Lets Continue Defining Interactive Marketing

Over the past several years, I have obtained working knowledge and education about social media and online marketing. I have talked with people who are excited, indifferent, irritated, confused or intimidated by it. We still have a lot to learn because the complexities of technology are moving so quickly. The opportunities for innovation are endless but the definition (or explanation of)  “interactive marketing” or “social media” do not have to be overwhelming.

The image below is an illustration of the traditional marketing model as a one way flow of information from advertiser to the consumer. The digital world continues to transform communication and business models. Organizations are still trying to crack the “internet egg” and figure out what works. Marketing as a process is always morphing. Capabilities have come quite a long way, but we are still learning through trial and error that random variables means infinite possibilities and there is no one nugget that has all of the answers. We are still figuring out and inventing how to leverage the internet when it comes to digital marketing.

Traditional Marketing Model

The definition of interactive marketing (illustrated below) comes from John Deighton at Harvard, who says; “Interactive marketing is the ability to address the customer, remember what the customer says and address the customer again in a way that illustrates that we remember what the customer has told us.” (Deighton 1996). Simply put, it is a conversation. It has to be reciprocal. It is a process that involves building communities one person at a time and finding creative ways to make that happen. Interactive is an exchange that has shifted the model above to one that is about conversation. Beginning dialogue, participating in the discourse, responding in ways that say; “I see you.” It is relationship  at the very core.


So when we say things like; ‘Lets define interactive marketing or social media,” it is important to keep in mind that marketing is a process within a system. When we define marketing as a process for creating awareness or promoting products and services, that process continues to evolve and still yields results. It’s just that now, some of the tools that are different and the business model has changed.

Have questions? Please comment below.

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One Response to Lets Continue Defining Interactive Marketing

  1. Pingback: US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 To 2016 and What it Means to Small Businesses | Inboundify

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