We have seen Advertising & Marketing evolve through the years. If we were to trace back the origins – the earliest forms of advertising was word-of-mouth. Communication was commonly created on papyrus in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Commercial advertising done through wall or rock paintings go back to 4000 BC. This has been found in many parts of India, Africa and South America too

Printing technology came into being in the 15th and 16th centuries. Handbills were used as a form of advertising then. In the beginning of the 17th century, newspaper advertisements were mainly used for printed books and medicines in England. By the 19th century, classified advertisements became recognized in the United States for promoting a variety of goods. First with TV, followed by Cable TV, and now with the development of Internet the very face of advertising has changed.

The primary focus of the advertisements is to get the audience’s attention which requires no engagement from them. Commercial advertisers often want to generate increased consumption of their products or services through ‘Branding’, which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate certain qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers.

Marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to reach consumers as there are multiple channels and media sources coupled with increase in competitors. Globalization has led to people, products and ideas moving around the world with fewer restrictions thus creating a system of global integration. Due to which media habits are scattered as there are multiple choices to keep your informed & entertained. Today, there is a need to connect with consumers and engage with them, right where they spend maximum time of their day.

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Engagement as we know creates a bond with the consumer. That is a crucial element mass advertising is missing out on. Engagement should happen where the customer spends more time – it can be online or a place they frequent. Activations, Road-shows, Events, Exhibitions, Demo, Consultation or just sampling are some forms of Consumer Engagement. Connect with them where they spend time – Malls, Schools, Universities, Hi-streets, In-store or Online.

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Benefits of customer engagement include understanding customer needs and expectations, discovering factors that encourage customer involvement, implementing measures to prevent defection, increasing customer retention & conversion, identifying upsell opportunities, acquiring new customers through word of mouth marketing and most importantly enhancing brand loyalty and company reputation.

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Author: Ganesh Iyer

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