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Disk-based, interactive marketing yields greater response rates.

More and more companies are turning to disk-based, interactive marketing and advertising. Why? Because this computer-age medium combines the audiovisual power of television, the advantages of print, and the interactive benefits of the computer.

And, the response rate with interactive disks is 10 times greater than with traditional brochures, according to advertising agency McCann Erikson.

Disk-based marketing is effective because the user retains more of the message. According to an IBM report on multimedia, "There is general agreement among researchers that people have short-term attention spans of about 20% of what they hear, 40% of what they see and hear, and 75% of what they see, hear, and do.... By stimulating multiple senses, and getting people more involved, it allows them to enhance their retention of information."

Interactive programs fall into the 75% category because prospects hear music, sound effects, and verbal directions; they see text, graphics, and animations; and most importantly, they press buttons, calculate data, and type in information.

Advertising execs will tell you the more you get potential customers to

interact with the advertising piece, the greater the response rate.

CompuDoc, Inc., a developer of interactive electronic media, cites the response effectiveness of interactive disks with these examples:

* Lotus increased awareness of their Magellan product 70% simply by binding an electronic brochure into a magazine.

* Honeywell tripled their response rate to space advertising by offering an electronic brochure.

* Compaq received 3 to 4 times greater response to their disk direct-mail campaign than any previous direct-mail campaign.

* Executives spend an average of 15 minutes with electronic brochures.

How it Works

An interactive disk is, more precisely, a DOS or Macintosh computer disk containing a customized software program. The program utilizes the computer's capabilities by combining text, graphics, color, animation, sounds, and interactive features to promote a company's marketing message to the end user.

Buick uses the computer's interactive edge to sell cars. The company's program allows interested prospects to view specs on new models, print window stickers, calculate lease-versus-buying options, and even play nine holes of golf--on the computer screen, that is.

Memphis State University recruits students with the help of its MSU Electronic Viewbook. The Office of Student Relations sends the interactive disk to high schools across Tennessee so students can learn about Memphis State in an engaging, interactive manner.

The MSU program also features a calculator for estimating costs and a drawing program for creating graphics. In addition, college-bound students can print the University's admission application forms.

Other Advantages of Interactive Disks

Interactive, disk-based brochures have greater staying power because of the perceived value of software. Consequently, end users are more likely to keep an interactive brochure rather than the traditional printed brochure.

Because computers often have multiple users, chances increase that a disk-based brochure will be seen by more than one person. And users are more likely to make copies of disk-based brochures for their colleagues, thereby increasing exposure for a company's marketing message.

Interactive disks can be programmed to print request-for-information forms, application forms, fax sheets, or anything else that can be output on a laser printer.

In addition, the information on interactive disks can be updated as needed without the costs associated with developing a whole new communications piece.

Is interactive marketing another trend? Probably not. Like TVs and radios, there are far too many computers out there not to be taken advantage of, and the number of computers is estimated to continue growing 10 to 15% annually.

Some of the Companies That Use Interactive Disks

American Express AT&T BWW Coca-Cola Compaq Dun & Bradstreet Ford Motor Co. General Motors Honeywell IBM Johnson & Johnson J.P. Morgan Memphis State Univ. Merck & Co. Merrill Lynch New York Life Ogilvy & Mather Pacific Bell Smith Kline Beecham Westinghouse

Interactive in the News

"IBM, Ford Motor Company, American Express, Coca-Cola, Pacific Bell and other major companies are currently using interactive disks in business-to-business marketing. These companies chose interactive because they were '. . . getting very disillusioned with traditional marketing techniques.'"

May 7, 1990, FORTUNE

"Why not use the same technology big corporations have started to use--interactive computer disks? . . . A custom interactive disk is as competitively priced as a comparable printed brochure. . ."

INC., November 1992

"One benefit of (interactive) is the element of surprise--few people expect to find a diskette in the mail. Consumers place value on a disk that they aren't likely to place on a brochure, and therefore may not throw it away. Also, advertisers delivering a diskette are not sending a static piece of communication; it is very close to one-on-one communication. And the cost is comparable to a brochure, a tradeshow disk, or other things that advertisers are already doing."

Direct, June 1991

"The state of New Jersey is using interactive disks as the heart of their InfoVision Centers, located at 10 rest stops along New Jersey highways. Travelers are able to access current information on lodging accommodations, restaurants, events and even directions 24 hours a day via PC computers built into kiosks. Each kiosk contains two printers, so travelers can print out a hard copy of information to take with them. The kiosks are pulling in 100,000 users per month..."

InfoWorld, February 1992

"Computers are used by active decision makers, which makes interactive a very powerful medium . . ."

Direct Marketing, February 1992

Facts About Computer Owners

* 86% are homeowners

* 20% own a second home

* 35% have passports

* 42% make $50,000 or more

* 44% have Am. Express cards

* 51% are 35 to 54 years old

* 72% are college graduates

* 76% are white-collar workers

Fifty-four percent of the workforce is white collar, and 60% of those white-collar workers either have a computer or have access to a computer.

The 47 million computers in the U.S. offer 43% penetration.

Out of 180 million people over age 16, 36 million have computers.

Mr. Lyons is editor of Business Perspectives magazine.
COPYRIGHT 1993 University of Memphis
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes related article
Author:Lyons, Chris
Publication:Business Perspectives
Date:Mar 22, 1993
Words:973
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