• Helen Pritchett

Consumer Engagement in the Engagement Economy

What is consumer engagement?

Consumer engagement is a connection between a consumer and a company or brand through various types of correspondence. This connection can be any interaction or overall customer experience, taking place online and/or offline on any number of channels.

What is the engagement economy?

The Engagement Economy (as mooted by Marketo) is “a new era where everyone and everything is connected. Consumer expectations have shifted to expect more from the brands they buy from —they seek a personal relationship that offers them value wherever they are and whenever they are ready to engage”.

Why should brands aspire to positive consumer engagement in the Engagement Economy?

When executed well, a strong consumer engagement strategy will foster brand growth, loyalty and sales. In the era of the engagement economy this is crucial.

Why do consumers engage?

Customer engagement is about encouraging your customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them. Primarily, consumers engage when they are looking to learn about products and services and when they require service or support. On social media channels they also engage with brands they love, those they want to be associated with and those with whom interactions provide benefits, e.g. product news, promotions, discounts, loyalty schemes etc.

According to Marketo’s report, the top 5 benefits of engagement for the consumer are:

  1. Improved customer experience

  2. Receiving tailored promotions/discounts

  3. Faster problem resolution

  4. Ability to access the latest product information

  5. Feeling valued

What is the marketer’s response to the engagement economy?

Day by day the engagement economy is gaining traction, pace and significance and, consequently, marketers need to rapidly transform their approach to stay relevant. So, how do marketers respond to this new era? Engagement marketing using a multi-touch approach is key. The use of strategic, relevant content to engage people on a variety of channels will, over time, create meaningful interactions which will build loyalty and sales.

However, it is important to note that about 50% of all consumers think brands could do better when it comes to CX and consumer engagement. So, where are we going wrong?

The big question for all marketers is, in a society where people see hundreds of messages every day (which by the way we are all very good at tuning out of), are you giving your customers an engaging, personalised experience?

The next question should be, do you have a deep enough understanding of your customers to provide this experience in the first place? Are you catering for Generation X, Millennials and Centennials?  Remembers, this latter group has never (ever) known a world without the Internet.

Now more than ever, marketers must work hard to ensure consumers feel wanted and that deep brand connections are developed and nurtured. We need to accept that the customer experience (CX) is vital and is driven by consumers themselves. As a result, we need to give credence to their requirements, needs, and wants. We need to connect with consumers at every stage of their buying journey and be present on their channels and on their terms.

Why can engagement suffer?

With customer retention a high priority, we need to understand why engagement can suffer. Possible reasons for non-engagement include:

  • Irrelevant content

  • Brands sharing too much information

  • Suffered from poor experience in the past

  • Lack of personalisation

None of these obstacles are insurmountable. Marketers simply need to review their methods, approach and content with a view to delivering relevant, timely, personalised and sparkly communications that hit the engagement spot.

What types of marketing nurture engagement?

A multi-touch, account-based approach to marketing is key to developing, building and maintaining consumer engagement and being a successful brand in the engagement economy.

Multi-touch marketing lead generation results in highly successful campaigns as you target your audience with consistent, relevant and personalised brand messaging across a range of platforms and touch points.

Automated, customisable multi-touch campaigns maximize effectiveness, enabling you to act in a customer-centric way and provide excellent CX.

Clever use of compelling and continuous communications develops strong customer relationships. Multi-touch marketing allows you to layer your messaging and gives your audience the ability to access your content on their terms. Furthermore, it enables you to nurture prospects based on preferences and previous behaviours, delivering personalised, relevant messaging.

Combined with MTM, account-based marketing works to encourage action and generate leads.

This profile-based approach requires sales and marketing functions to work together, focused on the same list of accounts. Concentrating energy and resources into one set of target accounts provides synergy, ensures better alignment and reaps dividends.

Using an account-based marketing approach means customers benefit from attention to detail, a personalised approach and tailored messaging. Using ABM, you can provide customers with expertly delivered, bespoke lead generation campaigns, saving them time and resources and giving customers what they want; building tailored packages of lead generation services to meet their needs.

In conclusion, if you want to capitalise on consumer engagement in the era of the engagement economy you should focus your marketing on a personalised, targeted multi-touch approach which will deliver better CX for your consumers and better sales results for you.