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Rich Media Marketing is the New Game. You in?

Posted by The Marketing Intern on July 3, 2009

See? Boots knows what's up.

See? Boots knows what's up.

I don’t have to tell you that the marketing game is changing. It’s changing every day, and a marketer would have to be blind not to see it. Sure, the goal is the same, but the landscape is vastly different than it was even five years ago. It’s difficult sometimes to make sense of it all. What works, and what’s just hype? Does the latest trend have staying power? Is it worth investing your time to keep pace with the latest in marketing technology? If you’re asking these questions, you’re already behind the ball. So I’ll give you the rundown and let you do the catching up.

Rich Media Marketing (RMM) is the new game. It is the new digital collateral. It is dynamic, interactive, intelligent, and unconventional. If you are marketing with rich media, you are projecting your identity, engaging buyers, and tracking meaningful buyer behavior statistics. And if you’re not marketing with rich media, you aren’t really marketing.

Rich Media Marketing is Dynamic

When I say “rich media,” what I want you to envision is an online canvas that incorporates slideshows, flash animations, screen captures, flash-based games, sound, pictures, text, links, buttons, form builders, calls to action and/or video content. I want you to imagine that this canvas is crawlable by all the major search engines. I want you to try to wrap your head around the idea that the traffic to this canvas is trackable by email address, making it powerful sales collateral. Envision sending this canvas directly to your clients. Imagine that 60% of them engage with the material. Imagine that a third of them respond to your call to action. And then, when you’ve stopped salivating on your keyboard, I want you to read the line below. Ready? Here we go:

It’s not a dream. This technology exists. And if you’re not using it, you are wasting your time.

Rich Media Marketing is Interactive

The success of your business hinges on your customer’s ability to interact with your collateral before the sales process ever begins. If your sales collateral currently consists of a folder full of PDF brochures and pamphlets, I’m here to tell you that you’re doing something wrong. PDFs are lazy. Even the best PDFs are boring, listless, unimaginative drains on your hard drive. They are not interactive. They are not engaging. They are not trackable. You put manpower into your PDFs, and they do nothing to return the favor. PDFs just sit there. Rich Media Marketing allows you to construct engaging sales and marketing collateral with interactive calls to action, and then lets you track each individual viewer so you can follow up with your engaged customers immediately.

The price of rich media technology has finally caught up to market demands. Have you?

Ask yourself a couple of questions. If a customer threw your PDF into his recycle bin, would you ever know it? If he forwarded it to a hundred of his closest friends, when would you find out about it? If he read your PDF and was on the fence about buying your product or service, how much would you pay to have the opportunity to engage with him while your collateral was still fresh in his mind and before he had the opportunity to check out your competition?

I reiterate: This is not a dream. This technology exists. And if you’re not using it, you are wasting your time.

Rich Media Marketing is Intelligent

If you’re waiting for a company to come along and develop a tool to make video content searchable, don’t hold your breath. Rich Media Marketing allows you to surround your video content with relevant text and graphics, and to embed tags and descriptions behind your rich media content to boost SEO. It does all of this with no loss of brand presence. That means that when your buyer watches your video, for instance, he won’t be directed to watch a “related” video which could consist of anything from a Trojan ad to your competitor’s video content. Rich Media Marketing allows you to control the buying environment by controlling the content of the site on which your collateral appears. And then it tracks traffic to this site, in real time, by email address.

The tracking is what makes it intelligent. Rich Media Marketing allows you to gather the who/what/when data for every action a visitor to your site could possibly take. It then gives tells you this viewer’s email address. (Why? Because your customers are not “hits” or IP addresses. You can not follow up with an IP address. You can’t hard-sell a hit. But you can send a customer an email.) And then, whenever you deem necessary, Rich Media Marketing allows you to compile all of this data into an easy-to-read graph, chart or spreadsheet to make calculating ROI a breeze.

(It is important to note that while I used video as an example here, it could have just as easily been “slideshow,” “animation,” or “Flash game.” We’re talking about rich media here, remember? ~ed.)

So I’ll say it a third time: It’s not a dream. This technology exists. And if you’re not using it, you are wasting your time.

Rich Media Marketing is Unconventional

Almost nobody has taken full advantage of the myriad possibilities that Rich Media Marketing provides. Almost nobody! Not the big guys, not the little guys, not you, and – most importantly – not your competition. Sure, they might have a video on their website. But video isn’t good enough anymore. Video does not create a buying environment. Rich media does. You have the tools available to make your company stand apart from your competition. Why in the name of all things good and decent wouldn’t you use them?

The long tail of rich media marketing is upon us. The giants in your industry no longer have a marketing advantage over you. You can be a giant killer.

One more time, like you mean it: This is not a dream. This technology exists. And if you’re not using it, you are wasting your time.

I think I’ve made my point.

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