Engagement – the new ROI?
The term ‘engagement‘ is popping up all over the place.
Using social media channels as a broadcast medium won’t get the result you’re after. Engagement is the key to success.
According to the Alterian “Annual Survey 2009” report Are You Ready to Engage? the maturity of digital and social media requires integration of marketing strategies. Marketers must move from a focus on siloed campaigns to an emphasis on listening to, and communicating with, consumers.
“Engaging with customers is becoming paramount and the yardstick by which we measure those brands that survive and those that don’t,” says David Eldridge, CEO of Alterian. “Marketers need to appeal to the individual and engage with customers on a one-to-one basis.”
A new report from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council indicates that engagement is what drives brand loyalty and both customers and marketers agree that deeper engagement and personalized contact is what gets results. Loyal consumers expect marketers to understand them better and deliver more relevant and valued offers.
The Marketer’s View
Most marketers (61 percent) believe that loyalty program participants are the best and most profitable customers, but that they’re falling down on extracting greater value from customer loyalists. When it comes to in-depth profiling of customers, the vast majority of marketers still only aggregate and analyze limited customer data sets. 73 percent collect basic demographics, but critical insights — such as advocacy rates (14 percent), brand loyalty and attachment (27 percent), personal preferences (31 percent), satisfaction levels (33 percent), and product preferences (38 percent) — are not being leveraged.
The Consumer’s View
According to eMarketer, consumers are demanding engagement, not just discounts. And they want conversation, not messages.
58 percent are looking for compelling personal benefits and services, as well as more relevant offers or individualized deals. as a reward for their loyalty. They want the information delivered through multiple channels in the most relevant, personal and customized way possible. (Do I hear RSS feeds?)
Customers are issuing a very clear warning to marketers. Give me relevant communications that reflect my history and connections to you, or I’ll go elsewhere.
Marketers are definitely looking for ways to connect with consumers. Check out this Google Trends graph for Engagement Strategies
A proven ability to engage an audience is also high on the list of desired attributes for companies hiring social media staff. “Let’s say you have a blog and you routinely get people to comment, and you have 5,000 followers on Twitter. That shows you know how to engage people,” says Knight Foundation’s Marc Fest, who is looking to fill an online community coordinator position.
Sadly, only 17% of the companies polled said that their staff is fully prepared for new media marketing and engaging with their customers.
If you’d like to learn more, Marketwire is hosting a webinar about engagement strategies February 11th. I am presenting the webinar and my guest is Rebecca Lieb, VP of Econsultancy (US). You can register here.