[Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

On a recent trip to Shanghai I attended a huge party for Adidas.  I was there with a friend of a friend who works for Ticketmaster and specialize in creating exclusive events and PR for brands, bands and celebrities.  Now this party was thumpin.’  On the top floor of a trendy Shanghai "loft" with a glass floor to see all the way down to the ground 20 odd floors below.  The room was chock full of people, and also huge digital billboards broadcasting Adidas commercials and branding messages.

And yet, amidst all the ice cream cones, pizzas and other more Chinese-ish appetizers, there was very little chance to actually interact with Adidas.  There was plenty of activity, and lots of digital media…but no outlet to actually engage with the Adidas brand.


Perhaps that wasn’t the point of the party, and what Adidas wanted was just for people to associate its brand with "cool party."  But I found myself forgetting that Adidas was sponsoring the whole thing.  And it made me realize that "digital marketing" and "interactive marketing" are not at all the same thing.

Here’s the definition of interactive marketing I’ve been using to guide our research:

China_round_2_004_2Technology-enabled marketing that creates a dynamic, personalized and/or two-way dialogue with the consumer.

Does the difference matter to you?  How do you define it?