14 April 2013 / Business Reflesk Newspaper

1-What is interactive marketing?

Interactive marketing is not just social media or internet applications, as some define it. It is an interactive marketing weapon that brings together the existing or potential customers of the companies with some special works, announcing their marketing activities, and in which the company and customers are in mutual interactive communication, which is not based on one-way communication, and even brings the customers together by defining new trends. Tools that should come to mind when it comes to interactive marketing: Bulk e-mail and sms sending, marketing activities related to social media such as facebook, twitter, flickr, interactive social applications such as blog pages, mobile applications, flash mob, keyword and campaign studies on google adwords implementation, design of the company website, content and control studies, SEM regulations based on search engines, planning of joint marketing activities with companies, etc.

2- What are the benefits of interactive marketing for businessmen?

The young population in our country is increasing day by day, however, both the e-government project of the state and the work of private companies increase the interest of the people of our country in this field. Interactive marketing has passed its infancy for our country, and it continues to increase its importance in the USA. Considering that we have similar characteristics with the USA, especially in terms of consumer habits, I can say that the budget and importance of this field in marketing will be much greater in the coming years. The reason why this area is so important is the marketing costs and the changing consumer structure. It definitely needs to be applied in marketing applications for both large companies and small and medium-sized companies. Large companies generally carry out these activities with the emphasis on information and communication, but the most important point here is that small and medium-sized companies can carry out activities for direct sales with an interactive marketing application. Today, there are companies in Turkey that earn 80% of their turnover from interactive marketing, which shows our businessmen that they should invest in this area without wasting time.

3- How much does it reduce marketing costs? How profitable is it?

Today, we know how high the classical marketing costs are, at the same time, the return of these activities is not at the desired level. Today, classical marketing plays a very important role in increasing brand awareness. Its effect on direct sales is undeniable, but it cannot be said that it is in its former power. If I told you yesterday that you will have a marketing cost of 1.500 TL and you will earn 85.000 TL, you probably would not believe it, but using interactive marketing, you can reach these figures today because it is now possible to use the cheapest and most effective weapon of marketing. Use interactive marketing to reduce your marketing costs and increase your profitability.

4- How much does the business world know and use interactive marketing?

We can say that especially large corporate companies have started to actively use interactive marketing in our country. However, the distrust in this area continues, and I think that the increasing interest of the consumer group in this area will accelerate the interactive marketing activities of the companies. The biggest deficiency in this field that I have encountered in the business world is that the companies that use this marketing weapon, unfortunately, work partly on this field, that is, only mailing work or interactive marketing applications on facebook. If you want to get maximum efficiency from this area, use all the tools of this area within the scope of integrated marketing and make this area integrated with your classical marketing efforts.

5- What is the rate of using interactive marketing by regions? How is the situation in the Çukurova region?

The highest usage rate of this area in Turkey is in the Marmara Region, and Istanbul as a city. However, this is the proportion of companies using interactive marketing, not the consumer base. It is inevitable that this rate will increase day by day in every region and city. Considering that medium and small-sized companies are concentrated in the Çukurova region, it is necessary to work in this area for both national and international companies, depending on the customer base. Interactive marketing studies can be carried out for up to a year and feedback can be started within 6 months, at least in terms of providing the necessary trust. The sole purpose of a company that sells or provides services is profitability, the most important way is to increase the number of demanding customers, but what do you think you need to do to increase sales, create brand awareness, and increase communication channels with the cheapest cost?

6- How do you see the future of Interactive Marketing?

Interactive marketing will be implemented in every company in the near future, and it may be necessary to apply something different and increase costs in order to stand out in this period. Today is one of the best times to use interactive marketing. In 2009, total interactive marketing expenditures in the USA were 25,577 million dollars, and in 2014 these expenditures are expected to be 54,956 million dollars. Interactive marketing is increasing its importance day by day, so get support from interactive marketing experts in this field and it’s not too late to start working.