According to Wikipedia, ‘consumer engagement measures the extent to which a consumer has a meaningful brand experience when exposed to commercial advertising, sponsorship, television or any other experience’.
While ‘engagement marketing is the marketing strategy of encouraging the involvement and participation of consumers in a topical area for the purposes of influencing a brand or product perception’.
Engagement is certainly one of the hottest buzzwords in marketing today. But is it something you need to be actively looking at or just the latest marketing fad?
With the explosion in social media, greater customer choice and the emergence of more discerning consumers, marketers are having to revise their marketing and communication strategies.
Nowadays, consumers need to be more involved and engaged with the entire communication process not only to recall and repeat the communication, but also to live through it and become engaged with the brand.
Shaping a consumer’s mindset no longer seems to be effective or even welcomed by customers. In fact, it now seems that the traditional AIDA (Attention Interest Desire Action) model of engaging with customers is obsolete.
As you know, this sets out a four-step process for selling to customers:
1. Get the Attention of the consumer
2. Arouse Interest in your brand
3. Create a Desire for it
4. Encourage Action towards your brand
Seems logical and effective. But why does this now seem to be irrelevant and outdated?
It’s probably because this is known as ‘interruptive marketing’, which works by intruding into the consumer’s mind and taking control of his or her decision process.
The trend of marketing needs to move from interruptive to engagement oriented. That is, rather than attempting to intrude into the consumer’s mind, it’s better that the marketer engages with the consumer and collaborate on the product development and decision process with them. This would lead to a stronger relationship with the consumer, and help the marketer focus on a communication strategy which is more consumer-oriented and based on feedback from consumers themselves.
To summarise, the Chief Research Officer of the US Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) Joe Plummer believes that, ‘The heart of engagement is 'turning on' a mind. This is a subtle, subconscious process in which consumers begin to combine the ad's messages with their own associations, symbols and metaphors to make the brand more personally relevant. A consumer may see an ad, recall it, and even repeat the key benefit, but until they undertake this process, or ‘co-create’ the meaning, they haven't truly engaged and it is unlikely to impact on their behaviour.’
Consumer engagement turbo-charges your other marketing initiatives. By showing your customers how they are connected to you and your activities, they can see that you have a clear strategy with them at its heart.
In fact, consumer engagement has nine key business benefits. By treating each customer as a special adviser you can expect to:
• Reduce customer churn
• Turn customers into advocates who positively and actively recommend your brand
• Build loyalty among customers
• Make better business and marketing decisions in the future
• Exceed customer expectations by delivering products and services that they want
• Reduce the cost of customer acquisition
• Capture market share
• Drive sales and revenue
• Increase your profitability
Want to find out more about consumer engagement? Call David Thacker now on 0115 950 0510 or download our FREE Top 20 Tips to Consumer Engagement.