Monday, 26 November 2007

Understanding why we need interactive communication

Put simply, because there is a human desire for interaction.

We have created a media society during the past 40 or 50 years where there is an extraordinary reduction in interaction because of the one-way and more passive form of information retrieval that exists.

People desire to be taken account of, to affect change, learn and personalise their relationships with their environment. There are a phenomenal number of reasons, which cause people to interact, which go far beyond just giving them things.

When people participate in interactive marketing communication they are told that their efforts and feedback are of positive help to the advertisers. Moreover, by participating, they then learn and understand the message from the advertiser, personalise their relationship with the advertiser and their products (or services).
Consumers tend to filter out information they do not want to hear and this alters the effectiveness of advertising in quite a dramatic way. The purchaser’s decision is invariably a compromise and this leads to a certain amount of anxiety. The worry that perhaps the purchase decision was not the best or right one. In order to minimise this anxiety the purchaser seeks to reinforce his choice and begins to take more notice of his chosen product’s advertising. And, at the same time, the purchaser deliberately suppresses data, which might challenge his decision by ignoring the advertising of competitive brands.

People are often loyal to a brand simply because they do not want to readdress a decision. The opportunity to screen out undesired data always exists when media advertisements have to stand on their own and fight for attention.
Interactive Communication takes the consumer through the barrier of not wanting to address change; and this is the ultimate market the advertiser is after – the people who use his competitors’ products.

Now the consumer can say ‘Yes, I will change my behaviour and I have a very good reason or series of reasons why”, and have a well-informed opinion or image in mind.

If someone goes into a product purchase decision with a very specific image of the product and its reason to exist and why they have decided those reasons are worth its purchase, the test in reality, the use of the product, will tend to confirm that premise, and therefore conversion will be enormously enhanced.

Interactive Marketing Communication turns passive advertising into active advertising and actually alters behaviour during the communication and learning process.

Interactive Marketing Communication increases sales.

And there’s more!

It enhances relationships and dramatically improves consumer knowledge, understanding and loyalty.

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