Engagement Marketing (© BillionPhotos.com / Fotolia.com)
Engagement Marketing (© BillionPhotos.com / Fotolia.com)

In this article, we're going to discuss engagement marketing, which is a strategy that not surprisingly, engages consumers. There are a lot of tactics and strategies in today's marketing world, but this is one of the most effective ones. We will be exploring engagement marketing in great detail and trying to understand what makes it work so well and why so many people are using it today.

 

The Many Names of Engagement Marketing

You may have heard of engagement marketing before and not even known it, because it goes under quite a few different names. Live marketing, participation marketing, special event marketing, experience marketing and on the ground marketing are just a few of those. Some companies even have their own names created for this type of marketing.

But Just What Is Engagement Marketing?

Engagement marketing is marketing that actually establishes a connection between a consumer and the company doing the marketing. It basically means then instead of looking at customers as simply receivers of a marketing message, they are active participants, and that participation shapes how the marketing message is delivered and created in the first place.

The Principles of Engagement Marketing

Engagement marketing is all about meeting customers where they are and bring something that they're interested in. Think of it like this. The customer is interested in vegetables, but you only provide fruit. You have nothing to engage the customer with at present, but if you are able to draw them in with a recipe that includes both fruit and vegetables, then they have a reason to be interested in your products. This overlap is called relevant engagement and it is what engagement marketing is all about.

There are definitely some principles that you need to be following when it comes to engagement marketing. First of all, you need to look at your customers individually instead of as a whole. If you just think of your customers as a group of people to broadcast your marketing message to, you have nothing to use to find out what you have in common.

You need to base your marketing on what the customer is interested in. This doesn't necessarily mean something that has to do with your current products or services or marketing. You just need a way to connect with that customer. You need an in. If you can figure out what that customer is about or what they do, then you have a much better chance of connecting with them.

In addition, you need to make sure that this is something consistent that you do over time. This isn't a one-time marketing ploy. This is a strategy that you were going to use long-term to connect with customers.

You also need to insure that your marketing efforts are directed towards a specific outcome. You need to know what your end goal is going to be with that customer; otherwise you're not going to have any idea how to direct those marketing efforts to create engagement. Perhaps your end goal is simply to get the customer to engage, and that is fine as long as you have a method of bringing them back to the table later on - such as collecting an email address.

Finally, you need to make sure that you are located in the same space as your consumer. If you want to connect with them, you're going to have to go to them; they are not going to come to you. You should know where they are, be familiar with the territory and know the rules of that particular space when it comes to engagement. Social media is a perfect example of this space. Social media has particular rules for engagement in marketing that you need to be aware of.

The Model to Create Customer Engagement or Experience

The Management Consultant Company A.T. Kearney has developed an extremely popular model to create a customer experience that will engage them. This high-impact virtual customer experience has four steps that we will cover below.

  1. The first thing that you have to do is create a compelling value proposition for your customer. A value proposition is when you offer something of value and they accept. In order to understand how customers fulfill their needs on the web, the value proposition must be fully understood and developed from the consumer's point of view.
  2. Second, you must create your framework. The customer experience framework is it digital plan for all of the various types of interactions that happened between a customer and the business itself.
  3. Use the seven C’s to make this framework work. These tools include customer care, communication, connectivity, community, convenience, content and customization.
  4. Finally, bring together your online customer experience with your offline tools. When you link your online and offline customer experiences together, you are able to engage customers much more fully and give them a better experience.

Conclusion

The goal of customer engagement is to improve the relations between a consumer and the company that they are interacting with. Because of the internet, it is quite a bit easier to individualize experiences for consumers and target specific types of buyers. This is exponentially more effective than the one-size-fits-all approach.

Of course, learning how to properly engage customers on this level takes time and it takes being familiar with how marketing on the web is done these days. Content marketing, website interaction and social media communication are just a few examples. You have to already be familiar with these tools and how to use them properly in order to maximize customer engagement.

However, once you do, you will find that customers buy more often, spend more money on average and become extremely loyal to your brand. You have to keep working with that customer overtime and make the engagement the priority instead of the conversion. The conversion will come if you are able to communicate effectively with a consumer and that means using engagement marketing.


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