Customer engagement happens when a brand engages with a potential customer. The initiative for engagement can be either consumer or company led and the medium of engagement can be on or offline.
Here are a few ways brands can define engagement:
Marketers can understand individual consumer’s behaviours in real time through technology and engage with them. Marketing goals are better achieved by engaging consumers in this way. For instance, brands and retailers can send coupons to consumers based on previous purchases or push an in-store notification to them with a special offer based on their purchase history
Engagement of Convenience
In this type of engagement, consumers engage with the brand because it is convenient for them. Any type of interaction that increases convenience also allows the brand or retailer’s systems to gain a better understanding of each consumer’s individual needs, buying cycles, triggers and price points, which can in turn be used in order to maximize value of that transaction (emotionally, financially, contextually) to reinforce the desire to buy .
This type of engagement is important as humans are emotional creatures. Connecting with humans emotionally is also important because 99 percent of brand buying decisions consumers make stem from some other unconscious emotional space.
These emotional bonds were exclusively tied to marketing (colours, images, messaging) or personal memories and experiences. Technology has enabled marketers to understand this on a 1:1 basis at scale because a good system tracks millions of data points that together paint a very specific picture of an individual’s own ideal environment for making decisions on what to buy, when and how often.
If contextual engagement, engagement of convenience, emotional engagement and social engagement are aligned with an individual, the real-time output is social advocacy.
When marketers think of customer engagement, they usually automatically think of malls, in-store or social media. But while networks such as Twitter and Facebook provide a great starting point, customer-centric brands know that being tuned in to your customers requires more than social listening.
Brands should engage with the consumer that should lead to consumer action. But the ultimate objective should not be engagement alone.
The consumer practice should bring together the power of influence, the power of content, the power of real time analytics and the power of global intellectual capital, all tailored to an increasingly sophisticated audience, many who possess high disposable income and are brand savvy.
Author: Ganesh Iyer