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Customer engagement is one of the most hotly contested marketing concepts of the 21st century. It’s essential for creating true brand loyalty, the kind based on emotional attachment rather than simply habit, but it’s also tricky to pin down and sometimes often dismissed as a meaningless buzzword.
Many of the issues with the concept of engagement come from a lack of understanding or a clear definition – leading to 75% of brands claiming to measure it, but without being entirely sure what it means.
One of the major misconceptions is to equate engagement with interaction as opposed to attachment, an issue particularly prevalent in the area of social media. “Engagement” is generally considered to be the most important metric for measuring the success of social media marketing efforts, in which case “engagement” refers to the number of likes, shares or comments a post has garnered. In this case, an engaged customer is one who has interacted with the brand on social media – rather than one who has affection and loyalty towards the brand.
It is widely agreed among the marketing community that social media interaction is a good indication of levels of engagement, as more engaged users interact more often with the brand online, but the concept of engagement is far deeper. Rather than being a metric in and of itself, engagement is an amalgamation of different metrics and measures, often unique to each organisation, touching every channel both on and offline.
It’s important for each business to identify the metrics that are most important for them to track – if they have a regularly updated blog, which users are spending the most time reading their content? Who’s sharing it? How many other pages do people go on to view? How frequently are users returning to site? Away from the website, how often does a user click on email content, or follow up on a push notification, or use their loyalty card?
All of these metrics can contribute towards the wider state of engagement – it’s up to the organisation to decide which metrics are most important to them, and define their engaged users accordingly.
With so many potential metrics in play, it may sound like measuring engagement and identifying engaged consumers is an unwieldy and complicated task, but it doesn’t have to be. Powerful technology platforms like Intilery allow you to create intelligent, dynamic segments of customers based on the measures you care about, and deliver highly targeted, personalised communications to those groups to foster greater levels of engagement.
Segmenting your customer base in this way enables you to ensure each message you send out, and each piece of content you display, is appropriately targeted to its audience on a one-to-one level. Customers with low levels of engagement might not respond without a discount or offer, whereas highly engaged customers may be loyal enough to act without a monetary incentive. These distinctions not only allow you to determine the relative success of each of your marketing activities, but can save your business money.
To find out more about using customer engagement technology to support your marketing efforts, request a demo of the Intilery platform or call us on 0844 802 4561.