The Importance of Customer Engagement

Collaboration logo V2When it comes to digital marketing, you will encounter the word “engagement” lots of times, to the point where you’ll be forgiven if you start thinking that it’s just another marketing buzzword. But the truth is that it’s actually a very important word and is right up there with the word “relevance” when it comes to things that marketers need to embrace wholeheartedly-but how, exactly, do you go beyond simply remembering the word and actually embracing customer engagement?

First thing you need to do is accept that the industry has changed from the days when people weren’t so skeptical. Don’t get me wrong, customers have always been skeptical by default, but these days technology allows them to get information with a few clicks of the mouse – they already know what’s happening. They know that we’re collecting data on them, and that we are privy to their interests and activities all over the net. So they expect us to use that data responsibly and ethically. They expect to be engaged and to be given special treatment based on the data that has been gathered from them.

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The main problem these days is that digital marketing is still not customer engagement-centric. For all the emphasis on social networking and increased relevance, the truth is that a large chunk of what marketers publish these days is still irrelevant, poorly formatted, and ill-timed. So how do we engage?

For starters, we need to ask for it directly. As mentioned above, people already know that we’re paying close attention to them, so there’s no sense being shy about what you really want. But do it in a more personal, engaging manner – be funny/clever, provide an incentive, address the person directly, or any other way that will make the person realize that yes, you’re addressing him directly as a customer, not as a random statistic or figure. Technology these days will let you do this. Don’t miss out.

You should also democratize marketing. Consumers now have access to a wealth of information not just on your brand, but also on your competitors. The customers that are satisfied with your brand (and you should be targeting this) should be given a podium from which they can evangelize. Make no mistake about this, a satisfied customer is easily going to be your best sales person and a group of them will trump a thousand-dollar marketing advertising campaign when it comes to pulling more people in.

Lastly, serve the customer. It’s amazing how marketers these days get so caught up in statistics, figures, and impressions that they forget what running a business is really all about: it’s about serving the customer. This lesson should be learned by every single marketer on your staff, especially these days as consumers now have a ridiculously large amount of influence over other consumers, thanks to the Internet. You need to at least go over your operations once and see if the customer is being served to his or her satisfaction. If you’re not doing this part correctly, no amount of effort or resource-investing on any part of the business will improve customer engagement.

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One Response to “The Importance of Customer Engagement”

  1. […] took a little bit of time, but email marketers are now fully aware that email frequency and relevance go hand in hand, with lack of one having a negative effect on the other. The Email Marketing industry has gone a […]

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