Benefits of Interactive Marketing

Interactive marketing offers many unique benefits. It is highly accountable and its effects can be easily traced. Eddie Bauer cut its marketing cost per sale by 74% by concentrating on higher performing ads. The Web offers the advantages of “Contextual placements”. Marketers can buy ads from sites that are related to their offerings, as well as lace advertising based on contextual keywords from online search outfits like Google. In that way, the Web can reach people when they have actually started ‘the buying process. Light consumers of other media, especially television, can be reached. The Web is especially effective at reaching people during the day. Young, high-income, high-education customers’ total online media consumption exceeds that of TV.

Designing an Attractive Web Site:

Clearly, all companies need to consider and evaluate e-marketing and e-purchasing opportunities. A key challenge is designing a site that is attractive on first viewing and interesting enough to encourage repeat visits.

Effective Web sites feature seven design elements that they call the 7Cs.

 Context: Layout and design.
 Content: Text, pictures, sound, and video the site contains.
 Community: How the site enables user-to-user communication
 Customization: Site’s ability to tailor itself to different users or to allow users to personalize the site.
 Communication: How the site enables site-to-user, user-to-site, or two way communication.
 Connection: Degree that the site is linked to other sites.
 Commerce: Site’s capabilities to enables commercial transactions.

To encourage repeat visits, companies need to pay special attention to context and content factors and also embrace another “C” – constant change.

Visitors will judge a site’s performance on its ease of use and its physical attractiveness. Ease-of-use breaks down into three attributes: (1) The Web site downloads quickly, (2) the first page is easy to understand, and (3) the visitor finds it easy to navigate to other pages that open quickly. Physical attractiveness is determined by the following factors: (1) The individual pages are clean looking and not overly crammed with content, (2) the typefaces and font sizes are very readable, and (3) the site makes good use of color and sound.

Context factors facilitate repeat visits, but they do not ensure that this happens. Returning to a site depends on content. The content must be interesting, useful, and continuously changing. Certain types of content function well to attract first time visitors and to bring them back again: (1) deep information with links to related sites, (2) changing news of interest, (3) changing free offers to visitors, (4) contests and sweepstakes, (5) humor ad jokes, and (6) games.