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Interactive Marketing refers to the evolving trend in marketing whereby marketing has moved from a transaction-based effort to a conversation. John Deighton argued that interactive marketing features “the ability to address an individual and the ability to gather and remember the response of that individual” leading to “the ability to address the individual once more in a way that takes into account his or her unique response”(Deighton 1996). Interactive marketing is not synonymous with online marketing, although interactive marketing processes are facilitated by internet technology. The ability to remember what the customer has said is made easier when we can collect customer information online and we can communicate with our customer more easily using the speed of the internet. Amazon.com is an excellent example of the use of interactive marketing, as customers record their preferences and are shown book selections that match not only their preferences but recent purchases.
Interactive Marketing allows customers and prospects to participate in the process of building a brand's image in a certain market or target group's minds. Thanks to the consumer's ability to "interrupt" a brand's communications and to complement or modify its messages to fit his or her perception, the process of building the brand itself is crowdsourced among its main target group, with or without the brand manager's intervention. According to CEO of Situation Interactive, Damian Bazadona, "Customers have unprecedented access to information about companies. With brands becoming more defined by actions and not simply words, social networks, search engines and mobile device growth gives our consumers even more power, so it's important to love customers, treat employees like gold and show a passion for what the organization does.
A brand that only communicates with its consumers via massive one-way media is having a monologue and may not be heard actively by its audience. Interactive Communications take place when both sides pay attention to the other, and a dialogue exists. Basis for a good interactive dialogue is the ability to interrupt the other party at any time.
The shift towards interactive marketing is much attributed to greater consumer response and customer acquisition rates.
For example, in interactive property marketing, consumers are able to view and experience an entire development as they would on an entirely dynamic and interactive interface during mere construction stages. Consumer interaction and understanding of the prospective project is dramatically enhanced leading to higher confidence in the buying process. At the same time, the interactive technology can capture consumer statistics including usage information and interests in a non-obtrusive manner that can then be used to individually target to the consumer immediately or at a later stage.