Now more than ever, our consumers are more in charge, thanks to the popularity of social networks, videos, blogs, and various digital points of interaction. That’s because they form opinions, come to conclusions, and influence other people many times before we, the brands, have a chance to even “speak”.
In the digitally connected world we live in, companies have to communicate with consumers meaning ways. Nowadays, it is no longer a mystery that our consumers wish to feel understood.
Generally speaking, they want to build long-term relationships aligned with the brands that care about them and connect on a personal level across different channels. In other words; consumers want engagement.
But what does this mean for companies?
Changing marketing strategy: more engagement
Years ago we had only mass marketing, the one that tries to appeal to everyone and everywhere with the goal of reaching as many people as possible. Engagement Marketing is the exact opposite of that and if focuses on niches and buyers personas.
Engagement Marketing (or customer engagement marketing), is the process of creating and delivering personalized and timely messages to current and potential consumers. That is, it relies on reaching the audience through their favorite media to deliver personalized content they would find interesting. For this, the content – not the product – becomes the main means for brands to start and maintain a conversation.
In practice, Engagement Marketing assumes that brands will give their consumers the information they want, address their weaknesses, and offer solutions that create an emotional response. To be able to engage the right audience, your company should:
- Listen to what your consumers have to say. Pay attention to them at each point of contact.
- Collect data and turn it into insights. That way, you’ll know how your consumers want to interact.
- Everyone in the company can influence the engagement process.
- Understand that everything evolves and changes rapidly. Your marketing strategy should always reflect this change. The thought that “we’ve always done this, and it’s always worked,” no longer fits into the world we live in.
With that being said, if we’re going to summarize what engagement marketing is, the strategy looks to create meaningful customer relationships.
But how to make the transition to engagement marketing?
According to Hubspot, consumer engagement comes from the continuous interactions between the company and the consumer. These interactions are offered by the organization, but its chosen by the consumer. Different brands may vary in how they define their customer, but most of these definitions revolve around building lasting relationships.
Now that you understand the concept, let’s see how it looks when you put it into practice. To truly immerse your brand in an engagement marketing strategy and create a long-term relationship, you need to convince those involved of the importance of putting the customer in the spotlight. Here’s some important data that will help:
- 54% of consumers engage with brands to get the latest news about products and services.
- 66% of B2B consumers expect all branded communications to be customized.
- 60% of consumers expect an enhanced experience from the brands they’re engaged with.
When leadership understands that engagement marketing is not just another trend, they tend to be more open to making investments that aim to enhance the audience’s experience with the brand. One example is investing in a more responsive and attractive website.
That’s what Stam (one of the most traditional and respected brands in Brazil) did when it realized that their website was an important tool of engagement between the brand and its consumers. The company sought Signia Digital to create a more visually rich website that also took into account usability.
When it came to Stam, images and videos were also produced for their website, but each situation is different since the engagement marketing initiatives depend on the strategy previously created. For example, Randon, the largest manufacturer of trailers and semi-trailers in Latin America, wanted to showcase 10 new semi-trailers at one of the largest over-the-road tradeshows in Latin America.
The company needed to show in detail components of the semis, and also felt the need to create initiatives that increased the brand’s engagement with the public and attracted visitors to its booth. To help with the task, Randon partnered with Signia Digital to create four Augmented Reality experiences and a Virtual Reality experience.
In both strategies, visitors to the Randon booth were able to engage with the brand in a unique way.
Deloitte published a report (The Deloitte Consumer Review – CX marks the spot: Rethinking the customer experience to win) which states that:
“Every consumer wants a different experience when shopping and that ’experience’ has become the differentiating factor for many successful business models. However, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to predict what consumers want as their expectations continue to change.”
Earlier in this same article, we mentioned that everything evolves very rapidly. That’s why we stress that for your engagement marketing strategy to be successful it’s important to understand what your consumers want (and, furthermore, it’s important to surprise them).
Returning to Deloitte’s publication, the report highlights that consumers have also become “less tolerant of brands that do not provide an easy and seamless experience.” What do we take from that? Basically, that consumer engagement is the essence of a great experience.
To close, and reinforce the importance of the subject, we leave you with a message extracted from the report itself: “Focusing the entire company on delivering a positive consumer experience will be critical for future growth.”
Here are two important articles we previously published to help you deepen your knowledge about the importance of engagement marketing:
Hope you enjoyed this article. ‘Till next time!