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The 4 kinds of engagement marketing – hit consumers on all sides

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Trends & Innovations 4 min read | Zara Bleackley wrote in blog on October 19, 2022

In consumer marketing, engagement is all. It’s not just about shifting units – it’s also the only way to connect with customers, build deeper relationships and establish loyalty, making marketing exponentially more effective. It’s unsurprising, then, that brands with engaged customers make more money. According to Gallop, they have 63% lower customer turnover, claim 55% more share of wallet and show 23% better overall performance than competitors. Those are some attractive numbers. But what is ‘engagement’ anyway? What does it look like for your brand? And how do you get it?

What is engagement marketing?

Not to be confused with customer experience and satisfaction (both also important), engagement goes well beyond the act of buying from you. It’s about purposefully making the most of every touchpoint, from your billboards to your packaging. Think about engagement as a state rather than a single event. It can be useful to break down that idea of engagement into four types – contextual, convenience, emotional and social. Each has its place depending on who you’re talking to and where.

Contextual engagement – right place, right time

Meeting consumers at exactly the right time and place can give your message more impact. For example, a one-dollar coupon would hardly get

people into their cars and to the supermarket. But, if they’re already standing in the aisles, it can be the push they need to choose your product over a competitor’s. Modern tech lets you do this in ever more sophisticated ways – you can predict when your consumers will be most receptive to your messaging based on factors like time of day, location and past behaviours.

TOP TIP: If your customers are engaged, you’ll have 63% lower customer turnover and claim 55% more wallet share than competitors.

Make it easy – engagement of convenience

If there’s one thing you can rely on, it’s that people love a shortcut. Claiming convenience engagement is about making things easy for customers, whether that’s single-step sign-ups, auto-reordering, super-wide distribution or one-click buying (looking at you, Amazon).

Get them in the feels – emotional engagement

While people like to think of themselves as rational creatures who make fact-based decisions, the reality is that we’re driven almost entirely by emotions. It’s something savvy sales and marketing people have always known instinctively – and one study dating back almost 20 years found that nearly 95% of purchasing decisions were driven by subconscious emotion. Again, modern tech is letting brands emotionally connect with consumers in a more nuanced way. With social and other digital platforms delivering thousands of data points, smart algorithms can build pretty accurate pictures of who you’re connecting with and what they’re likely to respond to.

Word-of-mouth – social engagement

While influencer marketing attempts to manufacture social engagement, arguably the most effective form, the true gold is when people recommend you to friends and family. This kind of engagement is directed by consumers, with unsponsored individuals recommending brands to their networks. Brands can’t directly create this engagement, but they can create an environment and connection with consumers that will give it the best chance. Doing this goes beyond marketing. It must consider the whole consumer experience, from branding to after-sales support.

Boost engagement in your brand

Understanding these types of customer engagement is only the first step – the next is figuring out how to make the most of them throughout your customer lifecycle, leveraging technology along the way. Each has its place in your marketing – whether it’s triggering a spontaneous sign-up because you’re in the right place at the right time, or building the kind of relationship with customers that will get them to do your promotion for you. For more detail on the four kinds of engagement and how you could use them in your business, start by downloading the free playbook now.

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