herself in the middle of the action. Cookie company Oreo tested the virtual reality mechanism by creating a video where viewers could imagine themselves in an animated Oreo factory. The strategy was to promote the company's new cupcake flavors, and the video garnered more than three million views.

Influencers

Influencers are individuals who command a following online and can ''influence'' people's buying decisions. Fitness clothing experts Lululemon uses influencers, dubbed Ambassadors, on its website. The gist is that everyday people can check out these influencers' profiles, find someone whose interests and activities are close to their own, and connect with the brand in a more individualized, personal way.

Calculators

We've all used calculators online to figure out our ideal weight, how long it'll take to pay off a credit card, or decide how much house we can afford. They're an effective interactive marketing strategy because they provide personalized calculations. The Federal Student Aid website, a function of the U.S. Department of Education, implements an online calculator to help recent college graduates find out how long it will take to repay student loans (scary, we know). The calculator is helpful because it can be customized based on specific user information such as tax status and income.

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