Senior Project Research Paper: Interactive Media Marketing


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Senior Project Research Paper: Interactive Media Marketing

  1. 1. Alexandra WebbMrs. CorbettAP Lit 4th Pd.November 17, 2011 Senior Project Research Paper: Interactive Media Marketing The Internet has become an everyday tool for people around the world for work, school,or social purposes, but aside from this constant utilization, “as the Web has matured…a largerportion of it-and a larger portion of its use-has related to commercial purposes” (McAllister 506).Now, the Internet is not only a place to get on Facebook or chat friends but instead, is a mediumthrough which various products can be marketed. Currently, the Web “presents the opportunityto efficiently reach audiences in the ways most relevant to them and at unprecedented speeds”(Mendenhall). This ability to advertise and communicate with various individualssimultaneously and in great quantity has revolutionized the marketing realm. With thisinnovative development, though, come certain questions: Where did this new form of marketingcome from, what is its importance today, and will it even be relevant in the years to come?Fortunately, all of these questions have answers. Interactive media marketing has numerousfacets that make up its formative past, its significant present, and its imminent future. To begin with, interactive media marketing’s past has been influential in what it is today.As a contrast to recent times, “before 1980, most campaigns of consumer persuasion reliedprimarily on traditional advertising in a few media” (McAllister 507). Campaigns before 1980did not use many forms of technology to advertise products. They would employ the use ofVCR’s or televisions, but not to a great extent. In 1994, this miniscule use of mediaadvertisement began to advance and had “developments in two-way communication through
  2. 2. Webb 2TVs, telephones, and computers."(Williamson 71). Companies were now able to add marketingstrategies which allowed for communication with customers and more personal interaction withpotential clients. Correspondingly, people had the opportunity to see multiple products throughdifferent mediums than they were able to before. Less than a decade after this development,“…more than half of US households had Internet connections, and well over two-thirds wereusing a computer at home, work, or school” (McAllister 506). It became possible to targetspecific audiences effectively and allowed for a whole new way to advertise a good. Also, thepeople had access to these advertisements at any time on any given day. The true effect of thisnew marketing medium can be seen through the comparison of sales in 1995 and 2004 takinginto account both direct marketing, which is non-media advertisement, and interactive mediamarketing. In 1995, direct marketing brought in sales of 2.7 billion dollars, and interactivemedia marketing brought in 3 billion dollars. In 2004, direct marketing caused 28.1 billiondollars in sales and interactive media marketing had an astounding 110 billion dollars in sales(McManus 16). In 1995, there is not much of a difference between direct marketing andinteractive media marketing, but in 2004, there is an 81.9 billion dollar gap, showing thedominance of digital over traditional advertisements. Also, the difference between interactivemedia marketing sales in 1995 and 2004 conveys the astronomical growth of technology andreliance on the digital world to sell goods. In general, the past of interactive media marketingshows advancement in the way companies advertise their products, and exposes the rise oftechnology, specifically computers, in modern society. To pursue the topic further, interactive media marketing, at the moment, is different frompast strategies and is vital for the current economic situation. The Internet, the quintessentialdigital marketing medium, has three aspects that differentiate it from previous years and
  3. 3. Webb 3advertising strategies. For one thing, “its digital nature means that users can send, retrieve,transform, and store the material that moves across it” (McAllister 506). Basically, there aremultiple uses for the Web, all of which are connected. For example, a person’s emails can betaken by a firm for marketing research, or a firm can email a person to market a product. Thisability to have access to such material and information allows for the communication necessaryfor advertisement and product sales. Another aspect of the Web is its “two-way, interactivenature means that senders and receivers can respond to one another in an ongoing fashion”(McAllister 506). A constant interaction allows for continuous sales and marketing. The peopleare always able to see the products and buy the ones they want, and the firms are always able toput out more advertisements to new customers. A final aspect that differentiates the presentInternet from the past marketing is “its ability to function through sophisticated computersoftware and hardware means users’ activities can be tracked, sorted, and predicted throughincreasingly intelligent agents” (McAllister 506). The Web gives companies the chance to targeta specific audience for a specific product on a much larger and more efficient scale than beforeinteractive media marketing was available. Firms can target a website catered to teens withmake-up ads, or a pregnancy chat room with baby clothes ads. They are able to be morediscriminating, and therefore, attract their targeted audience. In general, the Web and,subsequently, interactive media marketing allows for a more specific and efficient way toadvertise to the masses. To continue with the present importance of interactive media marketing, the Internet hasallowed digital advertisement to become the normal medium through which firms promote theirgoods. As stated in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, “…the exponential growthof the Internet and the continuous development of its broadband distribution systems have
  4. 4. Webb 4changed the rules of competition in many media industries that were already being transformedby the arrival of more competitors, such as multi-channel video programmers, and theintroduction of new technologies, such as digital television” (Chan-Olmsted 641). In otherwords, interactive media marketing changed, for what seems permanently, the way in whichgoods are marketed. Instead of being seen primarily in newspapers and other publications,advertisements are online. Also, this development from traditional to digital marketing hasaffected companies’ avenues for ads. For example, newspapers are being published online nowbecause “the digital newspaper can replicate the printed newspaper in content and organizationand be made to look like a traditional paper, but at the same time it can offer interactivemultimedia content tailored to the individual consumer in a manner radically different from thatof traditional newspapers” (Palmer 33). Interactive media marketing gives the consumer awhole different experience. It makes them be more involved and allows them to get moreinformation in a more timely fashion. As Interactive Editor Bradley Johnson said, “Internetadvertising is now part of mainstream media” ("Ad Age adds multicultural page, interactivedata." 4). The Internet is how people now communicate and transfer information. Consequently,interactive media marketing is the way companies now advertise. Overall, the Internettransformed marketing from paper to computers. Moreover, interactive media marketing is a crucial strategy for the current economiccrisis most companies face. In this recession, most companies are asking, “So what are[companies] supposed to do? [Because] right now it feels like everything is in decline, but thereis a force that is continuing to grow in popularity, influence, and reach; namely, digital media. Atno time has the vital role digital media can play in driving efficiencies and engaging customersbeen more relevant” (Mendenhall). Companies are losing money fast and subsequently, going
