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Of all the areas of digital marketing we cover on Smart Insights, Customer engagement is arguably THE most important and THE most challenging for a brand. It’s crucial to repeat business, but with the choice available online difficult to achieve.
Customer engagement quick guide
To read about approaches to improve engagement we suggest you read the latest customer engagement report from cScape. Issues to consider include:
- How does our company measure engagement and in particular, customer activity, satisfaction and loyalty? What are the KPIs which we will use the control the engagement programme?
- What are our online engagement devices? Which types of content or services encourage customers to return to our online channels to interact and act.
- Which platforms should we prioritise on? The importance of relevant online platforms like the website, email marketing, social media platforms and mobile sites and apps should be considered?
- How do we communicate the value of engagement devices? Engagement are elements of the brand that need to be communicated online and offline through clear statements about the online value proposition.
- How do we optimise engagement? The ongoing programme should test communications through email, social media and the website to optimise communications.
In our interview with Richard Sedley we note that some might see customer engagement initiatives as shorthand for increasing conversion rates. Richard says:
“Conversions are still vitally important but what customer engagement does is place those conversions into a longer term, more strategic context. There are a number of definitions of customer engagement bouncing around at the moment, my own is:
“Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand“.
The two key words here are’repeated’ and ‘investment’. A simple focus on maximising conversions can, in some circumstances, decrease the likelihood of repeat conversions. Think of that pushy door-to-door salesman.
You might buy something from him but what is the likelihood that you will repeat that purchase, or recommend his services to a friend?
Customer engagement places the strategic emphasis on the creation of valuable relationships and encourages both parties to see mutual advantage in that relationship. Frequently this will mean that your tactics require a multi-channel approach incorporating the best of digital and traditional media. I see the ability to effective blend media in its type, quantity and timing (known as Right-touching) as one of the key challenges for those interested in engagement in the coming years.
Statistics on the popularity of different engagement approaches are available within the latest engagement report.