The 5 principles of engagement marketing: engage people continuously over time

By Tomas H. Lucero

This week, Business Review USA is featuring 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 is to engage people as individuals. Number two is to engage people based on what they do.

Principle 3: Engage people continuously over time

 You went through your day wishing each hour had been one uninterrupted pattern of actions toward your personal and professional goals. In reality, you were interrupted numerous times by advertising. It happened first when a tire company pitched a commercial on Pandora. It happened when you drove to the mall and a sign twirler “informed” you that there’s a new pet grooming shop.

While this kind of interruptive, single-message marketing is still ubiquitous, each day it’s less effective. Quoted in Marketo’s e-book, Forrest research writes that “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 sustains it over time. It is another mode of engagement and it works for marketing the way a long-term conversation works with a  friend. You know the kind of conversation I am talking about. 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.

“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 in reality, Marketo puts for 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.

Related Story: The 5 principles of engagement marketing: engage people as individuals

Related Story: The 5 principles of engagement marketing: engage people based on what they do

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