I have personally experienced the power of two-way communication in marketing.
For one of my Commerce classes, Applied Project Management, my team and I had to plan and execute an event. We decided to create awareness of electric bicycles by offering the opportunity to test ride one; an event we called the e-Bike Revolution. We wanted to get as many people as possible to pre-register for the event. After coming to the decision that our target market should be UBC professors and staff, we realised that traditional marketing channels would not be appropriate. We could have done what most UBC event organisers do and drown the campus in fliers, handing them out to anyone and everyone who walked by, but 1) this is not particularly earth friendly, and 2) nobody knows what the hell e-bikes are.
Our best approach was to use personal selling. We split the campus up into its various faculties and departments, assigned several to each team member and, over the course of a couple of weeks, directly approached members of our target market to educate them about e-bikes and get them to sign up for our event. In this, we were able address any specific concerns or questions people inevitably had about e-bikes or the event. This is the key benefit of two-way communication: being able to engage in a discussion with your target market and respond immediately to their questions. We were able to establish more of a relationship with people rather than just marketing to them.
The other lesson I learned about marketing (other than the importance of two-way communication) was to keep messaging short and simple. I have a tendency to overcomplicate sentences with superfluous words–see, I’m doing it now. Once I started to simplify my messaging, I saw that people were much more engaged. I’ve used the word a lot now, but engaging people is critical to effective communication.