  5. 5. Webb 5into debt until they are forced to close. They are not able to spend money advertising in thetraditional sense, so they turn to interactive media marketing. Basically, “marketers are rushingto move more money and effort into digital and social media, hoping to pick up where traditionalmedia may be falling short” (“Marketers work to bridge digital divide” 1). Traditional marketingtechniques are not efficient enough for the economic crisis. Companies cannot afford to spendso much money on ad campaigns, so they turn to the Internet and digital marketing to “pick upthe slack.” It is essential for companies to market goods virtually because “at a time whenmarketing budgets are under enormous pressure, companies can turn to the digital world torecession-proof their brands through networks they own and control” (Mendenhall). It does notcost as much money to build a webpage or upload an ad to the Internet as it does to print multipleads and have to manually distribute each one. Interactive media marketing allows a company toput ads online and sell their product without spending exorbitant fees on traditional marketingstrategies. For instance, there was a company who, in one month, had five million page views,10,000 posts, and 400,000 searches. As they put it, “As [the company rides] out the recession,forums that [allows the company] to tap customer insight in a more cost-efficient manor will becritical to [the company’s] success” (Mendenhall). The company was able to use interactivemedia marketing as a more efficient alternative in advertisements. They were able to cut costsand save their business while still making sales. It is evident that interactive media marketing isnot only more effective and cost efficient, but it is also “recession-proof.” The final facet that makes up interactive media marketing is its future. According to theexperts, “At current growth rates, every man, woman and child in the world will have a homepage within four years” (Yarmis 22). Such a prediction means that more people will have useand access to computers in the future. Inevitably, there will be more interactive media marketing
  6. 6. Webb 6because the Internet is where the consumers are located. Also, a recent study showed that fromthe present to ten years in the future, there will be a 46% increase in personal computer use(McManus 16). Again, this must mean that interactive media marketing will grow due to the factthat the use of the Internet and potential customers will grow, thus prompting more digital adsfrom firms. Additionally, “a recent report by analyst firm Gartner predicts that digital strategieslike social and mobile marketing will influence at least 80 percent of consumers’ discretionaryspending by 2015” (Farb 16). Not only will interactive media marketing be more prevalent inthe future, but it will also be more influential than traditional strategies. People will be moreinfluenced by digital ads, making interactive media marketing play an even more significant rolein society. Upon study of this information, it is clear that interactive media marketing willcontinue to grow and will have an even more important place in the marketing realm than everbefore. Taking all facets into account, interactive media marketing has gone through many stagessince its conception and will continue to go on in society and the marketing world. Digitaladvertising has become the most effective and efficient way to promote a product. It developedfrom virtual non-existence, to significance, and finally to future dependence. As Chan-Olmstedonce stated in Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, “…the trends toward brandmanagement and using the Internet as a marketing communication channel are likely to continueas we migrate to the world of digital media.” Interactive media marketing continues to grow,and it will only continue to grow.
  7. 7. Webb 7 Works Cited for Senior Project Research Paper: Interactive Media Marketing“Ad Age adds multicultural page, interactive data.” Advertising Age 19 July 1999: 4. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://proxygsu- login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=2051434&site=ehost-live>.Chan-Olmsted, Sylvia M. “Branding and Internet Marketing in the Age of Digital Media.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 46.4 (2002): 641. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://proxygsu- 735531&site=ehost-live>.Farb, Brittany. “The Digital Age of Marketing.” CRM Magazine July 2011: 16. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://proxygsu- login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=63150678&site=ehost-live>.“Marketers Work to Bridge the Digital Divide.” Advertising Age 11 Apr. 2011: 1-8. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. http://proxygsu- login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=59915282&site=ehost-live
  8. 8. Webb 8McAllister, Matthew P., and Joseph Turow. “New Media and the Commercial Sphere: Two Intersecting Trends, Five Categories of Concern.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 46.4 (2002): 505-515. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://proxygsu- 735523&site=ehost-live>.McManus, John. “Cyber reality may byte, but it sure beats oblivion.” Brandweek 14 Mar. 1994: 16. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://proxygsu- 404210503&site=ehost-live>.Mendenhall, Michael. “The Digital Revolution Comes to Marketing: Identifying Consumer Ecosystems.” American Association of Advertising Agencies. New Orleans, Louisiana. 4 Mar. 2009. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://proxygsu- 0105990&site=ehost-live>.Palmer, Jonathan W., and Lars Bo Eriksen. “Digital Newspapers Explore Marketing on the Internet.” Communications of the ACM 42.9 (1999): 33-40. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. < login?url= ehost-live>.
  9. 9. Webb 9Williamson, Debra Aho. “Early Internet days perilous.” Advertising Age 28 Mar. 2005: 71-88. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://proxygsu- login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=16607561&site=ehost-live>.Yarmis, Jonathan, and Iain Woolward. “Boom or bust?” Brandweek 29 May 1995: 22. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://proxygsu- login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=9506150126&site=ehost-live>.