Engagement is the new marketing

Did anyone catch the conversations on Q&A last night? The interesting thing to me was that there were 2 guests on the panel from North America. When the discussion about indigenous culture came up, they had an interesting outsiders perspective. Basically, they thought Australian indigenous culture was fascinating and that there were opportunities, instead of being afraid to offend people, to embrace some aspects of the culture and make it inclusive and interesting.

Maybe it’s a stretch but I see the same needs to be done in places. Embrace new ideas, new ways of doing things. It can be really difficult when you are immersed in the issues to see from an outside perspective. But connecting and engaging with others is key to building supporters.

There was an interesting perspective on the new marketing models for retailers and how to create that engagement on the retailcustomerexperience.com:

Connections: The key here is plural. Consumers expect to connect with brands anytime, anywhere … especially on their smartphones. In an omni-channel world, retailers have to expect to connect very early in the consumer journey, when they first start researching online. And, they expect to continue that connection in store.

Choice: Today’s consumers are not limited by what they can find in a store, or even the goods they find in their own country. They expect the ability to shop a wide array of products. Consequently, store-based retailers must connect their virtual shelf to the store shelf. In fact, store-based purchases may include as many virtual shelf items as items chosen from the shelf. This will indeed require not only rethinking assortments, but technology to enable “seamless” shopping.

Convenience: This “C” is closely related to Choice. Consumers are increasingly looking for convenience of how they purchase, but also where they choose to receive their goods. Today’s time-starved consumers are expecting the convenience of shopping online or in store, but also the convenience of ship to home, pickup in store, or even pickup at a locker in another convenience location.

Conversation: If there’s one thing about today’s consumer … they are social! Consumers are more than likely to begin their journey on social media looking for conversation, and most importantly look for recommendations. But, it goes beyond search. Consumers are looking for conversation and connection with brands they value. Biggest miss of today’s retail stores is continuing the conversation AFTER the initial sale. Again, technology becomes a key. CRM will not only be the lifeline of continuing the conversation, but also the connecting the consumer value experience to creating relationships based upon lifetime value.

Recently, an Australian study confirmed that while most marketers understand the need to create better customer engagement, they are still focusing on mass market campaigns.

The study was conducted by Econsultancy, in association with marketing cloud software company, Responsys. It found that almost all respondents believe customer engagement is important to their company. Despite this, almost half centre their marketing activity on sending campaigns, rather than supporting the customer journey.

President of Responsys Asia Pacific, Paul Cross, says of the results, “It’s clear that customer engagement is fundamental to successful marketing, yet far too many marketers are still focusing on campaigns, rather than driving smarter marketing interactions that lead to better experiences and lasting relationships with their customers.

“Australian marketers see that they’ve got to move away from the campaign focus – like the campaign calendar focus of marketing – into a programmatic, individualised customer focus. I think clearly they all agree with that; the challenge over the next years is executing it,” he says.

So the question is, can you take a fresh ‘outsiders’ perspective on your business and see where and how you can create opportunities to engage with your audience.

 

For those not signed up to our enews, you would have missed you special EOFY offer. Book before June 30 to receive a 2 hour review of your marketing plan and recommendations for only $100. So get those questions about customer engagement and creating great experiences ready and let’s meet up.

 

 

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