Recently, Business Review Australia's sister site Business Review USA featured the five principles of engagement marketing based on the e-book by Marketo, which “[helps] marketers master the art and science of digital marketing.” Principle one was to engage people as individuals, while number two was to engage people based on what they do.
Principle 3: Engage people continuously over time
You go through your day hoping each hour had been one uninterrupted pattern of actions toward your personal and professional goals. But in reality, you were interrupted numerous times by advertising. It happened first when Pepsi pitched a commercial on Pandora. It happened when you drove to the mall and a sign twirler “informed” you that there’s a new pizza shop right around the corner.
While this kind of interruptive, single-message marketing is still all around us, each day it’s becoming less effective. Quoted in Marketo’s e-book, Forrest research writes, “Today’s customers distrust and resent one off campaigns that interrupt or intercept them.” In engagement marketing, the business establishes a conversation with the customer and keeps it going over time. It's another mode of engagement, and it works for marketing the way a long-term conversation works with a friend. It’s the kind where you discuss a theme with a friend over weeks, months or years. Engagement marketing replicates this dynamic but associated to a product or service.
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“We now have the opportunity to listen and respond to every customer at every stage of his buying journey, keeping him engaged and helping to drive purchase decisions. Using intelligent, nurture tracks, marketing messages should flow in a logical fashion, creating engaging, personalized conversations. It’s not about individual messages, or even individual campaigns—every interaction asks for another interaction, and is part of a longer chain of events,” writes Marketo in their e-book.
To understand how this works, Marketo puts forth the example of a tech company which sells an excellent but high-priced product. Due to competition and the high price, the buying cycle will be longer. The customer needs time to measure the pros and cons of the investment as well as to compare with the competition. This means that it’s harder to keep your brand’s products top-of-mind.
“Using an engagement marketing strategy, that tech company could instigate and maintain continuous conversations, offering their potential customers a series of highly relevant, educational materials through email, social, and on their website,” explains Marketo. Over time, as a matter of course of the conversation—and positioning itself as an expert—the brand would earn the right to tell buyers about their products.
The conversation would not end when the potential customer became an actual customer. Instead, it would continue but shift gears. The company could use the existing relationship to help make their buyers successful with their purchases, for example with “Getting Started” kits or explainer videos.
You get the idea.