April 5, 2010
Greg Corombos with Radio America looked to AIS Media CEO Thomas Harpointner for his insight on how the marketing industry has drastically changed in a short period of time due to the recession and how traditional media is taking a new form in interactive marketing. Harpointner’s comments included:
“AIS Media has been around since 1997 so we have seen quite a few trends come and go,” says Harpointner. “What was predicted 10 years ago is now true today. Consumers are using eCommerce, retail stores have shut down, direct mail has taken a major hit and social media has taken off. It’s important for businesses to know that consumers today have really embraced technology. The Interactive trend is finally here and it’s not going to change anytime soon.”
“Have a great website that’s compelling and represents your company well. Make sure that your website is found on search engines and encourages customers to subscribe to your email list and maintain constant communication. If you are doing all of those elements well then you are off to a great start,” Harpointner concluded.
5 To-Do’s for Interactive Marketing Success:
- Create a Professional Web Presence: The first step in an Interactive marketing campaign is to have a professional web presence. These days everything starts with a company’s website. There are many new technologies like social media and mobile marketing that are emerging and it can be easy to get a little side tracked and jump on the next cutting edge technology. At the end of the day consumers visit a company’s website first so the website should be the center of a business’s universe.
- Increase Search Engine Visibility: Once you have a great website, the next element is being easily found. 96% of all searches that are done on the Internet start with the use of search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing. A company has to be highly ranked on search engines in order to be found. Essentially, if you are found on search engines it means you are able to drive qualified traffic to your website. However, if consumers are unable to find your company on search engines then the website might as well be a magic trick in the dark. If people don’t know about your company’s website, they can’t appreciate it, let alone use it.
- Keep Consumers Engaged: Once you have a website, you must have a way to continue to communicate with those customers. A good way to do that is to encourage them to sign up to your email newsletter, download some type of report or take some kind of an action. Once consumers have signed up to a newsletter it gives a business the right and privilege to continue to communicate with that customer until they opt out. It’s a great way of remaining engaged with the consumer.
- Know Your Audience: The key is for businesses to understand who their audience is. If you are targeting teenagers, you should focus on what medium they use, which are their cell phones via texting. Middle-aged adults are more likely to be reached via email while older generations are taking to Facebook and social media sites. Businesses need to focus on where their audience is and use their traditional advertising that is working well and augment advertising strategies to reach the Interactive marketing world. Know that today’s consumers expect to receive their information in more than one way so it’s not so much a challenge as it is an opportunity.
- Don’t Rush Into Social Marketing: The hottest trend right now is social marketing. However, the key problem with social marketing is the fact that it is difficult to measure the return on investment (ROI). Pepsi recently made a splash after advertising in the Super Bowl 23 years decided to back out of the big game to pursue a social marketing campaign. For companies, like Pepsi and their larger counterparts who are already established, extending their brand to social media makes sense but if you are a small or medium sized business, if you don’t have a world known brand and you don’t have tens of thousands of followers and friends then it’s a little bit early to be engaging in social media. Businesses need to make sure they’ve explored the more practical methods of online marketing first. The key takeaway, smaller business must understand that you have to build up a critical mass first when it comes to social marketing before you can really have a measurable impact.