Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Can Interactive Marketing take off?

Like many people I’m doing my level best to embrace social media. Hey, I’ve got a blog and I’m on Twitter. I’ve also got a FaceBook page and I’m on LinkedIn, even though the whole bally lot of them seem strange and rather uncontrollable. Totally uncontrollable if you really want to know: I’m just not used to people writing on my wall.

Is that a bad thing? I know I’m not alone. I recently saw one leading marketing specialist publically say that Twitter was a waste of time and he wasn’t going to bother with it any more. A completely reasonable opinion, many might say. He may well be right for all I know.

Yet social media does seem to have a life of its own now. Facebook has a population larger than the USA. Can you imagine? Over 300m people in the USA and over 400m on Facebook.

Despite all this socialising on the internet I’m not completely convinced that marketers are becoming more interactive. Yes, they write blogs. Yes, they publish newsletters. But so far, so much business as usual, just on a different platform: broadcasting a message just as marketers have always done.

Interactive marketing is a conversation, not a broadcast. It’s the comments bit of a blog, the discussion on Twitter, and being happy when people write on your wall, whatever they write. (Yikes!)

The potential for interactivity is a new concept in marketing that I suspect will take time to be fully embraced. Most tweople on Twitter seem to be intent on broadcasting their message rather than interacting, which is a shame. Isn’t interaction with our prospects and customers what we have been waiting for? Isn’t it a huge opportunity? It has to be – but one that will probably need a change of mindset to work properly. What do you think?

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