IN-line Marketing, that is.
Sitting here at the junction of Technology and Marketing as I do is frankly a weird place to be. I often feel it’s a lonely place because it seems like neither side really understands what is at the center, how the Corpus Callosum works, if you know what I mean.
And how to optimize this junction.
I have been writing about these topics in discussion groups since 1999 and on my web site since 2000, based on the (admittedly rare) experience of Optimizing an Interactive Television Network over a 10 year span. Here’s what we learned, in a nutshell: Interactive means Behavior; without Behavior, there is no Interaction, by definition.
So it follows that the single most important thing you can do as a Marketer is understand Behavior – or often more importantly, the lack of Behavior. Not demographics, not impressions, not any of the traditional Marketing stuff.
Behavior. It’s the key to everything Interactive.
Web analytics folks for the most part get this idea now, in terms of the straight-up applications of it: It’s about Reducing Friction. How Usability affects the success of Interactive Marketing, for example. Optimizing Landing pages, Etc. The importance of Customer Experience in reducing downstream Friction, which magnifies the natural “Pull” of Interactive.
The challenge has been the Marketing side has stuck to many of the offline “Push” traditions, which don’t take into account the two-way nature of an Interactive Relationship. The idea that people who are Interacting are trying to get something done. The whole “Lean Forward versus Lean Back” argument, as we first talked about it back in the “old days”.
Relevance, which is forecast by Behavior.
Could it be the times are ‘a changing? Could it be that the Marketers are coming around to the idea that the most important concept in Interactive Marketing is an “IN-line Experience” – an experience that facilitates or helps the visitor Accomplish Goals? Like Search Marketing does, for example?
Check out these recent articles – in an Advertising trade pub – to hear Marketers say this in their own words:
Form + Function (AdWeek)
Application Economics (AdWeek)
Want more? Some related material:
What’s Next in Marketing + Advertising (slide show, a fast read)
The Great Leap Forward (blog)
Value Is the New Currency (ClickZ)
What do you think?
Are we finally ready to move forward from the offline Push Marketing model into specialized approaches for Interactive?