Interactive marketing is an absolutely powerful tool for 21st century businesses. But with any form of marketing, interactive marketing requires quite a bit of research. Research takes a lot of time to conduct and analyze. What if you could cut out the middle man and go directly to the source for your information? That is exactly what crowdsourcing is designed to do. Find out how it is shaping the future of interactive marketing.

What is Interactive Marketing?

Interactive marketing involves strategies that increase the participation of the customer. Think of it as the magician asking for an assistant from the audience. The crowd is engaged already because they are interested in your product, but they grow that much more attentive when someone like them becomes a part of the act, through interactive marketing. In a way, this person is influencing the outcome.

Companies that employ interactive marketing, either in the store or online, give customers a chance to become part of the solution. For instance, a toy store that doesn’t allow kids to sample some of the products is not going to see as many as a store that will give kids the opportunity to play with them.

Online, a florist site that allows you to make the choice and put together your own bouquet in lieu of ordering a pre-made arrangement might do more business. Interactive marketing increases choices for the customer, but it also helps you, the business owner as well.

Crowdsourcing your Research

Many businesses spend a lot of money researching their target market. This is necessary in the beginning to determine if the market is there and if it will support your added enterprise. To continue to grow your business, your products and services must evolve with your customer’s needs and desires. One of the best ways to determine which direction to go is to let the customer tell you. You can hire analysts or buy reports, but your first line of inquiry could be the people you serve.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, crowdsourcing is a process that involves using contributions from readers, visitors and customers – you know, ordinary people – to provide a service for your business. It is the people who are most acquainted with your products that might prove the most helpful in solving business problems and product issues.

For a small business website, it could be something as simple as offering incentives to customers for their feedback in a variety of ways:

  • Contests – Ask customers to participate in naming a new product line or coming up with a new product idea. Use sites like Pinterest and a specific hashtag name for customers to create and submit entries.

  • Newsletter content – Ask customers to submit content on a variety of topics each month including ways to improve business systems for your company.

  • Voting on interactive technology – On your social networking pages, give subscribers a chance to vote on some interactive videos and other applications you want to launch to get their opinion.

Crowdsourcing is one way to gain the research information you need to move your business forward in the right direction.

 Learn more about how Holotrope Marketing can help you and your business thrive in the 21st century.