Interacting with consumers takes a lot of time, and time means money. Interaction is not always positive. As more companies interact, your particular brand isn't so special anymore. Once you start a consumer "friendship," it's hard to stop. Consumer interactions with each other may damage your brand image.
4. Once you start a consumer "friendship," it's hard to stop. For many early entrants to the consumer interactivity game, the significant increase in employee or contractor time to interact with clients became unwieldy. As new marketing metrics were developed, brand managers often found negative returns on the interactivity investments. This resulted in decreased funding for interactive marketing. It wasn't that brands wanted to say "goodbye" to their new consumer friends, but just that they didn't have so much time to talk anymore. Unfortunately, many clients had become accustomed to the high levels of interaction and when interactivity declined, the potential for consumer disappointment became greater.
5. Consumer interactions with each other may damage your brand image. Positive word-of-mouth has always been appreciated by savvy marketers. The advent of interactive e-marketing brought with it the potential not only for interactivity between the brand and the consumers, but between consumers as well. While this meant a greater potential for positive word-of-mouth (or in its ultimate form, positive viral marketing), it also meant that negative talk could also be propagated. In its innocent forms, this meant that disgruntled consumers could spread the word quite easily to other consumers about a particular negative aspect of the brand. In its more sinister forms, it meant that competitors could infiltrate your brand's consumer base and make trouble like never before.
How much interactivity is needed?
Clearly, the answer to the question of how much interactivity is needed depends on the firm, the industry, the market segments to be served and their expectations, the competitive environment, the available technology, and the costs to interact. Time and time again, marketers are quick to promote the idea that interactivity is the holy grail that will elevate a brand to highly profitable levels. However, most marketers are slow to embrace the need for clear metrics to measure costs and benefits of interactivity. But that's a topic for another day.
In the meantime, let's follow the premise that interactivity, at least to some degree, is sensible.
Stead, Sylvia (2012), “As Online News Changes, Interactivity Becomes Important,” The Globe and Mail (April 2), http://www.theglobeandmail.com/community/inside-the-globe/as-online-news-changes-interactivity-becomes-more-important/article2389762/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=2389762.