“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” – Tom Fishburne, Founder of Marketoonist.
Tom’s statement is true in today’s world. Customers are more aware of their inherent power in the scheme of things. Combine this with their capacity to perceive BS from the onset, and it’s doomsday for the regular marketer.
A lot of the marketing practices that persist in today’s world are just the reinvention of a badly battered wheel – nothing could be more annoying than this.
Apparently, customers have the advantage. But who says you can’t get them on your team?
This is precisely what engagement marketing is about. Keeping up with the customer is the new cool. And it rocks!
Engagement marketing is utilizing creative, resourceful material to connect users and create positive experiences over time. Not a modern communication tactic, but rather a fresh way to talk of how the company interacts with its audience: as in the people.
Instead of treating customers as passive recipients of your marketing initiative, this strategy provides customers a way to be actively engaged in designing and co-creating communication campaigns and building a partnership with your brand.
Also known as:
- Experiential marketing
- Event marketing
- On-ground marketing
- Live marketing
- Participation marketing
- Loyalty Marketing
- or Special events
Engagement marketing isn’t a one-off. One thing customers hate more than paid advertising is a marketer/ business enterprise that is eager to close a sale. The unwritten rule in the inner circle of customers is that desperate marketing gets the garbage treatment.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davis
Andrew is spot-on with this statement. In engagement marketing, you are building a relationship with the customer based on their lifestyle and work activities, hoping to earn their trust.
Tools for engagement marketing
Engagement marketing isn’t just another type of marketing; it’s a marketing principle, which could make all the difference in a digital world where customers are super-sensitive to ads of any kind.
There are no new tools to carry out this form of marketing. Techniques like social media marketing, email marketing, and others are still on course to drive engagement marketing.
You have to care about the customer, not pretending for the sake of selling – customers hate that marketing tactic. The only way to actually show you truly care is by having effective conversations with your customers.
No attempts to cajole them into making a purchase, no subtle marketing scheme, no discounted sales. Nothing! Sweet nothings; that’s what this is about.
The only new tool you have to be efficient at in engagement marketing is emotional intelligence. A lot of marketers can’t converse with customers about anything else besides sales.
You have to be able to relate with customers, ask questions regarding their day, listen to them, and offer suggestions – without trying to sell something.
In engagement marketing, your goal is to build an audience that has ‘got your back’ and wouldn’t leave you when push comes to shove. It’s not a rich-quick campaign – you are building relationships, not breaking them.
The truth is that customers across the globe are tired of being commoditized, which is currently where the world is at. This explains why people change the channel, or even turn off the television completely when an advertisement comes on. The mindset of the average customer is that they – marketers – want to take ‘my money’ and nothing else.
You can’t possibly change that mindset, but you can bring them along on a journey that portrays your brand in a different light.
Engagement marketing requires conscientious work. It’s not going to be rosy, and time is one currency that you will spend. But the result is an audience that would do anything for you – a marketer’s dream.
Why is engagement marketing important?
If you’re still doubtful about the importance of engagement marketing, then you have a bigger fish to fry.
Everyone is wary of the middleman, and marketers are categorized as such. Right now, customers tend to spend quality time doing their research before buying anything or subscribing to any service. During this phase, interactions with the brands are held.
“90% trust peers on social networks (even strangers); only 15–18% trust brands.” – Danny Brown
For most, these interactions are made with other existing customers. Reddit and other forums are usually the points of rendezvous online. Information is shared and customers take note.
By practicing engagement marketing, customers don’t have to shop around for the information they seek. If you are an authority in that specific area, they will ask questions regarding your products and you should never lie about the outcome. Think repeat customer!
Are there occasions when engagement marketing doesn’t work?
There isn’t; you’re just doing it wrong. Yes, there are occasions where customers aren’t looking to buying anything. In such situations, keep them engaged while increasing your dragnet.
What about the use of interruptive ads to get their attention?
Interruptive processes aren’t effective due to the technique involved. Getting a person’s attention through a compelling copy on social media has lost its charm. People are catching on fast.
Sadly, old habits die hard, and many marketers are stuck in the interruptive approach without anything to show for it.
Engagement marketing is here to stay – whether you like the idea or not. Customers aren’t keen on adverts of any kind and the customer is considered a king. To deal with this, you can either embrace engagement marketing or let yourself get left behind. Your choice!